Posts Tagged ‘Battlefield’

I’m sure this wasn’t the vacation Jason Brody saw on the brochure. After jumping out of a plane, the quasi Jersey Shore opening sequence, and some crazy partying at the nightclub, I found myself tied up and at the mercy of the psychotic Vaas who pretty much told me that we were now his bitches. Well that’s not going to sit well with me. Only one thing left to do…escape. Well I almost got there only to watch my older brother die by the barrel of Vaas’ gun. Then it was “Run Forrest Run” all the way to a new path…The “Path of the Warrior.” After some training it was payback time. Time to rescue my friends, and put a bullet in the head of the man who said I was going to be his bitch. “Eye for an eye mother fucker!” Welcome to Rook Island and the masterpiece that is Far Cry 3.

Now I’ve never played the previous games in this series. For my first dip into this franchise I must say that I’m very impressed. Far Cry 3 is a fans that’s got some depth making it more than just your average first person shooter. Most of all Far Cry 3 is a lot of fun in psychotic paradise.

PROS:

Skyrim With Guns
Well that’s what some people are calling Far Cry 3. At first I thought that was a major exaggeration, but after an few hours of playing I was starting to agree with them. I found quite a few similarities with the Bethesda juggernaut except for the fact that there are no dragons or shouts to learn. Everything else is pretty much intact in terms of earning experience points, looting, learning valuable skills, crafting, raiding camps, and so much more. Far Cry 3 doesn’t have the hundreds of hours of role playing depth that games like Skyrim possesses, but for what the game does offer will still provide plenty of hours of memorable entertainment.

There’s So Much To Do And Explore
Like any open world sandbox game Far Cry 3 offers so much more than just the main storyline. Exploration is key and Rook Island is your playground. There’s so much to see and do which can be a bit overwhelming at first, but most sandbox games are pretty much like this so it wasn’t something that I’m not already used to. My initial thoughts were that when I think of islands I think rather small, but once I started climbing radio towers the island began unveiling itself ala Assassins’s Creed and that was pretty cool. Getting around the island is also quite striking with vehicles, or maybe even taking a hang glider for a more arial tour. I found myself wanting to hunt, craft, and explore even more than completing the main story which is a big plus. Plus there’s also all the side missions, outpost clearing, and so much more.

Hunting Animals
One of the more interesting things to do while on Rook Island is hunting the various wildlife that populate the landscape. Now Far Cry 3 is nothing like the Cabela’s hunting games, but Ubisoft Montreal sure made it fun. Hunting down animals is more than just killing and skinning them. Their hides are also used to craft useful items including ammo pouches, healing items, and so much more making things a bit easier on myself. Now when it comes to hunting animals let me just tell you that nothing felt more satisfying then killing a shark. Oh and there’s the part where I was punching him too which was really awesome.

Survival Instincts
Saving my friends meant doing everything I could just to stay alive. I am a warrior, and death is not an option. Through my adventures on the island I cut various plant life and used it to create healing items beyond just bandaging myself up when I got a little too shot up or mauled by animals. The game does feature regenerating health (bummer), but it has to be activated and if works through segments. Overall, I liked the fact that it made me think twice about running and gunning into an enemy outpost and employ some sort of strategy instead like tagging enemies so that I can utilize a more stealthy offensive. Sometimes being more like Sam Fisher is better than Rambo.

Multiplayer
The developers at Ubisoft Montreal could’ve just mailed in some average multiplayer to tack on to the game, but they didn’t. Instead what they did was put together a multiplayer experience on par with dare I say Call of Duty to appease to the fans. Killstreaks are found here in the competitive gameplay as well as a unique reward for the highest scoring player of the winning team. Not only is there a competitive arena, but a co-op campaign is also available complete with it’s own separate story adding another layer of depth to a pretty solid game. Overall, Far Cry 3 has a strong multiplayer option with a large community of players putting itself with the elite multiplayer of Halo, Call of Duty, Battlefield, and Gears of War games.

CONS:

Far Cry 3 is a pretty solid game, and throughout my adventure I can’t really find anything negative to say about it. I’m not calling the game perfect, but it sure is close to being one of the better offerings I’ve played on the Xbox 360 to date.

