Posts Tagged ‘shooter’

After the disappointment that I suffered through in Modern Warfare 2, I said to myself that I was officially done with Call of Duty. Javelin glitches, speed skating glitches, negative XP glitches, idiots who rather not complete objectives and just boost for the damn tactical nuke. I think you get the point. At that point I started hating the game and the series as a whole. As a result I eventually caved in and bought the Hardened Edition of Black Ops that next year. I loved the campaign and the awesome zombie mode. The multiplayer was still “meh” to me even though I liked spamming the RC car. The following year Modern Warfare 3 was released. I stuck to my guns and skipped it, because of the disappointment of Modern Warfare 2. So here I am today deciding about Black Ops 2. Sure I’m sick of Call of Duty compared to other shooters on the market, and the E3 demo sucked, but I eventually decided to give it a chance. In the end I’m glad that I did.

PROS:

It’s Like Being In An Action Movie
I don’t know what it is with Infinity Ward and Treyarch, because every year when a Call of Duty game is released I feel like each developer is trying to out Michael Bay one another. Basically, Call of Duty plays out like a huge summer blockbuster with tons of carnage, cussing, guns, destruction, and plenty of explosions to keep me hooked in. No need for an epic story. Just give me “shock and awe” along with plenty of body bags for the virtual dead and everything will be just fine. Well Black Ops 2 provided all of that in it’s unique blend of Cold War and Future War eras and it was pretty cool. I just wish they had a better plot like the first Black Ops game had.

Improvements In Multiplayer?
Did I just say that? Well yes I did. Black Ops 2’s competitive multiplayer is a big step up over over the first Black Ops game. Score streaks now take the place of kill streaks making other players work a little harder to get that special attack they crave. There’s also a heavier emphasis in completing objectives in certain gametypes to help curb away the wannabe snipers who just sit around and camp out waiting for kills to come to them. Seriously guys, let me just rant by saying that being a sniper in a Call of Duty game is just plain stupid. Complete the objectives! We don’t need an eight man team with seven snipers and one person trying to win the game. In other words…Play Smart! Just keep in mind that I’m only here for the fun of the game, or until everyone starts cheating. If that happens I’ll go back on my hating spree.

Endless Customization
Black Ops 2 has tons of customization options that had me busy for hours deciding on what I want to do with each of my custom loadouts for multiplayer. What type of kickass guns do I want? How about perks? Do I want more or less. More perks come at the expense of less weapons, but I can be faster and more like a ninja as I knife randoms with ease. Of course I can go the other way and be more like Rambo. The best part is that using these customizable options allows me to tailor a multiplayer experience to my liking as well as having the tools to conquer each game mode.

Zombies!
The main reason I purchased this game. The zombie mode has been fleshed out a lot more to include some new game types along with the traditional Survival mode. Tranzit allows me to travel to each map via a bus. While traveling I had to beware of hitchhiking zombies coming along for the ride as well as trying to kill me. Grief is also pretty badass as two teams of four take on the zombie horde. Last team standing along with winning the round wins the game. Grief does add a lot of fun and strategy to the game. Sure you can’t hurt the other team, but you can always find ways to screw them over giving me the advantage. Zombies is where I’m spending most of my time playing, because it’s addicting and fun. With that said I once again raise the question to Treyarch. Why not make a stand alone zombie game?

CONS:

Strike Force Is A Bit Of A Letdown
So what is Call of Duty. A First-Person Shooter or a Real Time Strategy Game? The RTS missions called Strike Force sound like a good idea, but they come off as rather retarded. The idea was for me to control the actions of unmanned vehicles to complete various objectives. Sounds great and all In theory, but what it really boiled down to was me taking control and doing everything for myself since my unmanned attack grunts are not very helpful in the long run. Each vehicle and deployment look very kickass, but in reality they kind of suck. Going through these missions is more of a pain in the ass, because all I want to do is go back to the action.

