Hey-o! Another week, another blog everyone! Although this time around, I have something special in store just for all you Airbender fans! I decided to not only check out the premiere and toss in my thoughts, but my brother in arms @laflux has joined me as well! I hope you all give him a warm welcome! Now let's get down to it!
At last, the long awaited return of The Legend of Korra. As many of you know, I hold Avatar the Last Airbender very, very dearly to my heart. It is quite honestly one of my favourite shows of all time alongside Spectacular Spider-Man and I cannot express the happiness, joy, love, sadness and regret that emulated from this series and the hardships that affected me personally, more so than it should have really. Truthfully though, that's what makes this series so special to me and one that will be remembered for as long as I can remember. The characters, the setting, the unique aspect of connectivity, family, and spiritual elements made this a stand-out show and I cannot thank the creators more for sharing their vision with us. Well, enough of that little dose of nonsense, on to my thoughts!
The Legend of Korra returns! We left off last season with Korra reconnecting with the Avatar State and her bending after a surprise visit from none other than Aang himself! Where we continue off is a familiar yet relaxed tone, showing how the daily lives of our heroes have changed and adapted since Amon's defeat. Korra has spent the majority of that time training with Tenzin and perfecting her airbending skills. Mako took a more responsible approach and become an officer of the law with ambitions to selflessly help others. Asami is left with the task of trying to rebuild her father's company after his treacherous acts of supporting the Equalists left a bad taste with the large majority of past partners. And Bolin? What can I say about Bolin that you don't already know?
I took interest in seeing how improvement on Korra and Mako's relationship has advanced. Despite some forced moments and cheesy lines, there seems to be slight adjustments over the last season, albeit positive ones. Clearly, there is a lot of tension that stems from Tenzin and Korra in regards to her Avatar training and lack of ambition and focus. Despite her previous success, she still acts a tad bit arrogant, headstrong and poor tempered. Although, you can't really blame her considering what she's gone through and how events have changed in her life, you would think she might've humbled a little and perhaps offered some appreciation to the obvious dedication and care that her friends and family give her on a daily basis. Yet, she easily disregards them at many turns and becomes easily angered if her side isn't chosen. It is refreshing to see that despite being the Avatar, she is still just a teenager trying to find her place in the world while carrying such a heavy burden.
It was a nice treat to see a more in-depth reintroduction of Korra's parents and especially her father, with the notable addition of his brother and Korra's uncle. It's here that it seems the season will primarily take focus around as Korra's Uncle takes large interest in his desire to train Korra on the importance of spiritual respect and knowledge in regards to how it affects their world through the Avatar State. There are some scenes that may have provided a little bit of obvious foreshadowing but from a different perspective, it could also be seen as purposeful misdirection. Nonetheless, it's exciting to realize that Korra has still much to learn and that her foes will take more than brute force to conquer.
As always, the voice acting is absolutely pitch perfect and the animation is a delightful and jaw dropping sight to behold. While there wasn't much to be shown here in terms of bending, it's rather clear that there will definitely be a different tone taken this season and hopefully a far more personal one to better flesh out the cast. Regardless, I was gleefully satisfied and smiling from ear-to-ear from this premiere showing and aching to see more!
Thoughts from laflux:
Thanks Bro. Avatar has always been up there as one of the best animated shows around, and the first two episodes are a brilliant example of why. One of my few major gripes of the original series was that the original series started off rather slowly, but the same cannot be said of the first two episodes.
As you mentioned, we get a great overview of what's happened between the events of the first season and now. I've always been a big fan of the 1920's style of announcing previous events, and it was mixed in well with live action segments showing what the gang (intentional :P) have been up to. Early in the episode, it becomes clear that some characters are not going to be featured as prominently such as Ling Bei Fong or Asami's Dad, but one of Avatar's strongest suits is a strong sense of continuity and its nice to know that they are not forgotten. Speaking of Asami, I think it was a great call to have her father's company get into financial trouble because of his equalist links and it made for a great way for her and Bolin to spend some together in order to garner some financial support from Varrick. The whole segment was humorously done, and makes a possible ship between them feel less forced and more organic.
Bolin of course is always going to be a source of comic relief for the show and while he will struggle to reach the heights of Sokka before him, his interactions with Desna and Eska were amusing (and one of the most subtle version of the anime styled "traps" I've seen so far). However, unlike in the Last Airbender when Sokka would often be the sole source of comic relief, there are also humorous pieces from Tenzin and his siblings and even the usually humor shy Mako made me chuckle with his forced tough guy cop one-liners. All of this was just enough to detract from the relatively anonymous role Meelo had. Let's hope he comes on strong in the later episodes.
I think its nice to see that Korra still has a lot to learn spiritually and in regards to airbending too- and the way she abused her powers to win an air scooter race was a great way to highlight that. Speaking of which, I don't think she's a fully realized avatar yet, and when she goes into The Avatar State, her eyes continue to glow. The conflict of Tenzin and Korra's father (Tonraq) vs her uncle (Unalaq) in regards to Korra following the best spiritual path is interesting. Korra taking her uncle's side was expected but I like how this has freed Tenzin, at least for the time being, to have to go on his own adventures and as you said, I think there is some foreshadowing concerning the origins of the Avatar, and having Jinora, at least for the time being, at the forefront of this is different, but I think it can work.
Overall, this was a strong opener. The episodes were a bit light on action, but this was at the expense of solid storytelling and characterization. The ending in particular was a great way of indicating that Unalaq's intentions were not as benevolent as we suspected, and the notion of him dragging his southern water tribe cousins, kicking and screaming into an age of spiritual enlightenment, bears a strong resemblance to Sozin. It's a good recipe for a possible villain and the resemblance makes snarks (and you) like me feel remembered.
And there you have it folks, another edition of Peek of the Week and one graced honourably by my dear friend laflux! See you next time folks!
