Category Archives: Games

Call of Duty franchise to the big screen

Back in May, news surfaced that Hollywood was interested in adapting the Call of Duty franchise to the big screen. There were no details at the time but now it is being reported that Activision, the publisher behind the video game series, has filed a trademark to protect the property against use in “pre-recorded movies featuring comedy, drama, action, adventure, music, theatrical performances and/or animation.”

With the plethora of comic book movies coming out and in development, we’re also starting to see a push into that other huge geek genre, video game movies. Unfortunately, history has not been so kind to video games based on movies and movies based on video games, but I expect a change in that trend soon.

The big question is, what would this film be about, since each game covers multiple sides and many story arcs…

Would the film be based in World War 2, where the series originated and where every installment of the series except for one has taken place? That would make for an interesting film, switching plotlines from the British, to the Americans and to the Russians, highlighting the battles they fought during key points in the war. However, like in the video game franchise, there have been so many WW2 movies that I’d like something different.

Perhaps then, the game follow the more recent jump into the modern era where players switch between playing a U.S. marine or a British SAS member. The story of that game, titled “Modern Warfare” (with its sequel coming out this fall) takes place in a fictional near-future, where a coup d’état allowed for a leadership change in the Middle East, and a civil war ignites in Russia. That game has been the most successful in the series and I expect it will prove that again upon Modern Warfare 2’s debut.

FIFA vs. Pro Evolution Soccer 2010

FIFA decided to keep things relatively the same from its last iteration.  The graphics look the same as 2009, with maybe a slight improvement on player faces, but not much.  Gameplay feels less like soccer and more like pinball.  They both claim to have a new 360 degree style control  and ways to fight for the ball with other players (legally).  Goalkeepers are upgraded and made a lot smarter, and animations have been cleaned up as well.  This is the one thing FIFA has going for it, as PES 2010 has major problems in this area still.  The big things FIFA has going for it is its name, its tradition of bringing good futbol to masses and licenses.  FIFA owns PES in the license department, so if you want to play a real Premiership schedule, you need to buy FIFA, which is unfortunate.

Pro Evolution Soccer has really stepped it up this year and its graphics blow FIFA out of the water.  A lot of people have stated their main problem with the graphics is the acne laden faces on some players.  This is a little true, but for the guys they did this so it fits.  Fernando Torres from Liverpool is probably the easiest one to spot when it comes to this issue.  Gameplay actually fells like, get this, soccer!  It flows sooo smoothly in comparison to FIFA.  Crosses are not automatic goals like they are in FIFA 2010 and you can’t cause auto-penalty kicks like I’ve heard people complaining about on forums

Destiny Update 2.4 is not just about re-balancing weapons for the new Rise of Iron expansion

With Update 2.4, Public Events will become relevant once again. Under the first Rise of Iron patch, Public Events will now become a source for legendary marks, destination materials, and experience, but only on the first completion. Farming public events after that will reap some rewards, but not nearly as many.

The update has also changed the Quest menu to ‘Progress’, seemingly in an effort to help players better track how they are doing with individual tasks. Alongside that, the Record Books have been moved out of the Materials section and to their own category so players have an easier time managing their inventory.

Truthfully, though, the more meaningful changes are those being made to PvP, both to the way rewards are doled out and the way specific modes handle scoring. Balancing weapons in the Crucible is one thing, but for a while not it has felt like the rewards associated with PvP weren’t as plentiful.

Thankfully that should change after today, because Bungie is removing legendary engrams from the post-game loot table of all crucible modes. That means if a player is to receive a drop they will be getting a weapon. For those who have been farming for the Eyasluna this is especially good news, but we will have to wait and see how much this improves drop rates.

In terms of PvP modes, the biggest change from our perspective is the way heavy ammo works in Elimination modes, including Trials of Osiris. Now, heavy ammo will spawn in one central location and players will have to fight for control of it. In essence, this makes the heavy ammo round less of a factor, and continues to favor head-on battles.

That being said, it will be interesting to see if the heavy ammo change favors one spawn location over another, and puts a new twist on round 3. We’re sure that the Trials players out there who dislike the heavy round will approve, but those who still like the dynamic it adds may find Trials of Osiris plays a little different in Year 3.