Missing That “Wow” Factor
Black Ops 2 is a pretty good game, but what the series has been missing lately has been that “Holy shit! I can’t believe that happened” type of moment. The main example that I can think of would be the nuke scene in Call of Duty 4. I thought that moment was crazy when the nuke went off and my main character during that mission died. The first words I had after that moment was “What the fuck just happened!” Since then the Call of Duty series hasn’t had anything that would even measure up to that moment. Sure Black Ops 2 has branching paths based in my decisions and tons of action, but I want something that I’ll remember for a long time. Since Call of Duty 4, I feel like the developers just mailed it in and said to Activision “Here’s the new Call of Duty game. Now let’s release it and collect our millions of dollars.”

IN CONCLUSION

So I actually liked Black Ops 2. Does this mean that I’m officially back with the Call of Duty franchise? Well…I would have to say “No.” The game does pack in plenty of fun and tons of replay value in the multiplayer department, but I still believe that the developers need to add that extra punch that made Call of Duty 4 the benchmark of the series to date. The Black Ops games so far have been a positive step in that direction. Maybe what Activision needs to do is stop milking the cash cow and watering down the series with yearly installments. This will make the games more fresh and entertaining as well as generate less hate from some of the internet trolls out there. Just making a suggestion for the better. Overall, Black Ops 2 is a good game making my purchase well worth the money.

Developer: Activision, Treyarch
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-16 (online multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

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Celebrating it’s 20th anniversary, Bethesda and id Software once again bring back the game that made the first person shooter popular. Doom. A game I’ve been playing religiously since 1994 is back with a vengeance with a compilation package titled “BFG Edition.” Not only do I get the classic games they also packed in Doom 3 all in glorious HD. Considering the fact that I already had Doom 3 on my original Xbox I couldn’t resist purchasing this edition. Why? Because now it has achievements! Yes, this new package collection definitely appeases the achievement whore in me, but was it enough? Let’s find out.

PROS:

Everything Doom In One Amazing Package:
Doom 3 BFG Edition contains everything that is Doom. Doom, Doom II: Hell on Earth (with the bonus episode), Doom 3, and Resurrection of Evil. New to the series is the addition of The Lost Mission which brings more terror to the Doom 3 story. Basically what it boils down to is that I have hours upon hours of gory nostalgic entertainment. Doom 3 is still just as fun to play in the dark, and still has those moments that will send chills up your spine.

Doom 3 Looks Great In HD
While Doom and Doom 2 were left relatively unchanged, Doom 3 gets the full HD makeover and it looks great. Tight visuals, no jaggies, everything looks sharp on my 1080p HDTV. The terrifying moments when the lights go out and the flashlight only illuminating a small space still gives me that chilling moment that something bad is about to happen. That’s usually when the imps appear (sometimes right behind you) and attack. Along with the graphical upgrades, the sound is also up to par with the dark tone of the game.

“A Chainsaw! Find Some Meat!”
Probably the best item shipped by mistake. The chainsaw is great when out of ammo and does tons of damage and leaves plenty of gore on it’s place. Plus in the classic games you see your character with a big smile on his face. Beware Pinky…I’m coming for you! Doom along with the movies Scarface and The Army of Darkness made this weapon of choice popular. Just a thought. Where would games like Gears of War be today if there was no chainsaw?

CONS

Where’s My Flashlight?
One of Doom 3’s biggest and most significant change. The new Armor Mounted Flashlight replaces the old standby which was also a useful melee weapon against zombified enemies. This new lighting option uses the limited battery with a meter constantly running to empty. While this option is highly useful it unfortunately takes away from some of the game’s more terrifying moments especially when the lights go out. Personally, I miss the option of arming a gun or using my light. This will take some time getting over.

Where’s Final Doom?
With all the Doom games and new additions all on one disc there is one game missing. Final Doom. C’mon man. Who dropped the ball on that one? If your going to have a full collection of Doom games on one disc then make sure fans like me have all of them to choose from.

IN CONCLUSION

Doom 3 BFG Edition is clearly a game for fans like me. Even after 20 years shooting my guns and bringing pixelated death to any zombified soldier or demon that stands in my way of reaching my goal is still a lot of fun. I also like the fact that there’s no regenerating health like some of today’s shooter, and a dark theme that rivals Dead Space. No need for a “Final Cut” for this game because Doom 3 BFG Edition is a keeper.

