Red Dead: Redemption

    Red Dead Redemption (I originally wrote this on 12/30/2011, the day I started this tumblr)
     
    Overview
    Red Dead Redemption (or RDR for short) was a highly awaited game at release. Created by the same company as the well known Grand Theft Auto series, Rockstar Games, a lot of people pretty much expected RDR to be GTA with horses instead of cars, which it pretty much is.
    Plot
    In Red Dead Redemption you play a man named John Marston. Marston is an ex-outlaw, forced to hunt down his old gang or the Old West’s version of the FBI will kill his family. There is a fair amount of twists and turns as well as tons of sub-plots and side stories that you can either find engrossing or just something that gets in the way of shooting baddies.

    The plot of RDR isn’t exactly going to take your breath away, and although some of the side plots can be quite quirky and fun, I never really identified with any of the characters stories and so it’s left to the gameplay to sell this game.
    Combat
    RDR’s combat is probably its best and worst feature at the same time. At it’s heart, despite the sandbox nature of the game and all the other feature’s listed below, most of the time you’ll be spending your time gunning down enemies.

     Aiming depends a lot on whether or not you turn on the auto aim feature, which will basically always point your gun at an enemies head when you aim at them, there are no penalties to using this feature and unlike most games you don’t feel like your taking the easy way out by using it.

    When you are trying to move during combat, it’s controls are fairly good, but despite the crouching, sticking to cover and ability to lean out of cover to shoot it still feels a little slow and syrupy. If you plan on surviving you’ll usually end up popping out of cover, headshotting an enemy or two, then ducking back into cover.

    One of the strongest elements of the combat is the Dead Eye targeting system, which is very similar to Max Payne or Fallout 3 in that you have a Dead Eye meter and using it basically freezes time, allowing you to simply click a button on each enemies head and then you kill them all in a second.
    Points of Interest
    Besides the main game there are a number of other things you can do to wring out more gameplay from RDR. One of the main things that you can devote a lot of time to are the different challenges, such as hunting, herb gathering and sharpshooting where you complete a number of objectives throughout the game and are rewarded with money and items.

    Another thing you can do is a host of different games of chance, including Poker, Arm-Wrestling, Five-Fingered Skillet and Blackjack. They are can earn you much needed money and also make a nice break from the combat and the challenges.
    Multiplayer
    With the number of achievements for multiplayer there should always be a fair amount of people online. There are basically two different sides to the multiplayer, free roaming and competitive. In free roam you have the huge map of the whole RDR campaign to run about in, attacking gang hideouts, playing poker and other games with real players. Unfortunately what you’ll often find is that the second you spawn, you’ll wander around on your own for a while and the first person you meet will instantly gun you down, which tends to ruin your day and your enjoyment of the gametype.

    In competitive you have the normal kind of multiplayer, deathmatches and team fighting and objective based gameplay. These are all well and good, but nothing really gripping here but it’ll keep you entertained for a while. What you’ll probably find yourself doing is swapping between the two modes when you get exasperated with each type, and you’ll have some good times and some bad.
    Undead Nightmares
    This is a really good DLC that was released for RDR. It adds a massive new single player campaign, where you are fighting to save the world from the threat of the zombie horde! There are a host of new mythical creatures to hunt and you can get the horses of the four horseman of the apocalypse to ride! Undead Nightmares is a very fun DLC that adds a lot of worthwhile gameplay to the game.

    Summary
    RDR is a good game. It won’t be the game to end all games, but there is a lot to do in it and you’ll find a lot of little touches that keep you going to the end. The plot isn’t amazing and the combat can be a little clunky at times, but overall you will enjoy playing this game Singleplayer. The multiplayer is very hit and miss depending on who you meet online, mostly you’ll meet a load of trigger happy idiots, sometimes you’ll meet a nice bunch of guys to posse up with and go for the gang hideouts together. It’s worth getting, it’s worth playing and the undead nightmares DLC is a must have.

