Monday, May 23, 2011

E3 2011: Games to look for

With E3 around the corner (starting June 6) I though it would be a good idea to post a short list of the games that I am most looking forward to.

- Bioshock: Infinite
- Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim
- Battlefield 3
- Mass Effect 3
- Star Wars: The Old Republic
- Gears of War 3
-  SoulCalibur V
- Ratchet and Clank All 4 One
- Resistance 3
- Uncharted 3
- Warhammer 40k: Space Marine
- Ninja Gaiden 3
- Assassins Creed Revelations
- Batman: Arkham City
- Duke Nukem Forever

Aside from the list above there are a quite a few more games and possibly even new consoles that will be making an appearance at E3 and I will do my best to cover and discuss it all once E3 begins.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Rift: Review

Rift is a fairly new MMORPG with gameplay much like WoW, WAR and EverQuest, but with a bit more complexity and options in both your character choice and gameplay. There is a fairly nice balance of complex and simple gameplay so the newer MMORPG players don't get too confused and for the veterans of the genre to feel challenged.

The game starts off very simple, you first create your character out of four classes (Warrior, Mage, Cleric, Rogue) but as soon as you enter the starting zone and begin questing you get three souls (basicall your skill trees) you are free to choose your souls out of the 9 provided for your class which quickly gives you a sense of diversity as you separate yourself from the pack. You can basically build your character any way you like and have many diverse combat options to switch between.

Although this system gives you tons of customization it can also get very confusing even for experienced gamers because with all the creativity its easy to at first end up with a very mediocre character, but as you figure it out you can really make a very unique and versatile character.

As for the name Rift it is named for the rifts that tear open the sky in random locations on the map and spill out monsters for you and your fellow gamers to battle and in turn close the rift. This feature adds a bit of surprise to the game as you never know when you will encounter one and how strong the monsters will be. This gives a little bit of dimension to the static questing and grinding.

As for the gameplay, this game looks and plays beautifully, it definitely has the graphics to stress most mid-high end video cards as well as a very polished combat and movement system that you will fall in love with if you familiar with other MMORPG combat systems that feel very stationary and glitchy as well as how difficult it can be getting from place to place due to geographical obstacles.

This game is by no means revolutionary or even particularly new it just takes things from previous MMOs and makes them better even the whole rift system is just a better version of the public quests found in WAR. However it is well worth a try if you are in the market for a new MMO or if you are like me and need something to kill the time as you wait for D3 and GW2.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Batman, Arkham City

The Dark Knight is back this fall and is looking better then ever in Batman, Arkham City, the follow up to the 2009 Game of the Year, Arkham Asylum. We are not given a whole lot of information on the game as of yet other then some gorgeous looking trailers, the studio is probably saving most of the reveals for E3, but we do have an idea of most of the characters and mechanics to look forward to.

Lets get into the story a little bit before we get sidetracked, basically Quincy Sharp (the warden of Arkham Asylum) is now the mayor of Gotham and as his first action he buys a large portion of the Gotham Slums and walls it off creating Arkham city in which the prisoners have free reign and can do as they like as long as they don't try to escape. Hugo Strange (basically a mad scientist) is put in charge of Arkham city in order to ensure that no one is attempting an escape and according to the trailer Hugo knows about Batman's secret identity and as it stands now it seems like Strange will be the main villain of the story. However just because Hugo is the main villain that doesn't mean that he is the only one you will be battling, most of the major Gotham villains make an appearance in the trailers (Two-Face, The Riddler, The Joker and there will be at least one more yet unannounced villain). Catwoman also seems to play a large role in the story as a colleague (not much else known about this).

Now we can get sidetracked with all the cool mechanics that this game has to offer. First off Batman will have all of his major gadgets at the very start of the story so you have less unlocking and more ass-kicking to do, Batman also seems to have quite a few new moves and take-downs shown in the gameplay trailer. The major villains will each have their own gang which wonder around the city and cause trouble, this brings into play a territorial battle between the villains which Batman will be in the middle of, not only this but I'm sure there will be some escape attempts which will bring Hugo Strange and Tyger (Hugo's mercenary force) into the story. Along with all this we are promised even more puzzles and riddles to solve as we have come to expect of a Batman game.

As to why Batman is investigating Arkham City still remains a mystery, along with much more of how the story will play out and how Hugo Strange knows about Batman's identity and what he plans to do with the information. Lets hope Rocksteady studios brings their A game to E3 so we can have some of the blanks filled,  along with more of the unique and flashy gameplay shown in the trailers.

Batman, Arkham City Official Trailer

Sunday, May 1, 2011

The Elder Scrolls V, Skyrim

Skyrim, is the latest installment in The Elder Scrolls  saga due to be released on Nov. 11, 2011. The Elder Scrolls began with Arena in 1994 and since then has evolved into one of the most popular single player RPGs to date, most recently The Elder Scrolls 4, Oblivion won numerous awards including Game of the Year at Spike TV's Video Game Awards in 2006 and is regarded by many as the best single player fantasy RPG of its time.

Although there's not much gameplay out there at the moment we still have a fairly good grasp of what Skyrim will look and play like. The most important thing is that  the game looks gorgeous from what I have seen in screenshots and the gameplay trailer, this is thanks to Bethesda Studios going back and rewriting the gameplay engine to try the get the most out of the current gaming systems.

Other then the look of the game there is quite a  few other changes from Oblivion to Skyrim, such as the original 8 attributes in Oblivion are now down to 3 in Skyrim. The story quests work much more dynamically and are given to you at different stages of the game depending on what you have done, for example if you have played the game by avoiding large clashes dragons then the story will bend and force a dragon encounter (sounds awesome, i know). The game even gets a perks system much like in Fallout 3 where every time your character levels you will get to choose from a variety of unique and diverse perks (that's basically all we know about this as of right now).

Overall Skyrim comes off as a very promising continuation to The Elder Scrolls saga and I cant wait to get my hands on this and really get a feel for how this game will play.