The only other major change of note is the way scoring works in Salvage. Previously, scoring favored the team that sabotaged the relic over the one that captured it, and therefore no one ended up trying to capture the zone. However, a change to the way scoring works – giving only one player 200 points for a sabotage – should make the capture more enticing.

While there was much debate about the weapon changes coming with Rise of Iron, the non-balance items should go over much better with players. Most of these are changes that favor the hardcore and will also make specific elements of Destiny more rewarding, and that has typically been a safe play for Bungie. Players should be able to test out these changes once Destiny maintenance concludes later this afternoon.

Players Using The Original PlayStation 4 will be able to Transfer Their Console’s Data onto The PS4 Pro.

It’s no secret that plenty of Sony fans are eagerly anticipating the company’s forthcoming release of the PlayStation 4 Pro, but some gamers who are still enjoying the comforts of the standard PS4 are undoubtedly wondering whether or not they should make the leap to the enhanced version of the console. With that in mind, perhaps Sony’s recent reveal that those who are currently using the original PS4 can transfer their data to the PlayStation 4 Pro will serve as an enticement to purchase the 4K-enabled system upon its launch this November.

According to a video on PlayStation Access’ YouTube channel, PlayStation UK community manager Hollie Bennett detailed that PS4 fans will be able to utilize the feature by way of an Ethernet cable. Apparently, users will eventually be able to copy and then transfer games, saved data, videos, screenshots, system settings, as well as many other details with the use of this process.

Furthermore, the ability to move data across PlayStations will supposedly work between any two PS4 consoles, regardless of its status as an original, Pro, or Slim model. Of course, these aren’t the only stipulations involved when it comes to shuttling information from one Sony platform to another, as the impending Update 4.0 for the PlayStation 4’s system software will have to be installed, while the same user account will need to be signed in to both systems.

As of writing, Sony has yet to unveil the actual date of availability for Update 4.0, but it did, however, state during the recently held PlayStation Meeting that it will release a firmware update sometime next week with the launch of the PS4 Slim in order to add support for high dynamic range color to all of its consoles. Nevertheless, it’s currently unclear as to whether or not this specific piece of software will indeed be version 4.0.

Should the ability to transfer PS4 data via Ethernet cable be a smooth as it sounds, then Sony fans will get to experience a much easier process than the present methods. For now, users can either back up one PS4 to an external hard drive to then restore that data on a second system, or they can log in to their PlayStation Network account on the new console — provided PSN being down doesn’t impede them — and manually re-download all their previously purchased materials.

Taking all of this into consideration, it seems as if Sony is putting a lot of its resources into ensuring that the PlayStation 4 Pro becomes a success. Naturally, though, it remains to be seen as to whether or not fans will respond well to all of these mid-cycle console upgrades, for the soon-to-be flooded market of proprietary gaming systems could simply drive players toward building their own PCs.

The upgraded iteration of the PS4 known as the PlayStation 4 Pro is set to launch on November 10, 2016, while the PS4 Slim comes out on September 15, 2016

Review about Brut@l

Brut@l is a throwback to old-school ASCII dungeon crawlers, which is most evident from its visual style. The game uses a black and white aesthetic, and functions like a 3D version of the old 2D ASCII games. Items, enemies, and the player character all appear to be made up of symbols on a keyboard, but while Brut@l looks like an ASCII title, it plays more like a modern dungeon crawler than anything else.

In Brut@l, players hack and slash their way through randomly generated dungeons, with the ultimate goal of reaching the 26th floor. The dungeons are filled with environmental hazards, collectibles, and secrets, but since the game sticks to its strict ASCII-inspired graphics, everything in the game looks very similar, offering players little in the way of visual variety.

Gameplay consists almost entirely of walking around and button mashing, though Brut@l does allow for some more advanced techniques, such as throwing a shield and rolling out of the way of enemy attacks. For the most part, however, players can expect to spend most of their time with Brut@l mashing on the square button, which makes for a very repetitive, and oftentimes boring, game.

Brut@l‘s repetitive nature is a glaring issue throughout the entire experience. Even though players are able to choose from four different characters, they all largely function the same way, and they all share the same skill tree. This means that switching to a different character is not an effective way to break up the monotony, though playing as the wizard has some added perks that make him the most entertaining character to play as in the game.