IN CONCLUSION

Far Cry 3 is an open sandbox game that’s full of action, adventure, and thrills. It’s also an all out attack on my senses especially when I’m dealing with Vaas, or maybe when I was on some serious mind-altering drugs (yes, you can take drugs in the game, and the effects are more than just staggering around and a blurry screen). The game has exploration, hunting, punching sharks, awesome weaponry (check out the bow and the awesome flamethrower), and hours upon hours of entertainment both in single player and multiplayer. Far Cry 3 is of the best games of 2012 and a must buy. I think I might also have to buy the previous games as well.

Developer: Ubisoft Montreal
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-14 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

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Master Chief Is Back!

It’s been five years since the last appearance of the iconic Master Chief in Halo 3. The Halo rings were destroyed, 343 Guilty Spark was destroyed, and Earth was saved. The Chief and Cortana however were last seen drifting in the far reaches of space on the fractured UNSC ship Forward Unto Dawn. The Chief has gone back into cryo sleep and tells Cortana to wake him when he’s needed. Now after more than four years in space a new threat along with Covenant called the Prometheans has arisen. Add onto that Cortana’s AI is deteriorating. What does the Chief do? Kick ass, take names, and once again try to save the day. It’s time for me to take part in a brand new Halo trilogy. The Reclaimer Trilogy.

PROS:

The Story Drew Me Right In (Spoiler Free)
343 Industries sure did their homework because Halo 4’s story was amazing right from the start. I was hooked right away as the action ramped right up after the awakening. I was able to really feel the tense drama between Master Chief and Cortana throughout the campaign. Then again I’ve taken quite a keen interest in the adventures of the duo since the original Combat Evolved game more than a decade ago. At no point did I feel lost, bored, or wondered what the heck was going on. Halo 4’s story is gripping, intense, and kept me interested in between all the gunfights with Covenant and Prometheans forces.

The Visuals Are Absolutely Stunning
It’s not very often that I talk about a game’s graphics. Actually I never do, but I need to comment on the visual eye candy of Halo 4. It’s amazing. The sheer amount of detail is awe inspiring. I had to pause for a moment, pull out the disc, and put in previous Halo games just to see all the differences in both character design and the overall environment. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. While the graphics look impressive on my 1080p HD television I’ll bet that it still looks just as good on any standard television as well.

Amazing Sound
What makes Halo so unique is the amazing soundtrack. It’s almost tells a story in itself with tones that spell out the drama along with energetic beats when the action heats up. I absolutely loved it. Along with the music comes with the sounds of the weapons themselves. 343 Industries did a complete overhaul with weapon sounds making them sound even realistic than ever before. Now It really feels like I’m here to kick some ass with some awesome weapons.

Spartan Ops
Along with the thrilling campaign 343 Industries replaces Firefight with a new episodic campaign entitled Spartan Ops. The new campaign has weekly episode updates bringing me a whole new story taking place after the event s of Halo 4. Featuring both solo and co-op play Spartan Ops is quite addicting giving me even more Halo bang for the buck. It’s also great to play in between all the competitive multiplayer action. Sure I’ll miss Firefight, but all I’ll have to do is change discs to Halo: Reach and everything will be just fine.

Multiplayer Is Still Awesome
Besides a well done story, Halo is also known for some of the best multiplayer action online on Xbox Live. Yes, I said it. No, I’m not bragging. I honestly seem to enjoy Halo’s competitive multiplayer a little more than Gears of War, Battlefield, and Call of Duty. Halo: Reach made some radical changes in the multiplayer formula, but still kept it’s fun factor. Halo 4 continues that tradition by making a few tweaks here and there, but still keeps the core mechanics intact making me want to put on my Astro A50 headsets and kick some ass online. Forge mode is also back allowing me to create new game types along with making a tweak, or two, in popular maps just to change things up. Finally, there’s the customization factor allowing to create my own unique Spartan along with loadouts catering to my competitive needs.

CONS:

Honestly, throughout my gameplay time with Halo 4 I really couldn’t find any nagging issues that brought the game down for me. Maybe I was too hooked on the epic story and action to even care. It’s extremely rare for me not to have some sort of negative about a game, but I’m at a loss with this one. I’m not saying that Halo 4 is perfect, but I will say that this game is the closest thing to a near perfect experience.