    • 2 years ago
    • 26

    Bioshock

    Bioshock (I originally wrote this review on 11/30/2011)
     
    Bioshock is one of the best games ever. A bold statement I know, but I’m pretty certain that everyone I know who’s played it would recommend it and agree it’s awesome. It’s innovative game design; graphics that were stunning at the time and immersive plot make this a game for the ages.
    Plot
    Now as the plot is a really important part of the game; I’m not going to give that much away. What I will say is that you play a man called Jack, and at the beginning of the game your plane crashes into the sea. You escape the wreckage and go into a lighthouse where you find a ‘Bathysphere’. You step in, pull the lever and are lowered towards Rapture.

    Rapture is an underwater city, the brainchild of the brilliant Andrew Ryan. It was supposed to be an enlightened city, where the arts, sciences and other noble pursuits could be advanced without the limitations of society. Without giving too much away, it all goes to pot and you pretty much see the society fallen apart and before too long are fighting for your life, both with guns and with plasmids. 
    Plasmids, Adam and EVE
    One of the main creations of the game is the plasmid. The inhabitants of Rapture inject themselves with a drug called Adam, which grants them a variety of powers such as telekinesis and the ability to throw fire, freeze enemies and even throw lightning. Using these abilities takes up EVE, another chemical you have to inject yourself with, which functions as ammo for the plasmids. Now, they aren’t just used as weapons, that would be far too normal for Bioshock, they are also used for a variety of puzzles and also to access other items.

     Resource management is a big deal in Bioshock; do you spend money to get items from a vending machine or do you use up some EVE to melt some ice and get the items that way? As well as the plasmids you have normal guns that can be upgraded and that require ammo, so it’s often a choice between spending money to get EVE or ammo, spending EVE to get ammo or money or any other combination. There’s a lot to think about!
    Enemies
    There is a fair amount of enemies in Bioshock but they basically boil down to two main types. There are the various types of Splicers; normal residents of Rapture who have gone crazy and who kill for Adam, and they come in various forms and weapon sets. Then there are the Big Daddies, massive formidable foes in diving suits who guard the gatherers; mutated children who extract Adam from dead bodies. Now the game poses you a moral question…

    After killing the Big Daddy you have a choice of what to do with the gatherer they were protecting. You can either rescue them; returning them back to normal children, or you can harvest them, which means killing them and getting Adam straight away. The benefit to rescuing them is after every three or four rescued you get more Adam than you would for harvesting them, as well as some extra goodies like specialist tonics (a passive perk) and of course a sense of well being for not murdering a child. 

    As the video shows, another big thing that the Big Daddy provides is a mini-boss battle. You don’t have to engage them in combat, and if you aren’t threatening them they will ignore you. But generally you’ll stock up on as much ammo as you can get and then throw everything you’ve got at them. They can take a LOT of damage, but you need the Adam. Plasmids can be very helpful in these fights, particularly the lightning or the enrage plasmids, which when used on a splicer will make them attack the Big Daddy for you! Specialist ammo types like armour piercing or electrified rounds help too, but my personal favourite is using hacking to help out.
    Hacking
     You’ll hack quite a lot throughout Bioshock. When turrets and sentry bots (shown in the picture above) are hacked they will stop shooting at you and instead gun down your enemies. Another helpful thing you’ll hack are Security cameras which when hacked will send out sentry bots against your enemies, which is marvelous for Big Daddy fights.

     The hacking itself is like playing a mini-game of Pipe Dream (which if you missed, requires you to put the correct pipe sections onto a grid so the water doesn’t pour onto the floor). This is an interesting little mini-game but after a while you’ll usually end up paying or using an auto-hack perk to avoid it, making the game a little redundant but nice while it lasts.
    Atmosphere
    The whole of Rapture has an art-deco style, and the consistency of the decor and the score give the world a unique and almost nostalgic feel. However, knowing that madness and psychopaths run rampant throughout the city keeps you constantly on edge.  This creates an interesting juxtaposition of the beautiful, albeit abandoned, city which contrasts with the bodies and blood, giving a level of  immersion that isn’t readily duplicated. The only other game I think comes close is Dead Space.