Developer: id Software, Bethesda
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-4
Price: $39.99

STATUS: Amada Corporation Is Destroyed
ACHIEVEMENTS EARNED: 26 out of 50 (425 Gamerscore)

For my original review on Binary Domain click HERE.

Mesmerizing, amazing, tons of action, suspense, plot twists, hella fun. These are just a few of the words that described my experience with Sega‘s Binary Domain. Obviously the most underrated game of the year. Most people out there have never played yet never even heard of this title. If your one of those few then I suggest you head to your local store and pick up this game, or at least just rent it.

Playing Binary Domain gave me that feeling of Blade Runner, Gears of War, Battlestar Galactica (the re-imagined version) and The Terminator and it was awesome. Hollow Children. Robots disguised as humans with no knowledge whatsoever that they’re robots. Very interesting. I was trying to see what was cooler: The Cylons from the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica or the Hollow Children. Hmm…ok I still have to give it to the Cylons. Now these robots didn’t go down easy. Shoot them in he head and maybe they can still come towards me for a couple of seconds, but shoot them in the legs and they’ll still crawling towards you just like the Terminator did in the original movie. Now that was cool.

At first I said to myself “Binary Domain really feels like a Gears of War clone.” Roadie run to a roll with a shotgun blast to the head. Check. Take cover. Check. Blind fire from cover. Check. Yell out various obscenities while reloading. Ok, that’s not there, but I really felt comfortable with the controls making things rather easy to jump right in and play. That’s something I liked. Other than that I was able to get past the cheesy dialog and various stereotypes to find a game filled with fun and entertainment.

ARE THE HOLLOW CHILDREN’S DAYS STILL NUMBERED?

While I really enjoyed the story and experience with Binary Domain I just don’t see another playthrough. The plot twists won’t feel the same the second time around, because I already know what happens. The multiplayer was pretty uneventful and empty as well. Besides Binary Domain’s gameplay is similar to Gears of War, so if I had to make a decision on what game I’d rather play multiplayer on Gears of War. So I decided to trade in Binary Domain so that someone else can enjoy a great story.

Developer: Sega
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-8 (Online Multiplayer)
Price: $39.99

It’s time once again to return to Pandora. Ok, I was there just a couple of weeks ago still looting those damn Claptraps for those collectible achievements and Crawmerax yet still lives, but I digress. It’s time for some new adventures in the Borderlands. Handsome Jack is looking for some badass vault hunters like myself to do what I like to do best. Kill, loot, and then repeat. There goes my social life again. Then again my day job sort of did that a couple of months ago, but once again I’ve dipped off subject. Viva La Pandora! Viva La Borderlands 2!

2K Games and Gearbox Software once again bring me back to the wide world of looting and a shitload of guns to play with in this first person shooter and role playing hybrid. I’ve spent hundreds of hours playing the first game which became a bigger addiction to me. Let me put it this way. There’s not one drug out there with the addictive quality that can compare to the looting adventures of Borderlands. Period! Now I’ve got the highly anticipated sequel where there are still plenty of bandits and other mutant animals to kill, but this time the baddies are tougher and a heck of a lot meaner. Good thing I have even better guns and tons of ammo, but don’t expect Marcus to give out any refunds.

Storywise, Borderlands 2 improves by leaps and bounds over the original game, but let’s be serious. I didn’t pick up this game for epic storytelling. I bought it to shoot, kill, and loot as much as humanly possible. Plus there’s all the addictive fun and comedic satire where Borderlands 2 clearly doesn’t disappoint. Handsome Jack, Head of the Hyperion Corporation, has been looking for some new vault hunters to open up a new alien vault on Pandora. Hopefully this time there’s some sweet loot inside. Sadly, Jack’s attempt to lure would be vault hunters is nothing more than a trap. Luckily, my character of choice survives near death and then my adventure began.

