Friday, 28 October 2011

Visiting Arkham City

After I finished Arkham Asylum two years ago, I was left wanting more.  I went in and played all the various stealth missions, I couldn't really string together a huge combo while fighting, so those challenges didn't appeal to me.  Even after all that, the overall experience felt a bit short, but in a good way, not the 6 hour campaign sort of way.  It really was like everyone said though, it is the best comic book game ever made.

Gears of War 3 - end of the road for delta squad..?

Gears of War was one of the first games I played on my XBOX 360.  That game got me back into shooters, and eventually back into FPS games.  The cover system was new back then, and it was an interesting element to the game.  Fast forward to 2011, and we are at the third game of the trilogy.  I enjoyed the story in the first two games, so the third one was a must buy.  I knew that I wouldn't be getting into the competitive multiplayer side since its so dominated by the shotguns, which sadly still is the case today.  But I knew I'd still play the campaign at least twice, and do a lot of horde mode. 

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

COD: Black Ops - 10 months, 3000 wins later....

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Multiplayer Preview - Part 2

In part two of my preview, I'm going to take a look at the perks system in MW3.  Lots of interesting changes have been made to the perks, some new stuff, some old stuff coming back.. and some shuffling.  Lets take a look.

Here's the list taken from another site, my input is in brackets. "+" is the Pro version and its effect.  My comments are in brackets.


Blind Eye - Undetectable by air support and sentries. (formerly cold blooded - but note you are not invisible to UAVs)
+ Launchers lock-on quicker. Extra bullet damage versus air support and sentries. (its nice for the support player, but other than that, the good stuff is in already given.)

Scavenger - Resupply from dead enemies. (standard stuff we're used to)
+ Start with increased ammo supply.

Extreme Conditioning - Sprint for longer distances. (formerly marathon - no longer unlimited sprint though)
+ Climb obstacles faster. (that is a nice addition, especially climbing boxes, low walls etc)

Recon - Explosive damage paints the target on the mini-map. (new perk, very interesting, definitely a team player's perk - not sure how long they enemies stays painted though)
+ Bullet damage paints the target on the mini-map.

Sleight of Hand - Faster reloading. (This is standard for COD, but interesting that its now a teir 1 perk)
+ Swap weapons faster.  (This used to be scout pro in Black Ops, and SOH Pro used to be faster ADS instead - definitely a balance mod here)


Overkill - Carry two primary weapons. (classic COD4:MW perk making a comeback - used to love running sniper rifle and an AR)
+ Supposedly two attachments for secondary. (but what if you aren't running that profficiency? maybe its not just attachments, but you get to use a profficiency with secondary?)

Assassin - Undetectable by UAV, portable radar, thermal, and heartbeat sensors. (the other key part of cold blooded makes an appearance here)

+ Immune to CUAV and EMP. No red crosshair or name when targeted. (Very.. Very useful, lots of people running counter UAV during the event given the general lack of map knowledge.  Plus I hate not knowing whats going on in the mini-map such as positions of other teammates.)

Blast Shield - Increased explosive resistance. (this used to be a peice of equipment back in MW2, I did not use this too much since you had to enable it back then, but flalk jacket perk in BlackOps was quite useful)
+ Resistance to flash and stun.

Quickdraw - Faster aiming. (The other part to the old sleight of hand perk)
+ Recover from equipment and grenade usage quicker. (Very useful!, so many times I've been caught throwing something in these games.)

Hardline - Killstreaks require 1 less kill. (standard stuff)
+ Every two assists count as a kill towards your killstreak. Deathstreaks require one less death. (interesting additon, definitely makes this perk more useful in Pro form.)


Steady Aim - Increased hip fire accuracy.  (standard stuff - interesting move to 3rd perk level though)
+ Weapon is ready faster after sprinting.

Dead Silence - Move quietly. Reduce the effects of Recon. (formerly ninja perk)
+ Supposedly no fall damage. (interesting, formerlly part of the commando pro perk)

Marksman - Identify enemy targets at longer range. (so there's a limit to how far names will show up on screen?)
+ Longer hold breath. (aka iron lungs or scout)

Stalker - Move faster while aiming. (this is new, good for people who like to ADS a lot, more tactical like I presume.)
+ Delay enemy Claymore explosions. (used to be bomb squad / sit rep iirc)

SitRep - Detect enemy explosives and tactical insertions. (unchanged from before)
+ Louder enemy footsteps. (interesting move of this effect to this particular perk, used to be ninja pro, or dead silence pro).

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Dark Souls - First couple hours...

First thing I noticed when I started up the game, the graphics were not as good as Demon's Souls on PS3.  Perhaps its the limitation of the game engine on the Xbox360 platform.  So far, gameplay feels exactly the same.  I've died almost 10 times, and have played through the first section a few times.  Had to abandon my first character because I accidently used humanity away from the bon fire.  I was trying to use it at the first bon fire, but appearantly you have to wait to reach the next one.  Second time, the game didn't save properly before I switched to play another game.  So by the third time, I was able to make it past the Asylum Demon without dying.