Hey folks, DM here! Hope you don't mind but I've gone about trying a new blog feature I like to call "Peek of the Week". While I would love to get back into reviewing on a constant basis, whether it be games, film or comics, I may be short-handed in regards to the time I have available to me. BUT, I definitely didn't want to come out empty handed for anyone who has enjoyed the nonsense I've written in the past so I've decided to at least once a week spotlight something of interest to me. It may be a popular video game I'm playing or a movie I just watched! Generally, if I write a comic review I'll toss it up as an official review but any general thoughts I have on this issue will be directed towards this blog feature...thing... So without further ado! DIABLO 3!
I'll start things off simple and what I think may address any thoughts regarding PC or recurring players. I have never played a Diablo game in my life so please forgive me if I sound like a complete fool over here trying to dissect this game. As a simple explanation for those unaware, Diablo 3 is an Action-Role playing game or "RPG" for short. It takes a top-down perspective but slightly more focused on the character in a similar vein to games like Marvel: Ultimate Alliance. A main difference here for those who have played the PC version is the direct control of the character via the thumbstick as opposed to point and click control through mouse controls. As I've never played any of the previous games, I can't touch on the subject of comparisons and I feel it would be unwise and an ignorant act on my part as well.
In regards to RPG's, the gameplay and combat is relatively simplified and easy to jump into. The game offers the choice of five different classes to choose from: Barbarian, Demon Hunter, Witch Doctor, Monk and Wizard. Most of the classes are self explanatory and are all relatively unique in terms of play style. The Barbarian is your standard melee class, rushing in with large, two handed weapons and shields as well as being damage soakers. Demon Hunters are your standard recon or hunter class, relying specifically on ranged weaponry such as bows and even single or dual handed crossbows. Witch Doctors and Wizards are basically two sides of the same coin. One relies on darker magic such as Necromancy and utilizing plagues to defeat their enemies while Wizards manipulate more traditional magics such as primal nature forces, arcane magic and time manipulation to their advantage. Monks are the spiritual warriors of the Light utilizing martial arts and Holy energy and weaponry to aid them.
As with every RPG, loot and gear drops are the most gratifying part of the experience. While you can purchase new armour or weapons from local store merchants, nothing ever beats the drops you get from epic dungeon crawls or defeating more powerful foes. Each class has their own unique gear and while you may pick up something you cannot equip, you can just as easily sell it to a merchant to rack up the gold and save for some better gear yourself. Alongside an epic loot system is a fine-tooled skill system. On the console versions, as you level up and unlock new skill trees, you can map a specific skill to a face button on the gamepad. The adaption from a more robust system on PC's onto consoles works brilliantly and is simplified but still deep enough to not seem like a tossed off experience. The skills are specified by categories or action slots: Primary, Secondary and 1 through 4( change dependant on the class you choose). Alongside a set of skills, you can unlock subset upgrades that help improve those skills as you utilize them more often to help you become more prominent with your character. An example may be a primary attack for my Demon Hunter is launching a barrage of rapid fire arrows and my subset skill allows me to recover Hatred(energy utilized for action attacks) at a larger rate per every kill. This extends differently to the different skills and classes of course and provides plenty of replay value and discovery.
Now as I've mentioned, I have never played a Diablo game prior the third so I have absolutely no idea what the main story is about or if it intertwines with previous games. With that said though, despite digging occasionally into past lore, it feels like a fresh start and an easy way for newcomers to jump on without feeling largely intimidated. From what I've played so far, the story largely focuses around an ancient power reawakening and summoning the undead and demons to plague the world of Sanctuary. At the beginning of the game, a mysterious blue star falls into a church, absolutely scorching everything around it and falling deep into the foundations. As the games hero, you show in up in the town of New Tristram and from there on try to discover the cause of the recent events. I would love to dive deeper into the story but I haven't played enough to properly assess the plot nor am I really knowledgeable with the franchise's lore.
A subject I'd really rather avoid but I guess I'll touch on slightly regardless of my thoughts that it carries very little importance is the visual and audio design. Artistically, the game is impressive with finely illustrated cutscenes that unfortunately don't appear too often and the game instead depends on casual in-game conversations from the standard gameplay view to detail minor events. Technically, the game seems to be on-par with current gen RPG's of a similar stature. The framerate is quite easily the most impressive part of the technical design. There is rarely, if ever, a hiccup in the frame rate and it remains smooth almost throughout my entire experience. The audio design on the other hand left more to be desired. The soundtrack really isn't anything impressive and you won't hear anyone boasting about a specific track anytime soon. The voice acting is acceptable but there really aren't any stand-out performances and honestly, the dialogue is the last thing you'll care about considering it's rather dull and so far, only remains to push the story and quests further along.
You won't really see yourself caring for any one character in particular but another interesting addition of Diablo 3 is the choice to ally yourself with a companion. So far, I've only two different characters that I could choose between to aid me on my quests. A templar and a thief. From what I've seen, you kind of just meet them along the main quests and have the option to ally yourself with them or send them back to the main town and switch between companions if you ever wish to. These allies will never permanently die in battle though. They may go down briefly but are reviewed after a short period of time after the fighting is over. You have the choice of customizing these characters weapons if you so choose to, but it is a limited process in comparison to your own character.
All in all, I'm enjoying Diablo 3 a lot more than I thought I would. Despite some troubles with the audio design and a lack of ambition on the story front, the gameplay is the stand-out as are the addictive dungeon crawls and plentiful weapon drops! If anyone is craving a rich combat experience, then I can't recommend Diablo 3 more! Give it a shot!
With 2012 finally over with, I can put together my top ten games of the year and boy, was it hard nailing it down to simply ten. A quick note before continuing on with the list, I have yet to complete the last few chapters of Telltale's The Walking Dead and currently in the process of playing throughFar Cry 3, so I didn't find it fair to include either of those in my list since I'm far from completion. Alright, down to business!
