Tag Archives: ps3

Dishonored Review

29 Oct

New IP’s this late in a console cycle are extremely rare and being successful are even rarer, but Arkane Studios looks to break this trend with their game Dishonored. Dishonored is a stealth action game, giving players the choice to either slink around the shadows or in killing every one in sight. Dishonored in set in a Victorian era London, but Dunwall is not what it seems to be. Dunwall’s citizens are being terrorized by a rat plague that has been killing its citizens. The rat plague is obviously caused by rats that eat their victims and turn them into flesh eating monsters.

In Dishonored, you play as Corvo Attano, the bodyguard of the Empress and her daughter Emily. When the Empress is assassinated, Corvo is framed and sentenced to execution by the Lord Regent. Faced with death, and mysterious group aids Corvo and helps him escape from prison to save Emily and the Empire. Soon after Corvo is contacted by a mysterious figure only known as “The Outsider” and receives powers to complete his mission.

The city of Dunwall has an interesting art style on it that may not be for everyone. Personally I didn’t hate it, but it didn’t impress me either, and I know I’m in the minority in this. Powered by the Unreal Engine 3, I think Arkane could have made some of the textures, and character models look better.

Dishonored has been greatly advertised as being a “chose your own path” game and while it is generally true, players can chose how to approach each mission, but towards the end of the game, the choices are reduced to kill or not kill. While this is not a huge issue for me, it is annoying when a game doesn’t deliver what it’s advertising and essentially becomes very linear. These linear parts were boring and felt like a chore compared to the assassination missions of the beginning of the game. However during the assassination missions, Dishonored does give the player a choice on how to take care of each target. During one mission I was tasked to assassinate two men, and while I simply could have killed the two men, I was given another possibility to let them live, but still successfully complete the mission. Finally, although I complained about the latter half of the game being linear, and having simple choices, the “kill or not kill” part actually effects gameplay in later missions. Kill too many guards, and you’ll have more plague victims to deal with. Knock out guards, and have fewer victims. It seems simple when I write it out here, but it really has an effect on the later missions as plague victims prove to be a challenge.

Speaking of how to take care of foes, the combat of Dishonored is well done. The sword and gunplay works well. It is clear that Arkane intended for this game to at least be played through twice; once a stealthy playthrough and one with lots of action because both approaches are equally rewarding. There’s as much satisfaction in sneaking through an enemy guard patrol as there is in going in and slaughtering them all in a brutal fight. Either way presents a challenge as the enemy AI is exceptionally done. While sneaking through, if you are caught, the guards are realistic. The AI is not relentless. If you manage to get away from the guards, they will be on alert and look for you, but they will eventually give up and return to their normal activities. On the other hand, if you fight the enemies they prove to be a challenge but not impossible if the player uses his resources correctly.

Dishonored is definitely an interesting game. The mission design is open world at the beginning but it gets progressively linear throughout the game, which hurts the “fun” factor because the best parts of the game come from taking your own approach to every different assassination. The story isn’t very engaging, and the art style may not be for everyone but the gameplay really saves this game and that warrants a “rent” in my opinion.

Did you play Dishonored? Disagree or agree with my opinion, let me know in the comments below. Thanks for Reading!

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My Most Anticipated Games of 2012

24 Sep

The fall season has started with the release of Borderlands 2, and now the floodgates are open. As much as I would love to get all the big games of 2012, I can’t, so these are my most anticipated games, and the games I’ll be getting this fall.

1. Dishonored (Release Date: October 9th, 2012)

Dishonored is a first person “shooter”, and I put shooter in quotes because, you can play and complete Dishonored without killing anyone the whole game. Dishonored takes place in a Victorian style world. The city is separated into the slums, where the poor and people affected by the plague live, and the rich part of town. In this world players are going to be tasked with assassinating targets, but getting to a target can be executed in any way the player wants. Want to go in a heavily guarded fortress guns blazing? You can do it. Want to go take the stealthy path, and take out your target quietly? You can do that too. With powers and weapons, each assassination mission is an open playground. This game sounds extremely interesting, and at this point in the console cycle, any new IP has to be really cool to get anyone’s attention.