    Along with the look and the score of Rapture, the sounds of the survivors truly bring it to another level. On your journey throughout the game you’ll find women weeping over the corpses of loved ones, audio journals talking about the fall of their civilisation and the madness that followed, and ever present bodies and grusome tableaux that keep you on the edge of your seat, wondering what twists and turns await through the next door.

    Conclusion
    So basically, Bioshock is awesome. I personally haven’t quite finished with it as I’ve still got to play it thorough on hard without dying once, it’s hard difficulty setting is actually hard, unlike most games these days. The huge variety of plasmids and weapons and the customisation that you can go through will allow a variety of playthroughs to try the different ways of getting through the game, and as I’ve said above, the atmosphere and immersion in Bioshock is simply stunning. This is a game you have to play.

    • 2 years ago
    • 13

    Retro Review: Digger

    Retro Review: Digger (I originally wrote this review on 11/14/2011 as a request for my sister)
     
    As a user request, the excessively old PC game, Digger! From way back in 1983 this ye olde game is quite a family favourite. We’ve been heading out to the way old pc in our freezing cold garage to play Digger, wearing our coats and trying to best each other’s best scores.
    Overview
    Digger is quite a simple game. Basically you are a little digger like thing that appears to be alive. To progress to the next level you have to collect all the emeralds shown on the current map, which you can do by tunneling throughout the map.

     The enemies on the map are the strange Nobbin creatures that if they touch you, you die. When Nobbin rub together they create Hobbins which can tunnel through the map like yourself and also kill you at a touch. You do have several ways to kill them though.
    Turning the tables
    The first weapon you have available is you gun. Apparently this digger is equipped for warfare. Yes, just a click of F1 and you’ll fire a asterix looking fireball that will kill the first enemy it hits, or else hit harmlessly into the dirt (the Nobbins and Hobbins are quite good at dodging).

    Another good way to get them is by dropping the Gold bags on them. It crushes the enemy and leaves a pile of debris which if you go over gives you points! The same debris is left by dropping a gold bag at least 2 spaces, but beware as they can crush you too.

    Finally, the pièce de résistance is the “Bonus”, i.e. cherries. Reminiscent of Pac-Man, getting the cherries makes the screen flashy and enables you to gobble up the Nobbins and Hobbins in your digger mouth, Mwahahah!
    Tactics
    There are pretty much two ways to play Digger, for points or for levels. The best way to get points is to lure the Nobbins around a single track for as long as possible, waiting for your gun to recharge and taking them out as they respawn. For levels you just need to run round like mad, getting as many gems as possible and killing Nobbins as you go. Careful with this approach though, as when you have multiple tracks the Nobbins are more likely to meet and fuse to create Hobbins.

    Conclusion
    A classic game, simple yet addictive. If you want to play it yourself, you can find a remade version online here, or even download it to your PC with a level editor and more from here! Note: to use the downloadable version you’ll need a DOS emulator like DOSbox, which is easier to use with a front end, I use D-Fend Reloaded. Another thing I will note is that a HD Digger version has been released for the PS3, shown above, with new graphics and new features and also includes the original game, available from the PS3 marketplace.

    • 2 years ago

    Splinter Cell: Conviction

    Splinter Cell: Conviction (I originally wrote this review on 11/13/2011)
     
     Splinter Cell: Conviction is the most recent game in the Splinter Cell series, where you play as spy Sam Fisher, using a variety of gadgets and weapons to achieve your objectives, most memorably the night vision goggles which have become a kind of logo for the series.