10. Resident Evil 6
Alright, it's fair to note right off the bat that Resident Evil 6 wasn't the best game in the series, nor was it exceptional among it's competition either, but that didn't stop me from enjoying the game as a whole. Yes, the controls took a little getting used to and perhaps some of the changes or lack thereof might have been infuriating, but Resident Evil 6 did succeed in crafting some exciting moments throughout it's three (or four) separate campaigns even if it never came close to living up to series standard that Resident Evil 4 had established.
The changes made to the combat actually worked for the better, allowing for movement while aiming, which was a first for the series and while some disliked this change, I found it to be one of the more appealing aspects that RE6 provided and hope to see it pass onto future installments. While the story fails to provide any true survival horror that the series had once been known for, it boasts some fun, yet ridiculous boss battles, a few interesting new characters and some overall fun co-op moments.
9. Sniper Elite V2
A mostly overlooked and underrated game, Sniper Elite V2 is a remake of 2005's Sniper Elite released by the same developer; Rebellion. A simplistic third person shooter taking place in 1945 near the end of second World War, the player is thrown into the shoes of an OSS Sniper operative who makes his way through war-torn Europe tracking down and eliminating any scientist involved in the German V2 program.
Despite the simplicity that the game provides, the gameplay is top notch, throwing in some of the most gruesome and exciting shoot-outs that I've experienced from either a WW2 shooter or any shooter regardless. This is all due to the fantastic sniper combat and basically re-invents the "X-Ray" kill cam that the original so well established. Sniper Elite V2 allows you to play the game whichever way you please but awards the player for taking stealthier precautions and even allowing moments of synchronization with elements in the world such as thunder or artillery strikes to mask Sniper shots to best emphasize a stealthy approach.
While it's severely lacking on the story front, the constantly amusing and gruesome Kill-cam provides never grows tiresome and kept me entertained for hours on end.
8. Transformers: Fall of Cybertron
It's no surprise that I thoroughly and genuinely enjoyed the latest installment in High Moon Studio's Cybertron series. Considering the poor treatment that the Transformers have endured on the video game front in the past decade, it was a relieving breath of fresh air when High Moon took the reigns and brought the franchise back to it's roots. While still taking partial inspiration from Michael Bay's films, the series evidently pays massive homage to the G1 era in both character design and story.
I can't stress enough how impressed I was with the entire package that Fall of Cybertron provided. Fantastic and nearly flawless gameplay, an intriguing story that separates it from those that came before it and don't even get me started on the multiplayer. Sadly, this is where the game was mostly overlooked. Lacking a cult hit that big hitters such as Call of Duty, Gears of War and Halo have all achieved, FoC doesn't manage to draw in a massive crowd in the same regard but that doesn't mean that it doesn't succeed either. In fact, the multiplayer is easily where the game shines most and I've wasted a dozen hours taking the fight of Cybertron online.
Alongside all of this, Fall of Cybertron boasts a fantastic voice cast that even borrows some of the talent from previous shows and even the Bay films. Here's hoping that the next game in the series builds upon and finally receives the recognition it deserves.
7. The Witcher 2
Before I continue on with my thoughts on why I so enjoyed The WItcher 2, I'd like to point out that I despise RPG's for the most part. Don't ask me why, but it takes a special kind of RPG to draw my attention and The Witcher 2 succeeded effortlessly. Yes, I know, The Witcher 2 originally came out in 2011, but the Xbox 360 version came out back in May so I can throw this on my list.
Back to my praise. CD Projekt absolutely nails every aspect in this game from the story, wonderful cast of characters and fantastically difficult combat -- the works. Not to mention that it also might be the best looking game on the 360 to date and that's just throwing more fuel to the fire. I, for one, hate most combat systems that are introduced by your standard RPG. But thankfully, the combat in Witcher 2 throws away with that and despite being more difficult than most average "hack and slash" titles, it's appeal lies in it's strategic outlook. It's something that most games, if not all seemingly don't even bother to attempt and it only helps benefit The Witcher 2 here.
Following the character of Geralt, he gets caught between a murder conspiracy with the blame completely landed on him by another Witcher. He makes it his mission to track down this impostor and his adventures lead you to gorgeous locales that will leave your jaw dropping far more often that you'd like. The brilliance of the story-telling revolves all around choice and these choices come back later on in the story and could either benefit you or become your utmost downfall. It's an enticing aspect that will keep you constantly second guessing your decisions and that only helps better the experience as a whole.
6. Max Payne 3
I'll be completely blunt here, I was never a fan of the Max Payne games prior to the release of the third installment. I was completely aware of them but I never gave them a second thought. Perhaps it was because third person shooters weren't my cup of tea at the time being or perhaps because I just simply hated the entire concept of the games, I don't know. I can say that with Max Payne 3, everything changed.
With Rockstar taking over for Remedy, many people were skeptical at how they would handle a more linear shooter in comparison to all the open-world crime shooters they have become so accustomed to excellently crafting. Let me tell you, I never expected Rockstar to pull this off and I am ecstatic to say that I was completely proven wrong. Rockstar not only knocks it out of the park but re-creates and utilizes some of the most basic yet thrilling gameplay elements and throws Max through hell as he tries to forget his past and push into the future. It's a dark and daring story that will leave you sympathizing with Max at every turn as he sacrifices whatever freedom he originally had to hunt down and protect those who hired him.
So yes, I'm going to go there and say that Max Payne 3 outdoes it's predecessors in every-way and proves that story-telling through cutscenes is still as effective as ever.
5. Borderlands 2
There can be no other way to describe Borderlands 2 than chaos, absolute chaos. To be completely frank, few games have ever succeeded in achieving such a level of enjoyment that you constantly lose track in what you are actually doing and instead, you find yourself instinctively looting, killing, exploring and looting some more. It's safe to say that Borderlands is the closest thing to the perfect coupling of RPG elements with nearly flawless FPS mechanics.
While it doesn't really live up to the claims of a greater story, everyone already knows that this isn't the appeal in Borderlands 2. Yes, it would've been nice to have a more fleshed out story, building on the new characters introduced, but instead you find yourself so engulfed in the sheer insanity of the game that you end up not even caring. So many games aim for that and fewer even begin to succeed. Continuing on the trend that the original established, Borderlands 2 is every bit as hilarious and will keep you laughing constantly at how completely insane each one of the supporting characters are.