The first thing that impressed me was the improvement of the cell-shaded graphics. They look even better than the first game. I also have to commend Gearbox for finally using a color palette for the surrounding environment. Yes, they finally stopped using different shades of brown and found other colors like green and blue. The use of color brought more life to the wasteland of Pandora making exploration a little more exciting. Characters look a little brighter and more energetic. Even all the guns have some cool looking skins making them better to own. Impressive!

I started out with Axton. Like Roland in the first game, Axton is a soldier class specializing in combat rifles along with deploying a turret as his special attack. Considering the fact that I didn’t use the soldier class as much in the first game (I used Brick the most) I was more interested to go this route and it hasn’t disappointed me at all. The turret was great in a firefight and helped make tougher enemy battles slightly easier. It’s safe to assume that anyone who joins me online will see me with him.

As for the other characters, the heavily hyped Salvatore the Gunzerker is also pretty cool with the dual wield special. He kicks some major ass when the guns are drawn leaving tons of blood and shrapnel in his wake. Now all I want is to dual wield a pair of elemental rocket launchers and he’ll make Brick arching of the past. Maya the Siren is basically an upgraded version of Lilith. Zero the Assassin (he’s a number) is not bad either with his stealth attacks and sniping abilities. Overall, the characters in Borderlands 2 are just as good as the original, but with a just a hint of more “attitude” mixed in.

The biggest improvement comes with a new skill tree system to add new abilities and increase stats. Skill points are earned by leveling up my characters through kills and completing missions. Customization is better than ever with more ways to differentiate my character from the others online. There’s even an option to reset your stats and place your hard earned skill points into other settings along with changing your looks as well. New to Borderlands is Badass Ranks. This applies to completing various challenges in the game. Complete a challenge get a token which I get to use to upgrade stats including health, shields, damage, accuracy, etc. The best part  is the fact that these ranks carry through to all my characters. Now that’s something I like.

While I can choose to venture and brave the vast lands of Pandora on my own, I realize that exploring, killing, and looting are more fun with a group of friends, Co-op is back and better than ever. Up to three friends can join me for some good fun all in the name of rare loot. Unlike the original, you don’t have to worry about that one person who gets all the good shit leaving you with all the scrap junk. No more being the low man on the totem pole. Now I can get some rare loot without one of my friends running away from the group and raping all the loot chests. Gearbox made a change making all loot shared. Some may like this and most won’t but maybe it’s time to make things fair for everyone. Overall, I absolutely enjoyed the multiplayer experience as my friends and I explored, killed, and shared plenty of laughs along the way. Co-op is the way top go for overall longevity because single player is only fun for so long.

What makes Borderlands 2 so great? An entertaining experience, fun characters, tons of jokes and other pokes at pop culture, and a whole lotta guns. What’s not to love. The best part is the fact that the game never takes itself too seriously, because if it did it would probably suck. I shit you not. There’s a lot ot see and plenty to do both on foot and unleashing your inner “Mad Max” in kick ass vehicles. Hundreds of more hours await me in Pandora with both the main game and future DLC as the search for awesome loot continues, so do me a favor. Stop reading, buy Borderlands 2, and join me online for some good times. Now where’s those rare weapons.

Developer: 2K Games, Gearbox Software
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-4 (Online Co-op Multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

Turn the clocks back two years ago. I went to Best Buy and purchased War for Cybertron. At first I was still skeptical because of the suckiness of Transformers games through the years, but after just an hour of playing I said “Holy shit this game is awesome!” The epic struggle between the Autobots and Decepticons on Cybertron was fantastic and brought up plenty of memories of the old Generation 1 days where as a young child I was watching the cartoon and playing with the toys. I also wrote an article during my SFX-360 days claiming that War for Cybertron was that year’s Batman: Arkham Asylum. Fast forward to today and I’m once again brought back to that familiar Transformers world that I loved so much.

Fall of Cybertron takes into account Cybertron’s final days. The planet ravaged by war and Dark Energon is no longer able to sustain life. The Autobots have one transport left (The Ark), and are ready to make their way to another world (Earth). The Decepticons however have plans of their own and that is wipe out the Autobots for good. Megatron and his band of enemies have a plan, but Optimus Prime has the mighty Grimlock and Metroplex on his side.