2. Medal of Honor: Warfighter (Release Date: October 23rd, 2012)

Medal of Honor: Warfighter uses DICE’s new Frostbite 2 engine to build both the single and multiplayer portions of game. Besides the powerful tech to build the game, the single player is a unique experience. The campaign tells the story of American Tier 1 Operators, which are the elite members of the military, and the story itself is taken from actual events told by Tier 1 Operators, the same people players will control when the game is released. Aside from the single player, the new multiplayer will make players proud to represent their countries, by letting players choose their own respective countries to fight for. Americans can choose an American military unit, and same goes for various other countries such as Canada, England, and Germany. The multiplayer also includes the new “Buddy System”. The “Buddy System” allows player to spawn on their “Buddy’s” and they can have each others back in an intense firefight. I liked the last Medal of Honor that came out in 2010, but it didn’t really impress me. Maybe this one can can really change that,  and make it my go to online shooter for the year

3. Assassins Creed 3 (Release Date: October 30th, 2012)

After two spin-off titles in Assassins Creed: Brotherhood and Revelations, gamers are finally getting a full sequel to 2009’s Assassins Creed 2. Set during the American Revolution, players take the role of Connor, a half native American, and half English assassin. In this game Connor is tasked with seeking out members of the Templar on both sides of the battlefield. Players can also explore Colonial Boston, New York, and can explore the Frontier. Assassins Creed 3 also includes the ability to explore the ocean and take part in ship to ship battles. I really like the Assassin Creed story and I’m hoping this can be a fitting conclusion for what has been so far an amazing story.

4. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2

Black Ops 2

Yes I’m anticipating a Call of Duty game. The original Black Ops was my favorite Call of Duty ever (COD4 being a super close second). The campaign takes place in the 1980s and in 2025 and Frank Woods and Alex Mason are returning during the 1980s portion of the story, and players take the role as David Mason, Alex Mason’s son, in 2025. The story revolves around the super villain Menendez and how he takes control of America’s drone army and turns it on themselves. Everyone knows that Call of Duty fans don’t play CoD just for single player, the multiplayer changes the usual formula a bit. With the new “Pick 10 Create-a-Class” , the gives players the freedom to choose to put whatever they want in their class with new “Wild Cards”. With “Wild Cards”, players can put multiple Tier 1 perks, or multiple gun attachments. Also who can forget the fan favorite zombies. I wasn’t much of a fan of Black Op Zombies but I’m hoping that Black Ops 2 can turn me back around on that.

5. Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale (Release Date: November 20th, 2012)

Bad name aside, I’m actually really looking forward to this game. On the surface it seems like a simple Smash Bros. clone, but from watching gameplay and hearing people talk about it, Playstation All-Stars requires a whole different strategy to win that Smash Bros. In this game the way to win is to gain AP (Action Points), and with enough AP, players get access to their Level 1 Super. There are 3 Tiers of Supers. A Level 3 Super will kill the most players on screen, but players can earn Level 1 or Level 2 Supers faster and can get a lot of kills that way too. I think its unfair to cast this off as a simple Smash Bros. clone, and the roster of characters is amazing for any Playstation gamer, or any gamer, and that’s why it deserves any gamers time.
Those are my most anticipated games of 2012. What about you? What are you anticipating this year? That comments are there for a reason. Thanks for reading!

NHL 13 Review

16 Sep

With the lockout becoming official on Saturday September 15th, NHL 13 looks like it will be the only time we’ll be able to experience one of the best sports in the world. Many critics will immediately call NHL 13 a simple roster update, NHL 13 is much more. EA Canada manages to make a huge gameplay leap, one which matches the leap from NHL 06 to NHL 07 with the skill stick. NHL 13 is based around what EA Canada is calling ”True Performance Skating” and ”EA Sports Hockey I.Q.”

”True Performance Skating” makes the game momentum. Remember in NHL 12, where you used to be able to do sharp turns in front of the net? Those cut in fronts are not possible in NHL 13. The new skating system gives the players momentum. Beating a defense man to the puck in the offensive zone, by gaining momentum and skating around  him means sacrificing the ability to cut in front of the net and getting the scoring chance.  It makes NHL 13 more of a Hockey simulation rather than just being an arcade like experience. The True Performance Skating also gives weight to the players. Players like Stamkos will be able to fly from one end to of the ice to another but lacks the ability to give huge hits, while players Chara are slower but have the ability to deliver bone crushing hits.