IN CONCLUSION

Bungie handed 343 Industries the keys to the palace, and clearly they didn’t disappoint. Sure I had my doubts in the beginning, but they were quickly dashed once I got underway in the campaign. Combat Evolved was the bar in my opinion when it came to Halo games. Halo 4 has clearly surpassed that bar, and now sets the standards for what a first person shooter should be. I didn’t think that the Halo series needed a new trilogy, but this new Reclaimer Trilogy is a welcome addition. I can’t wait to see what 343 Industries have next up their sleeves with Halo 5, but I will say that the expectations will be at an extremely high level. Hopefully they’re up for the difficult challenge that lies ahead. Until then it will be more of the campaign, Spartan Ops, and multiplayer for me. Welcome back Master Chief!

Developer: 343 Industries
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-16 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

On Monday, the extravaganza begins. The madness known as E3 gets underway. A week filled with games, press conferences, parties, getting together with old friends from miles away, and also meeting new friends for the first time. It’s also an opportunity to get up close and personal with the developers making the games that you love. It’s a week filled with fun and excitement that I’ll never forget.

Back in 2009, I had the chance to attend the big conference while I was with SFX-360 (now Digitalnoob) and it became the highlight of my journalistic career. It’s been a dream for me to attend the big show, and now I can say that I was there. All the big announcements, demos, surprises, parties, and tons of alcohol made for a week of unforgettable entertainment with a great group of friends.

After first arriving in Los Angeles on a Monday nignt from a long flight from Fort Lauderdale the first thing I thought about was “where’s the bar?” Trust me, after a long flight a cold beer feels so much better. LA is a huge city filled with so many bars both hot spots as well as hole in the wall dives. You can’t really walk around so getting a cab was the next best thing, and that’s not that easy to do. By the time you get to a bar you see that your not the only E3 media mogul in attendance. Plenty of other media members are around having drinks and are ready to welcome you. No shop talk this night. Just partying.

When the show finally opened the next day the excitement really kicked in. Being that it was my first E3 I was overwhelmed. You could get lost fast. Two huge buildings filled with publishers and developers who’ve spent tons of cash to showcase their games that would control the sales for the rest of the year and beyond. Posters, billboards, big screens. E3 is a PR reps worst nightmare due to the fact that it could become “make it or break it” for any new game that doesn’t have the name of Call of Duty, Halo, or Mario. Popular franchises sure had it easy as the media would flock to those locations leaving others in the dust.

So what did I do in this gamer’s paradise? Well considering the fact that I felt like a kid in a candy store I went with the goal of seeing everything. Booth babes attract your attention so that you approach their booth and check out what they had to offer, and the games too. E3 is such a huge show that distraction was everywhere. Yes, I had appointments to fill and developers to interview, but you just can’t help yourself when something cool happens like when a popular celebrity walks on by and you want to get a photo op, or maybe when I was in line for that free redeem code for Battlefield 1943 that EA as giving away at the top of each hour. There’s always something going on and it was important that I was a part of it.

With every booth I visited, I had my business cards going out everywhere. Getting my name out there was important so that the PR reps knew the person who was covering their company’s games. I wanted to establish myself as a member of the media, and not use is as a way to try and get a free handout like most others did. Don’t get me wrong, I did get some free review copies before their eventual release date for me to review, but I never asked them at the show. That was later through constant e-mails and promotion. There’s a good tip for all you young writers out there.

Along with the show itself, there was the parties. When the convention center closed the real action was taking place at every hot spot in the city. Various gaming studios threw lavish parties for all to see. Sometimes getting the invite for the bigger events was the only challenge. gaming may have been the focus of why I was here, but it was the parties that brought out the real fun. I was in LA so it was time for me to enjoy the moment because I won’t get to do this all the time. There was this one party I remember that I attended that was promoting Microsoft Windows 7. Then again the only thing I remembered was getting really drunk and then there was something about a rat in the middle of the street that everyone thought as dead and then suddenly came to life.

After three days and nights of endless work, press conferences, and partying (yes, you really don’t have time for sleeping) it was time to head home. Memories were made, new friends were found, tons of PR contacts were placed in my database, and back to reality was where I was heading. Back to the grind of the day job just wondering when you’ll return back to the madness. For three years I haven’t been able to come back to LA due to work, but I do have this feeling that a return visit may soon be on the horizon. E3 2013? You’ll just have to wait and find out.