The gameplay and visuals have remained almost completely the same since the original Borderlands three years back, but it matters very little as the art style has always been easy and charming to look at. The biggest change is the new cast of characters and the interaction with the original four. It's intriguing to see what roles each of the original characters play this time around as they fight against a completely delusional Dictator type character known as "Handsome" Jack whose only goal is to destroy all resistance and steal all of Pandora's endless resources.
4. Assassins Creed 3
It will come as no surprise that I am a massive Assassins Creed fanboy and that the franchise has landed itself as one of my favourite of all time, boasting some of the best and most interesting settings ever graced in gaming. Despite all of this, I have to say that through all of Assassins Creed 3's accomplishments, it also had it's fair share of short-coming that kept it from being higher on the list.
Disregarding that fact, I still enjoyed every single moment of the game and even considering my completionist OSD, I found myself so engulfed in the story that I didn't even bother jumping into the side missions until I finished the main story, which is an absolute first for me. Although Connor's character never connected as greatly with me in the way that Ezio's did, his story was still an interesting one to see unfold and his personality helped completely differentiate him from his predecessors.
Easily the most impressive and successful aspect about the third installation and any other for that matter is the setting. Taking place in Colonial America on the brink of revolution, it's simply a treat to see how events unfolded and how Conner's behind-the-scenes interaction helped "shape" the direction that America's greatest leaders took as they fought for independence from the British and the Templars, who are constantly pulling the strings. Ubisoft brilliantly utilizes this setting and succeeds in creating one of the most enjoyable experiences in gaming this year.
3. Darksiders II
Here we go again, another RPG Hack and slash making it on my list for Top games of the year and the third spot no less?! Trust me, I was as surprised as you are. While I enjoyed the first game a decent amount, I never expected for a second that I would have so greatly appreciated it's sequel which succeeds it's predecessor in almost every category.
Following the Horseman known as Death this time around, you fight your way to try to free his brother War and clear his name despite the claims that he began the apocalypse that wiped out humanity and re-ignited the war between Heaven and Hell. One of the most interesting and satisfying additions to Darksiders II that drew me in so well was the exceptional combat system which was fluid beyond belief and the introduction of greater RPG elements such as a better fleshed out skill tree and the game's generous loot system.
The world is massive, and although it is a little empty and dry, the gorgeous art style makes it a wonder to look at. Death's character is different from his brother in every-way possible. Where War was honorable and fought for Justice, Death is cocky, arrogant and feared by all. It's a massive change of pace and it's a joy to see how far and deep into the Universe Death's reputation is heard and how he interacts with those he has absolutely no knowledge of despite their knowledge of him.
2. Mass Effect 3
Words cannot describe how much I adore this franchise. I know that this final game had received a hefty amount of hate due to it's original ending but honestly, how fair is it to disregard everything else that the game and the series as a whole was able to accomplish. The journey that my Shepard has taken throughout the past three games and the decisions he has made finally come to fruition here and the final battle to save the Galaxy comes to a close with what I personally thought was an entirely satisfying and touching ending coupled with some of the most brilliant music ever to grace video games orchestrating the entire event.
Yeah, Mass Effect 3 doesn't really do much in regards to it's visuals but it was already a gorgeous game two years ago and with some final touches, the game holds up alongside the best in the pack and leaves you staring in awe at some of the locales you visit and realize that this is why the Galaxy is worth fighting for. BioWare also manages to also tweak the combat system to it's finest, creating one of the best experiences I've had in a third-person shooter and almost perfectly meshes some of the most brilliant story-telling with an equal amount of enticing action sequences.
To top it all of, Mass Effect 3 adds in a multiplayer component which really is a survival mode that is far more fleshed out than one would originally come to believe. It is here that players are given their first opportunity to play as almost any warring race in the Mass Effect universe from the brutal Krogans to the nimble and deadly Drell. As in the single player campaign, there are 6 classes to choose from and a handful amount of races to select as well, each with their own unique abilities. I can't express how much time I have wasted here, even more so than I did with the game's campaign, which is unusual for me but speaks levels on how successful the multiplayer component turned out to be.
I have yet to experience a franchise or trilogy that so brilliantly and coherently crafts it's entire story into one and can be played all at once without skipping a beat. It truly is a gem among video games and deserves a special spot in history.
1. Halo 4
Surprise, surprise! Halo 4 tops off my list as my favourite game of the year and yes, I can admit that most of the reason falls upon my biased fanboy love for the franchise as a whole but that's far from the only reason as to why I was so impressed by the most recent installment in the Haloverse. While it matters very little, Halo 4 was a massive graphical achievement over it's predecessors in every-way possible, both artistically and technically. The cinematics alone are so beautifully rendered that it almost appears life-like at first glance. It's truly an accomplishment, especially when it's realized that jump between games was only two years.
Everyone is absolutely familiar with how popular the Halo franchise is in terms of it's multiplayer and to be honest, it has been the only reason that Halo has remained such an adored franchise -- up until now. 343 Industries manages to do what Bungie could never do; craft one of the best stories ever told in a Halo game to date and one that can help establish Halo as not only a magnificent multiplayer shooter, but one with a thrilling story as well. One of the biggest changes comes from the incredible character development and interaction between the two lead characters; Master Chief and Cortana. This time around, John has been given more lines in this single game than he has spoken in the entirety of the past trilogy. You are given reason to care for what he is trying to accomplish and the performance given by Cortana's voice actresses is chilling and will give you goose-bumps on more than one occasion.
As for the multiplayer, Halo 4 accomplishes what every other installment in the franchise has managed to establish and continues to prove why Halo is one of the best shooters around. The combat is incredibly and unbelievably fluid, the game modes engaging and the maps so wonderfully crafted that you'll have a blast playing through them and creating new strategies with every different game mode played.