The next addition is the new ”EA Sports Hockey I.Q.”, which fits perfectly well with the True Performance Skating. The AI in this game is  better than what it was in NHL 12. In NHL 12, the goalies only focused on the players with the puck, failing to see any other possible threats on the ice. This is what led to many of the lame one-timer goals that players used to exploit. In NHL 13, that is eliminated. Now goalies will survey the ice, and look at every possible threat, including one timers. In NHL 13, goalies will recognize all scoring threats, and with the all new motion engine that allows goalies to have a variety of different save attempts for each shot, will be more likely to stop any shot. The new AI isn’t limited to the goalies. AI players will now hit, poke check and basically do everything to try and get the puck from you.

Returning fans from the game will recognize the game modes such as Be a GM, and Be a Pro, and these still are incredible fun to play. There are new game modes such as GM Connected, and NHL Moments Live. GM Connected takes Be a GM and brings it online for up to 750 players to participate in. GM Connected is very ambitious but I think it will be only popular for large communities. NHL Live Moments let players relive classic moments from the 2011-2012 season and other classic NHL moments. EA has promised to deliver more moments from this season, but since there is a lockout, hopefully EA can deliver other moments from past seasons.

Although the new skating system and AI are great additions, the game suffers in some points. In game, while simply skating around an opposing player, the puck will sometimes be simply taken away from you. In other cases, whether it be you or the opposing team, the puck seems to be magnetically attracted by hockey sticks. The instances are frustrating especially in critical points a hockey game.

With no hockey season in sight, NHL 13 is great way to get any hockey fans through the season. With a huge technology leap with the ”True Performance Skating” and the ”EA Sports Hockey I.Q.”, this game is a must have for any hockey fan. With the familiar game modes such as Be a GM and Be a Pro, and also some new ones such as GM Connected and NHL Live Moments, NHL 13 will be enough for fans that love hockey.

What if Blu-Ray lost the Format War?

9 Sep

After the success of the Playstation 2, Sony became over confident with its console business and thought anyone would buy the Playstation 3. Sony priced the Playstation 3 at 600 dollars because it was also a Blu-Ray player. In this reality, Blu-Ray won the format war, and is probably the only reason people bought the Playstation 3, and because Blu-Ray players at the time were very expensive as well. What if Sony hadn’t won the format war? What if instead of Blu-Rays we’d all be watching HD DVDs. This is what it would be like in that alternate reality.

In 2002, Toshiba and various other companies started to develop a new DVD format which would be eventually be named HD DVD. Various companies including Microsoft announce their support for HD DVDs. Negotiations between the Blu-Ray Disc Association and and the DVD Forum have broken down, and now both formats are at war.

The first HD DVD player finally launches March 31st, 2006 and costs approximately 1000 dollars. The first movies to be released on HD DVD are launched on April 18th, 2006. Soon after on June 20th, 2006, the first Blu-Ray movies are released.

By CES 2007, it was clear the HD DVD was the format of the future. After realizing that the format war was lost, Sony closed the Blu-Ray Disc Association and discontinued Blu-Rays. Now Sony’s already struggling console suffered even more, now that its Blu-Ray player was completely useless. In an effort to save the Playstation 3, Sony announced a newer, cheaper version of the Playstation 3 at E3 2007. The new version of PS3 would still be an expensive system at 400 dollars. Sony again tried to help the PS3’s sales announcing God of War 2 as a PS3 game instead of a Ps2 one. Even with the release of God of War 2 and new IP’s such as Resistance and Uncharted, the PS3’s future didn’t look good.  Sony’s last hope would be the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 and Gran Turismo 5.

Two years into its the life cycle and after the release of Metal Gear Solid 4, it still wasn’t enough for the PS3. Soon after Insomniac Games would announce that it would be only developing for the Xbox 360. Right before CES 2009 Sony would announce that they would be withdrawing from the console market, and would become a third party developer just like Sega had done. Sony would eventually have more success as a third party publisher because of all the studios they own.

This is just my interpretation of what could of happened if Blu-Ray and Sony lost the format war. What do you think could have happened?