    Overview
    In SC:C, Sam has basically retired, however events of a massive plot bring him out of his retirement and force him back into saving the world once again. Splinter Cell has always been a series full of twists and turns so I won’t go deeper into the plot if you don’t know it. One thing I will mention is the interesting way of displaying objectives. To make it more immersive, similar to Dead Space, the objectives are shown on the walls, which like Dead Space does make it cooler than them just popping up on your screen as in Gears of War and most other games.
    Mark and Execute
    In SC:C, once you get close to an enemy you can press B to do a hand-to-hand execution. This grants you access to the mark and execute ability. When looking at an enemy you can mark them by pressing LB, and this puts a little arrow above their head, which is useful for tracking the locations of enemies. Once marked you can press the Execute button, which will make Sam shoot all the marked enemies he can see in one slow-mo sequence. Different guns have different amount of marks, but this can be a very useful ability.
    Stealth
    As with the other Splinter Cell games you can often find a sneaky route around enemies, like up a pipe or through a window and so on, and it’s still useful to turn off or shoot out lights so enemies cannot see you. However, in SP:C you will practically live in the dark. When in a shadow the world turns grayscale but with interactive/explosive objects like chandeliers and fire extinguishers as well as enemies still showing up in full colour.

     Another aspect added in SC:C is the Last Known Position, which is basically that if you are spotted and get into cover then a white outline shows your last known position, and the enemy will head towards and attack that position, allowing you to sneak away.
    Equipment and challenges
     In SC:C the weapons are the usual SMG’s, Assault Rifles, Shotguns and the like, however what most of us tend to find ourselves using the pistol, specifically the five seven. This is for two reasons, first you have infinite ammo with pistols and second the five seven has the most marks available in the game.

     Like most games these days, SC:C offers some specific challenges to aim for throughout your gameplay that grant you with upgrade points that you can use for weapon, armour and equipment upgrades.

    Another really interesting addition is the Sonar Goggles, which when activated show you enemies through the walls, and you can even mark them using the goggles! You can also still use an optic cable to look under doors and can mark enemies using that as well.
    Co-op and Multiplayer
     In SC:C there is a fair amount you can do with a friend or online. There is an entirely separate Co-op campaign, unlike most games where you would just play the same campaign but have two or more of you, as in Halo. It’s interesting as obviously the Co-op campaign adds more storyline.

    There is also multiplayer which can be done split screen or over Xbox Live, with four main gametypes. There is Hunter where you have to clear the map of enemies, and if spotted instead of the ten enemies in the section you get a further ten added. In Infiltration it’s exactly the same as Hunter but if spotted or detected you just fail. Face-Off is a gametype where you and the other player are pitted against each other, but with optional bots running around killing you both! Finally Last Stand is another Horde like game mode, where you have to defend an EMP generator from waves of enemies.
    Interrogations
    Another big thing added to SC:C, probably to highlight how Sam is acting on his own now and is a bit more brutal about it, is the interrogations that occur throughout the game. Basically you have a hostage with information and you can interact with the environment around you to torture them for information. It’s all a bit messy, but very satisfying after spending so much time sneaking around.

    Conclusion
    Splinter Cell: Conviction has a lot to offer, both the single player and co-op storylines are quite interesting and fun to play through. The wealthy of gadgets and weapons, coupled with the level layouts, always provide a number of different ways to do a level. The multiplayer game modes are well worth a go as well, particularly hunter. All in all, another good game that is well worth a play, however I would recommend the stealthy approach as going in all guns blazing is a quick way to get you killed.

    • 2 years ago
    • 71

    Guitar Hero: Warrior’s Of Rock

    Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock (I originally created this review on 11/12/2011)
     
    So Guitar Hero. If you don’t know the first thing about Guitar Hero you must have been living under a gaming rock. In GH you use a Guitar shaped controller with five note buttons and a strum bar to try and the notes of a variety of songs. As the series has progressed they have gone from just guitar to also having bass, mic and drums, but the drums are quite expensive so I’ve only used my friends kit for them.
    Overview
    Warriors of Rock is the last in the GH series, Activision deciding to axe the series, likely due to Rock Band taking all their sales. Aw with most of the Guitar Hero games, WoR adds a whole new slew of songs you can choose from, being shipped with 93 at release and plenty more available to download, and it continues to offer all the different instruments mentioned above. It is worth noting as well that the appearance of the game has improved, but not massively.
    Quickplay
    In quickplay you can play any song you have unlocked or purchased, either on you own or in a band with friends on the same console or even over Xbox Live. Each instrument has its own challenges to aim for for every song, as does playing as a band. It’s still a staple of the series’ feel that it’s a game you get out while your friends are over or at a party.
    Quest mode
    Again as with the other GH’s, there is a campaign mode. In WoR it adds some new gameplay mechanics but unfortuntely for some reason they have made it single player only, a loss in gameplay from the previous games! The addition is 8 powers, 1 for each character/stage in the campaign, which you unlock through the campaign but again, even in quick mode, the powers can only be used in single player. They add things like a higher point multiplayer or a shield against missing a note, which are pretty good but don’t really make up for the loss of the band campaign.