The developers tried to make Brut@l less repetitive by adding a crafting system wherein players are able to create potions and weapons. Unfortunately, the crafting system isn’t deep enough to add any significant value to the experience, and feels a little tacked on. Speaking of tacked on, the game also uses a hunger meter, which rarely factors into the gameplay, and seems to be there just to make players waste food every so often.

The hunger meter plays almost no role in the game, so it’s easy to forget it’s even there. But while players will probably not die from starvation in Brut@l, they will likely die from the game’s many bottomless pits. Since Brut@l uses permadeath, falling into one of these pits can be very frustrating, especially when it happens due to poor camera angles.

The game’s use of permadeath is not a bad idea in and of itself, but from one round to the next, players carry literally nothing over. All the work done to level up a character is erased. The items players collected, crafted, and enchanted are gone forever. Other modern permadeath games have managed to offset the potential frustration of losing so much progress by helping players still feel as though they’re advancing in other areas, but no such accommodations are to be found in Brut@l.

Some of Brut@l‘s frustrations are alleviated a bit when playing the game in co-op, but co-op presents its own issues. For one, the game does not feature any online co-op, so gamers can only play with someone locally. It’s possible to utilize the PlayStation Share feature to circumvent this issue, but it seems like a game of this nature should have featured online co-op from the start, as opposed to making players find some roundabout way to do it.

Another issue with co-op is the fact that players can’t unlock trophies in co-op mode. While this may seem like nitpicking, it does somewhat discourage people from playing the game with friends, as they earn more rewards for playing solo instead. Playing in co-op also tends to exacerbate Brut@l‘s struggles with the camera, so players need to be weary of that as well before inviting a friend over for some dungeon crawling.

Overall, Brut@l has an interesting look, and old-school gamers will probably appreciate its nods to one of gaming’s oldest genres. It functions on a basic level as a competent dungeon crawler, but its repetitive gameplay combined with its cheap deaths will make most gamers look for other options. The game just doesn’t reach the same heights as others in this year’s PlayStation PLAY program, so those looking for some quality new indie games on PS4 may want to look into Headlander or Bound instead.

 

BioShock 2

ghjuThe original BioShock was an incredible experience: an engrossing title that provided a number of fresh takes on the first person action genre, as well as drew from a number of literary and philosophical texts – resulting in one of the most engrossing stories in videogame history. The extraordinary mix of story-telling, immersive exploration, and enjoyable combat made playing the original BioShock a unique as well as rewarding journey.

For a franchise built on originality, almost everything in BioShock’s sequel is too familiar. In BioShock 2, the greatest strengths of the original title are still present — but they haven’t evolved in any significant way. In terms of the visual aesthetics, enemy types, and core gameplay, the campaign portion of the sequel could be mistaken for a lengthy DLC add-on episode.

That’s not to say the title isn’t worthy of a retail disc, because there is plenty of content to justify the price. It’s just that the game doesn’t look or play particularly different. Which, for some players, may not be a bad thing. The bottom line is this — if you enjoyed the first BioShock, you’re likely to enjoy the sequel. It’s got all the strengths of the first title, with a few minor improvements, but also a few questionable changes.

2K Marin has made sure to provide the franchise with a satisfactory evolution in the story; however, a story that doesn’t really get going until the latter half of the game. That said, the developer didn’t do much in the way of evolving the gameplay — the first BioShock wasn’t perfect and there are definitely some missed opportunities in the sequel.

The gunplay still lacks the kind of precision players have come to expect from first person shooters. It’s not that the targeting is a total mess — but it is imprecise. BioShock 2 does add damage bonuses for location dependent shooting (headshots, etc) but in the last couple years, many developers have already taken this concept several steps further (i.e. shooting off a foot disables but doesn’t kill an enemy). As a result, BioShock 2’s lack of evolution in this regard is confusing — especially considering 2K Marin’s inclusion of a multiplayer component.

Additionally, the title utilizes fewer opportunities for exploration – favoring a more streamlined approach. Players are no longer allowed to go back and search for audio diaries or “Power to the People” stations you may have missed. While this definitely prevents players from having to backtrack through massive empty levels, it also deprives players the opportunity to take in the atmosphere once the dust has settled – somewhat lowering the replay value.