Just like War for Cybertron, High Moon Studios took the “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” approach with Fall of Cybertron while making some subtle tweaks in the gameplay and graphical details. The end result is a really fun game that rivals their previous Transformers game (not the “Bayformers” movie tie in). The main campaign may be a bit on the short side, but it packs a serious punch along with a few surprises here and there. The Call of Duty inspired multiplayer however still is a disappointment to me except for Escalation mode which still kicks ass.

The first thing that impressed me was the amount of detail to make Cybertron a bit more like an actual world unlike the mechanical look of the first game. This time there are more open areas instead of corridor battles that looked exactly alike. Fire, explosions, smoke, battle damage. This game made me feel like I was in the middle of the war, or the equivalent of a Michael Bay movie battle sequence. Shooting a lot of generic looking robots, transforming, and shooting some more. That pretty much sums up the game. It may sound a bit repetitive, but the developers worked on an impressive way to shake things up to keep the gameplay fresh, entertaining, and even nostalgic.

The biggest change in the main campaign was the fact that you can only play as one character per level. At first I thought that sucked, but then I saw why High Moon went this direction and I was put at ease. Each level is catered for a specific character and their abilities. Playing as Optimus Prime and utilizing the city sized transformer Metroplex, Cliffjumper using a key cloaking ability, the Combaticons forming Bruticus, and even Grimlock stomping on helpless Insecticons in a melee style level was awesome. Now I understand why the co-op feature from the first game was scrapped and I’m alright with it.

The multiplayer portion of Fall of Cybertron is more of a mixed bag for me. There are some highlights which include the return of Escalation mode. The Horde mode style gameplay was both tough and fun. My only gripe is the fact that there’s not enough characters to play as. Hopefully High Moon can give fans like myself more options. As for the other competitive team based modes I was a little bored. Sure it’s Transformers (and you can create your own unique character which is pretty cool), but these same type of game modes are found in so many other titles in the market. Yes, it will be popular for a couple of weeks, but I see the same fate as what War for Cybertron’s multiplayer was…completely forgotten and not many people playing.

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is a game that fans, like myself, of Generation 1 can enjoy. It brings me back to my childhood days of watching the cartoon and playing with the toys again. The story is well done, the characters look awesome, and the gameplay is relatively unchanged from War for Cybertron. I recommend anyone who is a die hard fan of Transformers, or anyone who likes a fun third person shooter, to play this game.

Developer: Activision, High Moon Studios
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-12 (Online Multiplayer)
Price: $59.99

GAME STATUS: Raven’s Rock leadership eliminated. Mission accomplished.
ACHIEVEMENTS EARNED: 18 out of 52 (355 Gamerscore)

For my original review of Ghost Recon Future Soldier click HERE.

The ending of Ghost Recon Future Soldier reminds me of the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie Eraser. The Ace is on the train tracks. The Ghosts are ordered at the last second not to kill him (this after killing the other six high ranking members) which draws some fire from the team. The Ace talks some shit to try and get me to shoot, but i hold back. Orders are orders. In the end the Ace gets his as he’s smashed by an oncoming train. At least “I” didn’t kill him.

When I completed the main campaign the first thought that popped in my head was “that was awesome!” Ghost Recon Future Soldier lived up to it’s lively expectations. Whether it was going silent or going balls to the wall in a hail of bullets with tons of explosions, the game never went to the monotone notion of run and gun. Strategy was important and I used it to the max. Coordination firing was badass, and removing all the squad orders for more quick response actions like choosing who your team kills first made battles more intense. Active camo was also a huge hit for me.

Other than all the action and Michael Bay orgasmic moments I also got a kick out of the Gunsmith option. Whether I was using my controller or the Kinect I was having fun customizing my weapons with various parts and colors. It took me awhile to get the handling down of choosing my loadouts, but I soon became hooked and customizing took preference over battling either with the campaign or online.