    Conclusion
    Quite a short review, but then there isn’t much thats changed from the rest of the series. I’ve not done a multiplayer section as technically there isn’t one, but you can have other players join you over Xbox Live for quickplay as I’ve said, they even got rid of the battle mode from the earlier games! The powers are fun, but as I’ve said quite restricted, however despite the loss of content the game is still worth getting for playing the wealth of good rock songs in quickplay with your mates or over live.

    (Source: guitarhero.wikia.com)

    • 2 years ago
    • 3

    Assassin’s Creed: Revelations

    Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (I originally wrote this review on 11/11/2011)
     
    With the soon to be released Assassin’s Creed Revelations coming out, its release date set for November the 15th 2011, if you haven’t got around to playing Brotherhood yet then you better get your skates on! Brotherhood is the third game in the series but technically its Assassin’s Creed 2 part 2, with Revelations going to be part three.

    Series Overview
    In the Assassin’s Creed series you are actually playing a 20th century man called Desmond. In AC1 he is captured by the Abstergo company and put into a machine called the Animus, a machine that regresses Desmond through his “Genetic memories”. In AC1 the ancestor whose memories you “relive” is called Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad, a member of the Assassin’s guild in the 11th and 12th centuries. The Assassin’s sworn enemies are the Templars who you find out are still about now and they are the Abstergo company. In AC2 you continue to use an Animus but with some 20th century assassins who helped you to escape Abstergo. In AC2’s animus you go back to a different ancestor called Ezio Auditore, whose story you continue in AC:B.
    Brotherhood
    Ok so now you know the outline of the story but it gets much more in-depth than that. So the memories you are reliving, the main thing goes on is that the Templars are trying to use alien artifacts to control people and bring about world peace and basically help people. The Assassins hate this because, although they also are for the good and so on, they hate the mind control that the Templars use. Assassin’s Creed is choc full of moral questions about what is wrong and right and if either group is really “the good guys”. Of course, while you are musing that over, you are probably wading through rivers of city guard’s blood without a qualm.
    Weapons and Combat
    As in the previous AC’s, your main weapons are your hidden blade and your sword, and you can still execute two enemies at once with the twin hidden blade added in AC2. AC:B added a few new weapons to the arsenal you have in AC2 though, namely a crossbow, usefully enabling long distance stealth kills, a few other heavy weapons likes maces and spears, and poison darts (a weapon I didn’t realise was in the game and only found that out when getting the pictures for this review!).

     The far weightier thing added into AC:B is the Execution Chain. Basically when you execute an enemy in combat you can immediately select another enemy and execute them and so on, only stopping if you get hit or if you run out of enemies!
    Upgrading
    In AC:B they have increased the revenue source from AC2. In AC2 you have a villa called Monteriggioni which you upgraded and it regularly deposits money into your chest. In AC:B you upgrade the whole of Rome, as the game is only set in the one massive city, from little tunnels to enable fast travel about right upto the Colosseum itself!

    Then there are also the guilds. In the city there is a Courtesans guild, Warriors guild, Thieves guild and an Assassin’s Guild setup by Ezio himself. Each guild is again something you can build up, by buying buildings and completing sub-tasks, which enhance both the groups themselves and give you little added passive bonuses and unique weapons. The Assassins guild however is actually a new feature added in AC:B whereby, at the touch of a button, you call a group of your Assassins to help you. There are three levels of the aid, the first two summon assassins to kill your target and then attack nearby enemies whereas having the third level unleashes an arrow storm that kills every enemy on the screen!
    Multiplayer
    This is one of the largest areas that AC:B adds to the AC series. There are a growing number of gametypes, but the three main ones are Wanted, where you are on your own hunting one target and another player is hunting you, Alliance, which is the same but you are in teams of two hunting and being hunter, and finally my favourite Manhunt where you are in two teams of five, one team hunting and the other team hiding and only able to stun and then you swap. The multiplayer is full of challenges to complete and characters, abilities and weapons to unlock. Lots of fun and adds an interesting new dynamic to the series.