As a trade-off, the game offers brief moments where the player is allowed to walk around the sea floor — outside of the city. But, these moments add almost nothing to the game. They’re beautiful, but there’s no underwater combat or puzzle solving. They occur, predominantly, as interludes between levels.

The most notable change, however, and the one that 2K Marin has been touting the most, is the protagonist. In BioShock 2, you play as Delta, one of the original Big Daddies. Delta was put out of commission prior to the fall of Rapture and players assume control of the character ten years later – when Delta suddenly reawakes.

Like many things in BioShock 2, this “change” doesn’t have particularly large implications — save for one. Where the story in BioShock was mainly about the fall of Rapture, most of the story in BioShock 2 revolves around the relationship between Big Daddies and Little Sisters.

As a result, 2K Marin decided to make sure that relationship is evident in the gameplay. The choice to “Harvest” or “Rescue” a Little Sister isn’t quite as cut and dry this round. In order to get more substantial amounts of ADAM, and subsequently plasmids, the player is now encouraged to protect each Little Sister twice, while she harvests ADAM from pre-determined corpses. As soon as Delta sets the girl down to harvest, Splicers will be drawn from the environment, and the player must protect the Little Sister until the harvest is complete (about a minute). Once the girl has drained all of the ADAM from two corpses – the player is then allowed to rescue or harvest her for the ADAM (you can always harvest a Little Sister outright, and skip the protection missions, but you’ll receive significantly less ADAM).

The game-mechanic is challenging at first — hacking machines and setting up traps beforehand offers the same type of strategy needed to take down Big Daddies in the earlier portions of the original BioShock. That said, there are simply too many Little Sisters in the game, and the placement of the harvest points aren’t particularly unique (meaning, individually, they don’t usually challenge players in a different way). If 2K Marin didn’t want to cut down on the amount of Little Sisters, then they could have at least diversified the amount of ADAM harvests each girl needed to take part in — i.e. this Little Sister needs to harvest from two corpses, while this girl only needs to harvest from one.

As a result, a significant chunk of the campaign is not taken up by story-driven objectives; instead, players spend a lot of time on a series of goals that reappear each level – i.e. fight a Big Daddy, protect a Little Sister twice, fight a Big Daddy, protect that Little Sister twice, fight the third Big Daddy in the level, protect another Little Sister twice, then fight a Big Sister (more on her in a bit).

What’s Titanfall 2 Will Take Advantage of PS4 Pro’s Extra Power

Following Sony’s reveal of its forthcoming 4K-capable system known as the PlayStation 4 Pro, plenty of developers have been fielding questions from fans as to whether or not its games will be able to use all of the enhanced PS4’s might to display the best graphics possible. As it happens, the Respawn Entertainment studio co-founder Vince Zampella recently took to his official Twitter account to answer questions of that very nature regarding the developer’s first-person shooter Titanfall 2.

As seen in the tweet below, a Titanfall 2 fan asks if Respawn plans on using all of the resources available within the PlayStation 4 Pro in order to make the game as potent as it can be. Thankfully, Zampella responded by stating the studio will indeed utilize all of the advantages available with the console to allow the release to benefit from the PS4 Pro’s higher specs.

Although it’s good news to know that Titanfall 2 on PlayStation 4 Pro will have its graphical capabilities pushed to the limits, Zampella didn’t necessarily explain exactly how Respawn Entertainment will go about accomplishing the feat. Bearing this in mind, the most plausible case will involve the studio operating on a similar tack to what other developers plan on doing with their games on the console, which is an increase in graphical fidelity or having a base resolution for 1080p displays and an upgraded resolution for 4K displays.

With Titanfall 2‘s release date set prior to the PlayStation 4 Pro’s launch in November, there’s no telling if the game will have its visual enhancements primed and ready for the console on its disc, or if it will receive improvements in patch at a later date. More likely than not, though, Respawn Entertainment’s shooter will get an update when the PS4 Pro hits the market.