Despite the love and loyalty that most fans have for Bungie, which is understandable due to the brilliant work they've done with the franchise over the past decade, 343 proves and effortlessly manages to carry on the torch by showcasing their utmost loyalty to the source material and understanding the love that so many have for the beloved franchise and hold true to the best wishes by creating what might be the best Halo experience yet.
One of the biggest problems most developers possess when trying to break into the industry is how to differentiate themselves from what has become the norm. How does one hope to compete with Triple A games such as Gears of War or Uncharted that have indisputably perfected and forever changed how third-person shooters are played. Instead of trying to re-invent the core mechanics, YAGER Development directs it's focus entirely on story-telling and the results are well deserving of recognition. But how does the game fair as a whole?
At first glance, Spec Ops: The Line appears to be just another generic military shooter boasting a slightly different setting and the more than familiar macho military men capable of taking out entire armies by their lonesome. While part of that remark rings true, thankfully the other doesn't. Spec Ops manages to differentiate itself from other shooters in the same genre by focusing on story progression and character development, constantly treading the line between morality or the lack thereof. It begins on a sane note, strictly adhering to a military code of locating survivors and safely evacuating whoever is left alive, but it quickly becomes a story about discovery and vengeance. You'll constantly find yourself intrigued in regards to what may have happened in the worn down ruins of the once great city of Dubai and the pacing of the story will keep you hooked in until the controversial finale.
Although the story does flow around a levelled amount of pacing, the fashion in which it follows this might become slightly repetitive. For one, the game is strictly a linear with very little to no exploration given. There might some extra corridors or open fighting grounds to explore after a battle in hopes of scrounging up some of the game's bone-chilling collectibles which boast voice narration from the game's main cast, but besides that, don't expect to truck through the sand engulfed skyline of Dubai. It's becomes clear very early on that the developers may have lost out on a valuable opportunity to showcase the strength of the engine they're working with and better utilize their resources for a more enriched world begging to be examined.
As stated before, Spec Ops does very little to differentiate itself from the pack in regards to it's base experience as a cover-based shooter. Sadly, it's here that the game truly does drop in quality. While you won't have too much trouble adhering to the controls, it's still the weakest part that the game provides and one that should arguably be it's strongest suit as a standard third-person shooter. Weapons rarely ever provide a powerful punch when in use and it's hard to tell whenever you land any meaningful shots. On the plus side, YAGER does introduce an interesting and cool feature that slows down time to indicate whenever you land a headshot. Besides that, the weapons are your standard fair that you always see in modern military shooters and nothing here will be engaging outside some missions in the game where you take control of a mounted gun on a helicopter or ride the side of a truck while wielding a grenade launcher.
Spec Ops does make up for it's losses with it's absolutely spectacular visuals and stellar voice acting. Nolan North himself voices the game's lead character; Captain Walker and he provides a fantastic outlook on a man bridging the line between right, wrong and who truly is in possession of sanity. The rest of the voice cast provides the same as friendships are tested and the morality of decisions is constantly questioned in the midst of a devastated warzone with no hope in sight.
One of the most and disappointing additions to the game is it's multiplayer. Not all games require a multiplayer component and it's a fact that becomes painfully evident here with Spec Ops: The Line. It's something that feels unbearably rushed, with little adjustments done to actually make things flow well in regards to the online stability and the same bland gameplay seen in the single-player makes it's way here. It's a mostly infuriating experience as you struggle more often than not to conquer the poor controls than actually defeating your enemies.
Delivering an interesting twist in story-telling with a different setting to boot, Spec Ops: The Line becomes something interesting and easier to recommend to those desiring a fun romp in single player rather than multiplayer. Despite the fact that the multiplayer was a wasted opportunity, the pacing of the story coupled with the brilliant voice work makes Spec Ops worth checking out.
In the past decade or so, fans of the treasured Transformers series haven't had the most noble of adaptations in regards to video games. Despite the massive popularity that Michael Bay's Transformers trilogy has garnered, the video game spin-off's have done little to pay homage to the beloved characters that they are based on. Not until High Moon Studios took control of the franchise and brought it back to it's roots with 2010's War for Cybertron. It was received with a relatively positive reaction from both critics and fans alike, both appreciating the return to Cybertron instead of Bay's setting. High Moon has now decided to step it up another level with Fall of Cybertron -- a direct sequel to War for Cybertron. The results? Let's find out!
Having basically picked up right where War left off, Cybetron is still stuck in a civil war splitting the planet into two factions; the Autobots and Decepticons. Now, as the planet is dying and running out of Energon, a desperate plan to escape both the conflict and find a new home is hatched and it soon becomes a race to the finish so to speak. On one hand, the Decepticon leader Megatron merely wants to destroy every single Autobot while Optimus plans for the survival of their species while locked in a death battle with his nemesis. Surprisingly enough, the story jumps to various perspectives from both factions, even glancing upon the famed DInobots!
The most evident difference between the two games comes with it's mission structure. Rather than being able to choose which side of the story to begin with and which character to select, you follow the path you are given this time around and are not given the choice of playing as a specific Autobot or Decepticon. It's a little disappointing but it's fantastic to see the other less appreciated characters take a spotlight for once and you quickly come to forgive this change. Another disheartening difference comes in the lack of any sort of cooperative campaign options, which might be infuriating to the co-op lovers out there, myself included - but as you play through the campaign, you may find that an addition of co-op may distract from the pacing of the story that developers wished to tell.
A new addition to the series this time around is the Teletraan I upgrade system, which pays a homage to fans but also changes and makes up for the lack of ability to choose a specific character to play as for each mission. These upgrade stations allow you to select a specific weapon to choose from; light or heavy, specific perks which carry on to every character, and further upgrade each weapon. These stations appear every so often in each mission and specific blueprints scattered around each level allow you obtain new weapons quicker rather than waiting to unlock them through story progression.