    Conclusion
    Though the plot of the AC series is quite complex and this game does add storyline that section of AC:B feels a little like a big DLC for AC2, however with the addition of the Execution Chain, the Assassin’s Guild and the multiplayer this game should find itself a proud member of the series. Now go play it before AC:Revolution comes out!

    • 2 years ago
    • 8

    Dead Space

    Dead Space (I originally wrote this review on 11/09/2011)
     
    Ahh Dead Space. The Survival Horror that brings the horror back to the genre that Resident Evil left behind and that Silent Hill has stopped being notieable. Seriously, there have apparently been several Silent Hill games out in the last few years and I just hadn’t noticed.

    Overview
     Dead Space is a third person game set in a futuristic universe where you are Isaac the mechanic, a man worried for the survival of his girl and assigned to repair her ship after the comms went down. Shockingly it all goes to pot even before your repair ship docks with the massive silent ship the USG Ishimura, a planet cracker class spaceship, and before you know it you are on your own fending against strange creatures for your own survival!
    Immersion
    Dead Space is one of the most gripping, intense games I’ve played for a good few years and the creators wanted it that way. Where you generally need an indication of life, either a life bar like Halo or a change in the screen as in Call of Duty of Gears of War, with Dead Space there is a life bar up your spine! And when you want to see your inventory you project an image of it in front of you. Also if you want to see where your next objective is, you click one of the movement sticks and Isaac highlights a glowing line on the floor towards it.  They’ve basically done their best to convey information without using a HUD, obviously to try and draw you into the game more, and it works.

    Necromorphs
    The creatures you encounter in Dead Space are generally collectively known as the Necromorphs. Another interesting idea implemented in Dead Space is that, unlike in Resident Evil (which is pretty much the benchmark for Survival Horror) headshots are NOT the way to go. In fact most of the enemies function fine without a head.

     No, in Dead Space the order of the day is dismemberment, and a lot of it. The most common Necromorph is a humanoid creature with scythe like arms. Shoot its head off and it will just keep charging you, but shoot its legs off… and it will claw its way towards you on its arms, but then once you’ve shot those off it dies. And that’s the point really, how tough the enemies are to kill varies with how good you are at dismembering them.
    Weaponary
    Another section that Dead Space has been clever with is its guns. As Isaac is a mechanic and not a soldier he doesn’t have most conventional guns. Yes there is an Aliens style pulse rifle but besides that all the weaponry is based on various tools and mining equipment.

     You pickup credits and energy nodes throughout the game which you can use to upgrade all of your weapons and your armour but again the upgrade system isn’t just “use a node and your gun is better”. Yes, using the nodes to upgrade your guns helps to improve them, but you have to fill in slots in the upgrade chain, some of which do nothing at all.
    Stasis and Kinetic modules
    Another element that Dead Space uses, not quite as original but still adding to the awesome-ness is the Kinetic and Stasis. The Stasis module is a constant weapon in Isaac’s arsenal. With the Stasis module you can freeze enemies and objects, and along with the Kinetic module you can move heavy objects, both of which are used to progress through fairly simple puzzles. 
    Zero-G and Airless Sections
    Another unique thing about Dead Space is the Zero Gravity sections where you are can leap to walk along the walls floor and ceiling, bypassing holes in the ship’s hull, however the Necromorphs still come at you and the fact that they can literally attack from any direction is extremely disorientating

    Often, but not exclusively, linked with the Zero-G sections is the fact that due to holes in the hull or the air being purged, you will have to survive on a limited air supply. Like the health packs you can use to heal you, you can use air canisters to top up your remaining oxygen, but when you are fighting enemies and running along the ceiling, trying to use the hologramatic inventory to survive, its harder than it sounds!