With other popular shooters like Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare and Modern Warfare Remastered aiming to use all of the PlayStation 4 Pro’s power to make them stand out, it’s obvious Titanfall 2 will have stiff competition when it comes to having its graphics shine the brightest. Of course, Respawn Entertainment’s title may have the edge in fan satisfaction beyond imagery and display features, for it will have its post-launch materials launch as free DLC. However, it’s important to note that Modern Warfare Remastered will include all of the original game’s multiplayer maps in subsequent updates after its release at no additional cost.

The Upcoming Sci-fi Game No Man’s Sky is Going to be Gigantic

Developer Hello Games has made it clear from the start that the upcoming sci-fi game No Man’s Sky is going to be gigantic. Although the game is meant to be more about the journey than the destination, many completionist gamers out there are likely still going to be tempted to visit every exotic planet and distant star formation that the game has to offer. Although that sounds like a fun challenge, it turns out that unless you happen to be immortal, it’s pretty impossible to pull off.

The limited-time PS4 exclusive space exploration game (which will later arrive on PCs) uses procedurally generated worlds to create one of the largest video game environments that we’ve ever seen. The developers can’t really begin to explain exactly how many worlds exist within No Man’s Sky’s massive universe, but they did offer IGN an estimate as to how long it would take to visit every world in the game.

Hello Games co-founder, Sean Murray, explained that the development team started out using 32-bit numbers to generate the planets in the universe. Using the 32-bit formula, it would take somewhere between four and five thousand years to visit every planet in the game for just a one second stop on each. That sounds pretty massive to us, but the team wanted to go bigger.

By stepping the scale up to 64-bit numbers, the number of planets is increased roughly to 2 to the power of 64. That exponentially increases the scale of things and means that it would take roughly five billion years to visit each planet for one second. That may not be the traditional definition of infinite (as promised in the trailer), but it is likely closer than any other open-world came has come in the past.

As IGN pointed out, the Earth’s sun is due to burn out in 4.6 billion years, so even if you happen to be immortal, there doesn’t seem to be enough time left on our planet to reach every destination this game has to offer. Sorry, completionists, but we’re sure there will be other trophies to unlock.

The reveal of No Man’s Sky at VGX was one of the surprise showstoppers and the game’s follow-up trailer at E3 2014 was one of the most exciting assets we saw during the event. Although we don’t have a release date yet, Murray teased that the team will have “something big to share soon,” so hopefully a release date or more gameplay footage is on the way. Would it be too optimistic to hope for an early access alpha?

The Future of Godus

The last few days have seen a flurry of stories in regards to Peter Molyneux’s latest god game Godus.  Firstly, John Walker of Rock, Paper, Shotgun wrote a piece looking at the fractured state of the game and how it seems unlikely that it will ever meets its lofty Kickstarter goals. Eurogamer meanwhile have today published an article that contains an interview with the Curiosity winner Bryan Henderson detailing his lack of involvement with the studio behind Godus.

As Rock, Paper, Shotgun pointed out, the current development of Godus has slowed dramatically to the point that only a handful of staff are currently working on the title. The rest of 22cans employees have instead began work on new game The Trail. The investigation by Walker shows that those working on the game funded by Kickstarter appear to be unsure exactly whether the game will even be finished. Quotes from the recently appointed lead designer Konrad Naszynski suggest that the team may never be able to implement many of the promised features and that serious question marks remain over whether multiplayer will ever make it into the game. The situation is made all the worse by the fact that Molyneux claimed that these features would be in Godus when he asked for funding through Kickstarter.

On the other hand, 22cans and Molyneux in particular appear to have left the Curiosity winner Bryan Henderson completely in the dark. The now 21-year-old was the last person to tap away in the ‘game’ and was then promised a “life-changing” prize that eventually amounted to a percentage of the sales of Godus and the ability to take on the role of god of gods and influence how everyone else would play the title. However, his recent interview with Eurogamer makes it clear that apart from some brief messages immediately after he won and an uncomfortable trip to the developers studio where he was ignored by the vast majority of staff, that there has been very little contact between 22cans and Bryan.