What easily might be the most distinguishable aspect of the High Moon Cybertron series thus far is the simple, yet elaborate third-person gameplay. Taking a massive inspiration from Gears of War, the movement and shooting mechanics are instantly recognizable with one major exception; the lack of a proper cover system. While you can still hide behind objects, you can't truly take cover but you are given the option to switch your shooting hand at any given time to better take advantage of your position when under fire. Herein lies what could be both a praise or a gripe towards the game - the difficulty. Recklessly stand out in the open for too long and you'll be picked off in seconds. On top of that, the game takes notice of "health cubes" rather than a regenerative system, which leads you to be careful with your actions. Nonetheless, the shooting mechanics are nearly flawless and the fluidity in which you control your character is worthy of the highest of praise. Each shot you land, each pull of the trigger is felt when lander upon your foe and it's extremely satisfying.
Adding more fuel to the fire is the game's fantastic visuals and admirable voice work. While stylistically taking inspiration from Bay's films, the setting is all it's own. It's a stunning sight to see a planet such as Cybertron in such despair and broken and one is left to imagine how beautiful it must have been before all the chaos. An all-star voice cast makes it's return and plants it's feet as one of the best attributes that Fall of Cybertron has to offer. Each voice actor brings their A-game and helps to further expand the character's story and personality. It's one aspect that should be rightfully recognized.
Now to make up for the lack of any proper cooperative options in the game's main campaign, High Moon decides to repay it's fanbase by returning the ever-popular Escalation game mode -- a wave based survival mode. Four players can team up and choose from four characters in attempt to survive 15 relentless waves of enemies. Map selection is given in the pre-game lobby and your team either plays as the Autobots or the Decepticons, although the choice is not given to select between the two. Each level has certain sections which can be unlocked further when enough credits are amassed, which expands the playing ground. Escalation is an enjoyable co-op addition to Fall of Cybertron and is best enjoyed with a group of friends rather than by your lonesome.
Making it's return is the ever enticing multiplayer portion of the Cybertron series. Allowing you to fully customize your Autobot or Decepticon of choice from the colour to the specific armour set and weapon loadout through the game's ranking system. There are four classes to choose from; Scientist, Infiltrator, Destroyer, and Titan. Each holds their own benefits as specific perks set each class apart and plays a specific role on the battlefield. Infiltrators for one are quick, Bumblebee fashioned characters that are coupled with camouflage and are best utilized in short range combat. Titan's on the other hand are the "tank" class of the competitive multiplayer. Slower and more adept with heavier weaponry, they provide mass amounts of fire and push enemies back with ease.
The game types given are your standard fare as Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag make their return, joined by newcomer Headhunter. Each mode is equally as thrilling and the map design is brilliantly crafted for each specific mode to keep things balanced. Any fan of the series will be ecstatic when they encounter the multiplayer options and the experience itself is enough to keep you occupied for days on end.
Boasting a story riddled with fan service and a top notch voice cast, and despite the lack of any cooperative options in the campaign being a slight downfall -- the intriguing story, adored cast of characters and magnificent multiplayer options makeFall of Cybertron a worthy sequel and and welcomed entry into High Moon's series.
Alright, alright I'm back and I know as much as you guys hate my rants regarding the distate I carry for the largely unbearable Clark and Diana relationship that Geoff Johns is so eager to force feed down everyone's mouths, the latest issue of Superman -- number 14 to be exact -- left me curious about what DC is truly trying to sell.
It's no surprise to anyone that with the "rebooting" of the New 52, changes were to be made and separating Clark and Lois was the hardest hitting one of them all in regards to Superman. Now, I know some people appreciate the change, some cried out for the chance to allow Superman to stretch his legs, expand his horizons, etc -- but as of so far, little has been done to actually hold true to what they promised. For the majority of Superman's namesake title, we saw him sulking over Lois and her new "boy toy". Instead of trying to distance him from Lane as most fans would've assumed, they refused to do so and even hinted at a possible relationship between Clark and Lois' younger sister Lucy Lane. Great job at trying to distance the two characters DC and even if you tried to give them points for effort, the proposition of anything beyond friendship didn't even last beyond that last panel in Superman #12. It's kind of sad really, Clark really lacks any sort of chemistry with ALL the women that DC is trying to set him up with and the lack of build-up is quite disheartening.
Let me bring up the "relationship" that Diana and Clark have restrictively been sharing in the pages of Justice League. Besides putting aside the fact that in both Superman and Wonder Woman's main titles, each writer refuses to acknowledge the existence of said interaction between the two characters for the most part, little has been done to solidify the impact of what happened, nor does anyone really know about it. Selfishly enough and for reasons I'd rather not bring up again, it seems that Geoff Johns is eagerly trying to create this new "status quo" that he stated the two would be creating for the NewDCU and the example that everyone would apparently follow. Listen, I have nothing against Diana as a character. She's fantastically written by Azzarello in her namesake title and I'd like to keep it that way, but what Johns has been demonstrating in his Justice League title is hilariously annoying. But my distaste for John's work on team books is a story for another time.
Jumping back to Diana and Clark. Not once, in the entire series until the most recent issues (12-14), has there been any notable interaction between the two characters. A seemingly large amount of creepy stares emanating from Superman coupled with some apologetic moments and we're supposed to believe that these two can build together one of the most influential relationships in the New 52? Sorry, I'm not buying it.
And then we have the icing on top of the cake. In issue 12 -- after Steve's dismissal as the League's liaison -- Diana takes his reaction and the entire situation poorly. Clark does what he does best and attempts to comfort her with "relatable" words. And in turn, out of the blue, with absolutely no build up or chemistry shown, a kiss is produced. The kiss that has had everyone talking since it's debut. Things were pulled back a little in following issues with Diana referencing the kiss as just a "spur of the moment" type deal and most recently in Justice League #14, we have Clark trying to comfort Diana once again and push the boundaries of their relationship by giving her a tour of his hometown and showing her the inspiration for his heroics. Unfortunately, that built up moment was short-lived again and another forced kiss was produced, this time with the always acceptable creeping from Batman.