    Conclusion
    Dead Space is a very good game. It has a number of innovative features, it is very immersive, and it a very freaking scary game. You can’t really describe scary, you need to experience it yourself. So you should try Dead Space, and just remember that in Zero-G, nobody can hear you scream!

    • 2 years ago
    • 8

    Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

    Space Marine (I originally wrote this review on 11/06/2011)
    Picture
    Space Marine is a game based on the Warhammer 40,000 universe and the tabletop miniature wargame. There have been a fair few of games based on this universe but by far the most successful so far have been the Dawn of War series. Space Marine changes all that.

    Overview
    In Space Marine you play as a captain of an Ultramarine squad and you charge through the battlefields of an Imperial Forge World called Graia, fighting various orks and later on chaos (not really a spoiler, as it’s obvious because of the multiplayer). The campaign is a moderate to long campaign, but Space Marine doesn’t really shine in general, but in specifics.

    Combat
    In Space Marine you have the usual assortment of weapons taken from the Warhammer universe, a sniper rifle, a bolter (your main gun), and upto heavier weapons like the Heavy Bolter, the Plasma Cannon and the Lascannon. They are all well and good and nothing really blows your mind there (although a headshot will still blow the enemies). Where the game really comes into its own is the melee, and it kinda feels like you need to charge headlong into every fight. For starters you cannot take cover, something that has been force fed into our gamer psyche as a necessity in recent shooters.

    Secondly you do not regenerate health as you would in COD or Gears of War, and there are no health packs as in Unreal Tournament and Left 4 Dead. To get your health back you have to execute enemies, generally standing exposed in a group of them while you’re doing this. What this equates to is two styles of play. The first is standing behind a wall, nipping out to shoot enemies and then hiding again, which makes you feel like a total woss, or going insane in the melee, hacking your enemies into as many pieces as possible, which is fun but you dance a very fine line between massacring them and death.

    Fury
    Fury is another mechanic of the combat. Basically getting kills’ fills up the meter you can see in the above video on the bottom left. When this is full you can active your Fury, which basically makes all your attacks more powerful and refills your health. Later on you also unlock Fury to help with your shooting, making everything slow motion firing.

    Jump Packs
    Another mechanic they have in the game is something that you will have seen before in Halo, Jump packs. Obviously they were in the Warhammer universe first but Halo did it game wise first. With the Jump pack that you’ll get automatically as certain campaign sequences  you can leap into the air and crash down, smiting your foes. It’s not that show stopping but it break up the campaign and is fairly enjoyable :)

    Multiplayer
    The multiplayer on Space Marine is fairly straightforward, like the rest of the game really. There are two game types, a team deathmatch and a take and hold gametype. In these matches you are either a space marine or a chaos space marine, and there is a moderate degree of customisation. As you complete weapon challenges you unlock different armour pieces (cosmetic only) and various perks for the weapons. You can pick the colour of your armour as well, so you do get to make yourself look like your own miniatures if you own any, which is something I’ll come back to below. The free DLC that came out in October added the Exterminatus game type, a 4 player “survive the wave” gametype that is becoming more popular since Horde for Gears of war and then a little later Firefight for Halo.

    Conclusion
    Space Marine is a fairly clear cut game. Its simple and straight to the point. The melee is fun, the multiplayer is enjoyable. Also, the nostalgia value of playing as marines, killing orks and chaos and being chaos in multiplayer as well, coupled with the customization of the multiplayer takes this game to another level for Warhammer 40,000 players. A good game, and worth trying, but probably not the game you’ll be spending the foreseeable future playing.

    • 2 years ago
    • 17

    Gears of War 3

    Gears Of War 3 (I originally wrote this review on 11/06/2011)
     
    Gears of War 3 is the culmination of the series, probably the final in the Gears of War series, and it’s a good one. Having loved the previous two games, I was fully prepared for this to be another stonker and it does not disappoint.