The online multiplayer however had both it’s highs and lows. My highs center around the Guerrilla mode where my teammates and I kicked ass for awhile while getting some wicked head shots. Playing co-op in the campaign was not bad either even though I had a lone wolf or two without their headsets. The lows came around after a few weeks of play. Competitive team matches like Decoy turned crappy when at least half of my team started camping as snipers instead of working on targets. I kept telling them that we need to compete the objectives, but all they said was “I’m a sniper, I’m a sniper!” That led me to the response of “Then go back to Call of Duty noob!” By the way those players sucked! Sadly a large majority of the games I played online were like this which killed my buzz.

MISSION ACCOMPLISHED! WHAT’S MY ORDERS?

While Ghost Recon Future Soldier was a great game I couldn’t see myself playing the campaign multiple times. The story and cutscenes were rather bland and had me saying “meh.” The multiplayer became disappointing after a few weeks of play due to some players stupidity. My message to them: Stop being snipers! Learn how to play the game. Honestly, with so many shooters out there for me to play now and in the near future I’m not going to have the time to continue playing so I’m giving Ghost Recon Future Soldier an honorable discharge to the trade in shelf. Thanks for the fun Ubisoft. Now where’s the new Rainbow Six?

Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-12 (online)
Price: $59.99

I’ve got plenty of games where I shoot endless human soldiers as well as undead zombies. Sega on the other hand had another idea. Robots. They did it with Vanquish a couple of years ago and it was brilliant. Besides, there’s not enough games these days where your shooting mechanical robots. Oil and shrapnel instead of blood. Tons of bullets and plenty of “bro” moments. Binary Domain has it all and it’s kick ass fun.

The futuristic style of Binary Domain takes me to the year 2080 where a new breed of robots have infiltrated human society. These robots, known as “Hollow Children,” look and act human. Add on to the fact that they have no clue that they’re actually freaking robots. Unfortunately this is considered illegal by the New Geneva Convention and the Japanese company Amada is responsible. The U.S. along with Britain and China send in a team of commandos to counter this new threat called the “Rust Crew.” Their mission is to stop Amada Corporation at all costs. Amada eventually does become aware of the situation and a war with the machines is underway

Now I know that I’m a little late on the release window for a review, but I had so many other games to complete at the time so I waited. Well let me tell you that this game was worth the wait and it’s not because it was on sale. Don’t get me wrong…I like a good sale. Binary Domain had me hooked from the opening moments with the storyline, some rather funny dialog from the characters, tough bosses, upgradeable characters, and all the exciting action packed third person shooter madness.

Binary Domain is more of an under the radar title that many gamers missed out on. Sadly this is what happens to any game that doesn’t have “Call of Duty” in the title. Pathetic! Anyways, let’s move on. If I had to describe Binary Domain in a nutshell then I would say that this game is a combination of the movies I Robot, Blade Runner, and The Terminator, along with Sega and Platinum Games’ sleeper hit Vanquish. Now that’s some good company. The game also plays out as a third person shooter reminiscent of the popular Gears of War series. So far so good.

Considering the fact that I was familiar with Gear of War control scheme I felt right at home with Binary Domain. I was shooting, blind firing,  roadie running, and diving into cover at ease. Switching weapons was easy as choosing a direction on the D-pad. It was comfortable and simple. The game also featured a dialog system allowing me to issue orders to my squad. It wasn’t mandatory, but what I liked about it was the fact that my responses led to the morale of the team. The more helpful I was and my teammates responded. The more negative I was they made me pay for it. I even went as far as telling the beautiful Chinese sniper chick “I love you.” Love on the battlefield. Isn’t it wonderful.

Fun storyline, excellent AI enemies, tough bosses, plenty of “bro” moments, familiar control scheme, and tons of flying shrapnel, Binary Domain has it all. It’s the type of game that will have you amped up with all the action and highly satisfied when you leave all those enemy robots in a huge pile of scrap metal. Add on to the fact that the game is a little cheaper than it’s original retail price made this game a must buy for me. Then again I do like Sega games and shooters in general.

Developer: Sega
Platform: Xbox 360
Players: 1-8 (Online Multiplayer)
Price: $39.99