Enough of that and finally moving onto Lois. As of so far in the New 52, even when regarding Action Comics -- which takes place five years in the past for the most part -- Lois has never looked at Clark as more than a friend but for him, it's much more than that. He's tried to win her affections and he's made it clear on several occasions. Sadly, Lois has only ever shown interest in Superman, despite having been Clark's partner for over five years at the Daily Planet before it's overtaking by Morgan Edge. In the last two issues of Superman (13 and 14), it has been clearly shown that Lois has decided to make things serious with her boyfriend; Jonathan Carroll. Obviously, this bothers Clark greatly and more than likely influenced his departure from the Daily Planet.
With Superman #14, we finally see Clark admit his feelings for Lois (to himself of course), dictating that even with the shared kiss he had with Diana, his true feelings for Lois never faltered nor weakened.
It's interesting to note this because it seems that not every writer that will be penning Superman is interested in making the relationship between Clark and Diana a priority and it's clearly evident with this most recent issue. On top of that, future writers Andy Diggle and Scott Snyder have both expressed great interest in Lois Lane as a character and a focus on her and Clark will be prominent. Of course, Diana is brought up, but it seems not everyone is exactly on board with what Johns is planning.
Anyways, back to Lois and Clark. We see some fun banter between the two characters in this issue. Lois remarking that her relationship with Clark is strictly friendship, albeit a strong one according to her. Clark calls her out on this in regards to not informing him about the move with Jonathan. Some more banter is thrown back, accusing Clark for being naggy, etc. The point I'm trying to make here is that -- in this single issue alone, several pages at best -- there is more chemistry shown between Lois and Clark than there has been in the entire series of Justice League up to this point with Clark and Diana. That's a sad fact to point out and should be a warning sign to the Editorial team at DC. Lois' feelings might try to be prevalent here, but it seems more just like a cover for something that she refuses to accept about Clark, true feelings that she might be keeping well hidden. Oh and one more thing, Rocafort draws one absolutely gorgeous Lois Lane.
But hey, these are just my useless thoughts. Everyone has their own opinions and are free to speak them. I know I'm not the only one who dislikes the forced relationship between Wonder Woman and Superman, but there also might be plenty of you who hate the idea that Lois might be returning into Clark's life as more than just a friend. Whatever the case may be, I hope DC decides to stop pulling marketing stunts and appeal to the fans once again.
Since it's explosive introduction back in 2001 that helped revolutionize console shooters for years to come, Halo has become recognized as one of the most innovative and adored franchises to hit the genre. What was once thought insane, Bungie was able to craft a first-person shooter on a console and not only have it succeed, but do so in ways that no one could ever imagine. In a market once dominated completely by PC's, consoles became relevant and many give credit to Bungie and Halo for accomplishing such a feat. Now with Bungie stepping down and 343 Industries taking the reins, how have they faired? Does Halo 4 reclaim it's title as king of the shooters or does it fall miserably short?
As many already know, Bungie has stepped down from their beloved franchise and has left it confidently in the hands of 343 Industries. Many were skeptical at this decision, especially due to the fact that it was Bungie's treasured possession. How could anyone re-invent their work? Thankfully, a lot of the good folks at 343 are ex-Bungie employee's who have Halo's future in their best interest. Is that enough though?
Halo 4 picks up some four years after the events of Halo 3 which left John and Cortana stranded in space aboard a mutilated ship, drifting through space with everyone presuming death. Let me just quickly get this out of the way. Disregarding the extended Halo universe, Master Chief had very little personality and nearly nothing to say and little reason for anyone to care for him throughout the games. Thankfully and surprisingly, 343 corrects that and gives players a reason to see Chief as a person, not just some unstoppable killing machine and for once, you actually feel his humanity and given reason to. Make no mistake, this story is not his, it's all about Cortana. While John has slept for the past four years, Cortana was left on her lonesome, with nothing to do but think and in turn, her age is slowly becoming the death of her. To anyone ignorant of the Halo universe, A.I.'s have a life expectancy of seven years. By that age, they begin to become rampant and quite literally think themselves to death as they can no longer process the information held within them. It soon becomes a struggle for Cortana as she helplessly loses her mind while trying to help Master Chief stop the incoming threats. It's a sad tale which walks the line of questioning who really is the machine and who is real.
The Chief is awoken to once fight again and as the Forward Unto Dawn is attacked by pocket resistances of the Covenant, the entire ship is being sucked into a Forerunner planet known as Requiem. The game's story takes precedence here as John and Cortana take it upon themselves to stop an ancient Forerunner threat known as the Didact, who is bent on destroying all of humanity. It is here that I would issue one of my only gripes pertaining to the campaign. Little information is given regarding this threat nor is much backstory explained without the inclusion of the novels. But the true story revolves around the two star characters and how their relationship grows. I can't give enough credit to 343 for brilliantly creating such an emotional and gripping story for a series that was once very poorly recognized for it's lore. The length of the campaign is but another minor gripe I might add. It only took me roughly 6-10 hours to beat the main campaign, albeit I never took it upon me to search for additional Terminals that provide substantial back-story into the game. What helps keep the game almost perfectly fleshed out is the excellent balance between on-foot and vehicle missions. The game expands into more of a sandbox in this situation and gives you the choice to either tackle it on foot or even jump into a Scorpion tank and annihilate anything in your path. Another wonderful addition to the vehicle side of things is the Mantis. An enormous, two story mech that's equipped with rockets and a mini-gun capable of eliminating anything short of a Phantom.
Newly introduced alongside the Covenant are the Promethean's. While having the Covenant back is like reuniting with an old friend, these new enemies require a completely new strategy and you are forced to work outside your comfort zone on many occasions. Promethean Knights are exceptionally smart, carefully avoiding your shots while playing aggressively one you decide to retreat. And to make matters worse, the Crawlers are just as relentless as they can reach multiple vantage points in order to attack you. With new enemies, comes a new arsenal and for the most part, it's pretty fantastic. The weapons range from short to long range and the majority even boast different firing options based on whether you scope the weapon or not. While some might never replace fan favourites such as the Battle Rifle, Energy Sword or Magnum, they are a welcomed treat and only help to diversify combat situations.