I am slightly disapointed with the visuals though, seems like a step back from what I remember.  I'll pop Demon's souls in my PS3 tomorrow to compare.  Also, somewhat disapointed with the digital downloads I got with my collectors edition.  The site is probably bombarded right now, so I am unable to download the content properly.  I was only able to get the map.  I will keep trying later on, hopefully it will work in a day or two.

More on the game as I get further into it.

Mentally Preparing for Dark Souls - Remembering Demon's Souls

The day has finally come, the follow up to what I consider one of the hardest, most intense gaming experiences I have ever had. 

About two years ago, I was told about this game Demon's Souls, and how awesome it is.  I watched videos and read reviews on it, all stating that "you will die.. a lot".  This really peaked my interest (in a "challenge" accepted" sort of way).  So I went out and bought it.  This game was only available on the PS3, so it was a rare oppertunity for my PS3 to be used.

Most reviews, if not all, talks about how you'll end up playing the first area of the game over and over again to level up your character, which I did.  I must have played about 10 hours on the first level alone, just grinding away, collecting souls to trade in at the nexus to level up.  Once I was powerful enough, I was able to progress through the game and the rest of the world. 

There were a lot of parts of the game where I died, the frequency of my in-game deaths would slowly go down as the game progressed.  As I got used to the controls, and timing of my character, the only real danger was plain lapse in concentration, which would normally lead me to fall to my death.  There are so many paths and ridges to walk on, with nothing to stop you from falling to your death.  Narrow passages meant I had to be extra careful, a simple task of walking around required my full attention.  I had to be mindful of which direction I rolled away from an enemy attack, or how far I could lunge forward with my sword. 

But conquering each individual enemy, level and boss was a huge triumph in itself, thus driving me to push myself further.  On the surface, the game seems fairly straight forward, kill enemies, collect loot and souls, level up.  However, after reading up online for help in the later stages, I realized there was a whole different side to the game.  How you played the game would also change things in the level, opening up hidden areas with special enemies/bosses.  I unfortunately never got the time to fully explore that side of the game, but it was quite fascinating, especially given the amount of effort needed to activate these changes.

In the end, I was about 40-50 hours into the game, made it to the final boss of my first playthrough, but then Modern Warefare 2 came out and that was the end of that.  Hopefully with the new game, and the "off-season" time I have now between BlackOps and MW3, I can get deep into Dark Souls. 

Battlefield 3 Beta - Initial Impressions

So one of the most popular PC shooters is back, trying to win back those who have migrated over to other series/platforms.  For those who are pondering which platform to buy Battlefield 3 on, my answer would be PC.  Don't have a powerful enough rig to run it?  Build one, Build one NOW. 

This game started on PC, and has been built with the PC in mind.  I've played the beta on PC and on the XBOX360, and the PC experience is way better than on the console.  Graphics are a lot better, and thus makes the overall experience that much better.  Given the slow pace of the game, you have time to admire the eye candy.  The graphics on the XBOX are definitely scaled down... A LOT.  Its probably the same as "Low" settings on the PC or something.  I hope this is only a flaw of the beta, and things will look better in the final release, but if not.. I feel sorry for those who don't play it on PC, they are really missing out.

 The last battlefield game I ever played was battlefield vietnam.  The last PC shooter game I played was Crysis 1, back about 3 years ago.  So there was (and still is) and adjustment period for me to switch back to using the keyboard and mouse.  On the Xbox360, the controller felt more comfortable for me, and I was able to react better while doing some running and gunning.  But that does not really last long.  I will however try to get my logitech G13 gamepad  setup properly to accomidate my transition... *crosses fingers*

Battlefield 3 is much slower paced than what I was used to in the Call of Duty series.  One can't just run around and mow down people without someone picking you off from across the map.  The maps are way too big and open for this style, and the level design will always favour the more strategic method of playing.  Pick a spot, and pick off people.  This game mode available is Rush, I missed out on the Caspian border map which was only available for a day or so.  This game mode really shows how team work can really be unstoppable.  When I party up with Tekedout, I usually run the support class and back him up as he goes and kills everyone.  I end up cleaning things up or kill the odd one he misses.  But being a support class, I can deploy an ammo crate to keep us from running out of bullets, thus we can hold a position for quite a long time. 

The web interface for the beta actually works fairly well and intuitive, the voice and party system works really well.  My only gripes with the beta (which I hope is taken care of by release date) are the matchmaking system, and how I can't squad with people that I've partied up with prior to joining the game.  Also another annoyance right now is the inability to leave a match unless you are alive, and you can't adjust settings or access the menus unless you are alive.

There;'s approximately a week left in the beta, so hopefully I will be fully convinced to buy by then. 

Origin/battlelog name: phoenixrageZERO