    Overview
    Gears of War 3 continues on the story from Gears of War 2 unsurprisingly, though several years have passed. On the planet of Sera, the humans and the monstrous locust have been fighting for the last 14 years since emergence day or E-day. The sinking of Jacinto at the end of Gears 2 decimated the locust threat but a new enemy has emerged called the lambent, which are basically glowing, explosive locust.  
     
    Weaponary
    Gears of War has always been noted for its visceral weaponry, most notably the lancer, a rifle with a chainsaw. Gears 3 has expanded on this with the retro lancer, a rifle with more recoil and a normal bayonet and its ability to carry out a “retro charge” where you literally charge an enemy, impale them with the bayonet and throw the corpse to one side. Other new weapons are the Sawed-off shotgun, which is insanely powerful at point blank range, but is balanced by low ammo and long reloads. and the Digger, a gun that fires subterranean explosives that pop out of the ground killing anyone nearby or can be fired into their chest for a quicker kill!

    Besides that is the One-Shot, a new heavy weapon that aims with a laser and once charged does what its name suggests. Also added is the new heavy weapon the Vulcan, a mingun with really quick firing but is best used with a 2nd player acting as an ammo loader. They’ve also added an incendiary grenade, which basically does what it says on the tin.
    Executions
     Gears 2 ramped up the executions that you could perform and this has been further developed in 3, with each weapon now having its own unique execution. These executions need to be unlocked by performing a certain number of kills with the weapon so they actually feel like a little in game reward, and the executions are fairly visceral. Just so you can enjoy them, check all of them out in the video below.

    Unlockables
    As with the executions there is a lot of content that you can unlock by completing certain tasks. Multiplayer character skins and weapon skins can be unlocked by leveling up your character and obtaining various medals. The medals are another new addition. Practically everything in Gears 3 has an onyx medal to work towards, from getting curb stomp executions in versus to pressing buttons in campaign.

    It is interesting to note that in Gears 1 and 2 there were two achievements, called Seriously or Seriously 2.0, which required a certain amount of kills, 10,000 in Gears 1 and 100,000 in Gears 2. In Gears 3 Seriously 3.0 requires you to be level 100 and have all 65 onyx medals, which among other things includes doing 18,000 versus matches of specific types and 64,000 kills in specific circumstances, so will likely take forever to finish.

    Co-op Game Types
    In Gears 2 they introduced the horde mode, a very fun game mode where you and up to 4 team mates fight off waves and waves of locust. In Gears 3 they have revamped horde. The principle is the same but now you earn money that you can spend on building defenses such as barricades, automatic turrets and the powerful Silverback, a mech with a minigun. These defences improve as you spend more money on them and of course there are onyx medals for spending money and for doing waves.

    A new game type they have introduced is Beast mode, the flip side of horde. In Beast mode you play as the locust fighting the humans with their defenses setup. As you kill the AI humans and destroy their defenses you earn money that you can use to be higher and more powerful types of locust, the best being the Armoured Kantus, the Bezerker and the Savage Boomer, a boomer armed with a digger gun.

    Versus Game Types
    Versus mode has always been a big part of Gears, and Gears 3 is no exception. They have changed a few game types though. They have amalgamated the King of the Hill and Annex games to be just King of the Hill, where you have to take and hold a location that switches every 60 seconds.

     They have done the same with Guardian and Submission, so now in Capture the Leader you have to capture and hold the enemy leader for a certain amount of time.  Also they have added a Team Deathmatch and a newbie playlist to make versus more accessible to players new to the series. However if you’ve played Gears 2 it will recognize this and let you go straight to the normal matches.

    Conclusion
    Basically, all the good stuff from Gears 2 has been carried over, the weapon sets have been improved with the retro lancer and the sawn-off, the game types have been condensed without decreasing variety and the wealth of changes to horde and the new beast mode make this a game well worth buying, best game of the year for me so far.

    • 2 years ago
    • 24

    Mike's Gaming Review

    Exactly what I’ll be posting here, but as my weebly website :)

    • 2 years ago