According to Molyneux, in a conversation with Eurogamer, he acknowledges that he and his development team have acted unprofessionally towards Bryan. He promised to get back in touch with the winner again in the near future and also explained that his god of gods role cannot be created until after multiplayer has been implemented, as it depends on the online mode to work. That puts in doubt whether Bryan will ever get his prize and if he will ever get his percentage of sales. Especially considering that it has been 26 months since Godus entered early access and the multiplayer mode is still not working.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Molyneux also apologized several times. He professed regret both for the state of the game and its delayed development in addition to the treatment of Bryan Henderson. He also went on to make several claims about exactly what 22cans are currently working on, in apparent contradiction with statements made in a video that had also been recorded and released today. These contradictory claims have done nothing to ease the confusion about exactly how development of Godus is proceeding and whether it will ever be finished with all of its stated features implemented.

All of this comes directly back to Peter Molyneux and his reputation of making wild claims and then backtracking spectacularly. It has happened with almost every single release he has been responsible for in the past 15 years and when combined with the situation that Godus is in along with the handling of Bryan Henderson, it may finally be time to stop listening to Peter Molyneux. His outlandish concepts consistently fail to be delivered, leaving fans feeling that the developer is an out and out liar, so no longer giving any credence to his announcements in the future might be the best idea.

How to Carry More Items for Fallout 4

fallout-4-1438234639When it comes to the world of Fallout 4, there’s nearly no end to how much stuff players can find and take with them as they journey around the Bostonian wasteland. However, there is a limit to how much players can carry, which makes choosing what to carry an important consideration, especially since many of those items can be used to enhance gamers’ experience in Fallout 4.

To help gamers determine what to carry, and be able to carry more, we’ve put together the following guide.

Use the Strength Perk

The best way to improve carrying capacity is to level up the Strength Perk in Fallout 4, since it determines how much players can carry. Of course, with so many other perk options in the game, it can sometimes be hard to justify dumping all level points into Strength. However, it’s important that players continue slowly building up the Strength stat over the course of the game as more and better materials and weapons become available.

A good judge of when to add points to Strength is how often players find themselves maxed out with items. If players have to constantly dump items, especially high-quality items like strong armor or powerful weapons, it’s probably a good time to increase the Strength stat.

Choose the Right Armor

Armor can weigh a lot, but it can also help players carry more items. As players craft armor, they should consider adding pockets to help negate the weight of the armor itself. For instance, metal armor that has a weight of seven can have pockets that increase carry threshold by five, making the armor only cost a weight of two. Using this method, players can bulk up their metal armor without losing out on other important carried gear and weapons.

Additionally, players who are still early in the game should focus on wearing and strengthening leather, cloth, and plastic armor. Heavy metal armor isn’t needed until later in the game, or if players plan to search for rare or unique items guarded by strong baddies. Slowly building up armor along the way will allow players to balance their inventory without any major single blows to capacity.

Use Power Armor

In conjunction with regular armor, players should make use of their Power Armor. Power Armor greatly increases the carrying capacity for players while they’re roaming around Fallout 4. However, we recommend players reserve using the Power Armor for times they greatly need it since the Fusion Cores required to run the Power Armor expend fairly quickly and can be hard to find.

With that in mind, we recommend players use their Power Armor when going on material runs, especially if they know where they want to go. So those looking to build up their base, or who are wanting to craft a specific item, put together a plan of attack, suit up, and head out. Additionally, it’s a good idea to keep some Fusion Cores in reserve for major battles where the Battle Armor and heavy weapons will be crucial.

Be Selective About Weapons

There are plenty of weapons for players to nab as they adventure through Fallout 4. It can be tempting to pick up and carry every weapon players come across, especially early in the game, but it pays to be selective. Having many of the same weapon won’t necessarily benefit players, and since they may not be worth a whole lot, it doesn’t make sense to lug them around the map.

Instead, we recommend players review their weapon stockpile periodically to see what they can keep and decide what they can leave behind. Again, don’t feel guilty for offloading weapons along the way, there are many other unique weapons worth holding onto. It also helps to decide which weapons to keep based on what ammo a player has a lot of.

Don’t Overload the Aid

With so many enemies roaming post-apocalyptic Boston, it’s understandable when players want to horde aid items like food, Stimpaks, and RadAway. Not having aid when it’s needed can be frustrating and disappointing. That being said, be mindful of what aid will be most beneficial during the journey, and what can be dropped.

Powerful specialty items like Stimpaks and RadAway are worth their weight, but items like Nuka Cola may not be. Also, if something can’t be cooked or will do more harm then good, ditch it, you’ll thank us later.