Now, Halo has never been recognized as one of the most graphically superior games of it's age. While it's never been a bad looking game, it was never exceptional either. That all changes with this most recent installment. With a new engine to work off of, 343 revamps the look of the game entirely and it can be said without a doubt that Halo 4 is one of the single most gorgeous looking games of it's time. From the expertly crafted cut-scenes, simply beautiful backdrops and some of the best facial animation I've seen this side of L.A. Noire. Halo 4 is a graphical force to be reckoned with and it is wonderfully coupled with amazing motion capture scenes that truly leaves the player enamoured.
On top of that, the sound design has been completely re-done. No longer are the returning weapons recognizable by mere sound anymore. This might come as a turn off to some, but truthfully, it shouldn't. The iconic returning weapons now sound more powerful than ever, packing a responsive punch with each pull of the trigger. Each piece of Master Chief's armour can be heard as he moves even in the slightest direction and it's incredible. But that's not the only change to come to the series. Sadly, Marty O'Donnell's extremely iconic theme is no longer heard as 343 opted for a new composer for Halo 4. Neil Davidge is O'Donnell's replacement and while his music will never strike a specific tone that the former's did, it is nothing if not atmospheric and appropriate. The voice work also takes a massive leap here and for the better. Both Master Chief and Cortana's voice actors are given more fleshed out lines and are given more room to breathe. As the story progresses, you can feel Cortana slipping and the fantastic voice work from Jen Taylor is commendable.
Replacing ODST's and Reach's popular firefight mode is Spartan Ops. Instead of keeping the popular wave based mode that has become popular over the past several years, 343 decides instead to create a weekly episodic feature that puts you in the shoes of a team of a Spartan-IV' and you are given the option to team up with up three other friends or by your lonesome if preferred. Each episode is split into five separate chapters, each with their own given objectives and while it's a fun addition, you aren't given much reason to jump back and replay each chapter. Theater and Forge also make a return and with very little changes.
And finally, we move on to the creme of the crop of Halo; multiplayer. Up until this point, one of the only reasons Halo has remained so relevant in the shooter genre is because of it's constantly innovative multiplayer. First revolutionized in Halo 2 and the introduction of Xbox Live in 2004, and only continued to improve with each installment, fans worried most that multiplayer would take the biggest hit. That is not the case as 343's endearing respect for the series is most evident here. The gameplay takes little visible change and is as fluid and responsive as ever. Unease spread through fans when new additions were announced though. Supply drops, which are similar to kill-streaks in Call of Duty, play a part in Halo 4's multiplayer, albeit not in every mode. Thankfully, what could have been unbalanced and over-powered, fits perfectly into the universe and does little to turn the tide massively in favour for one team as it might in other games. When a player garners enough kills, they are allowed a random choice between three items to choose from. It might be a weapon that will not spawn on the map, a speed boost or even a damage boost. But make no mistake, once selected, the item drops down on the map where the player selects it to and it all becomes fair game from there on out.
The ranking system first introduced in Halo Reach makes a comeback here where levelling is revolved around experience points. Competing objectives or racking up medals grants you a larger amount of experience points at the end of the match. Once you reach a new level, you are awarded a "Spartan Point" which can be used to purchase select pieces of armour or even alter your load-out weapons or armour abilities. Most of the familiar game types make a return with slight adjustments in roster size or name. The game ships out with 10 multiplayer maps, all with their own different feel and suited to different styles of play regarding the modes you play or the amount of players in the match. As with Halo Reach, it's apparent that with Forge mode, Community maps might become a part of the multiplayer again as there is countless variations to be made and selected from. If 343 is even only half as dedicated as Bungie was when it came to their community, expect to stick around for the long run.
With a brand new developer comes a cause for concern, especially when it comes to one that has never released anything prior. Such is not the case with 343 as their utmost dedication for Halo is clearly evident even without playing the game. Adding in not only one of the most gripping stories in the Halo universe but also re-creating a formula which was once though impossible, 343 sought out to continue Bungie's efforts in the best fashion they could and to put it simply, they created what could be the best Halo game to date.
Gearbox Software created a new genre with the release of the first Borderlands. For the first time, Gearbox managed to successfully blend RPG elements with FPS gameplay and the result was a massive cult hit. Borderlands succeeded with over-the-top action with a massive world and a chaotic cast of characters. The game was mostly regarded as widely successful with a few minor gripes and Gearbox now returns with Borderlands 2. Have they managed to improve on the first Borderlands? Let's find out.
Regarding the cast of characters, you're given a new set of vault hunters to choose from instead of being able to jump back into the shoes of the heroes from the first game. You're given the choice between four new classes to choose from this time around; Axton the Soldier, Zero the Assassin, Maya the Siren and Salvador the Gunzerker. For the most part, they all play relatively the same in regards to what weapons you can use, but it's their unique skills that sets them apart. Axton on one hand is able to toss down a turret, which once upgraded can blow apart your enemies with deadly rocket launchers or even spawn a second turret. On the other hand, the Gunzerker can duel wield weapons and every kill he racks up, improves his durability, speed and strength. Having all these unique skills for each class makes it quite the challenge picking between each character.
As for the supporting cast, Borderlands 2 assumes that the gamer has played the majority of the previous games DLC's and includes characters from the respective added content. Luckily, none of it is needed to truly understand what goes on in the game's main plot as Borderlands 2 explains all that is needed to know about their history. An additional surprise that Gearbox threw in is the return of the four Vault hunters from the original Borderlands; Lilith, Roland, Mordecai, and Brick. While they are un-playable, they serve as the leaders of the resistance and essentially guide you in your efforts to take down the maniacal Handsome Jack. You'll find yourself fighting against them from time to time, but for the most part, they remain as quest-givers.
The plot itself barely goes beyond a revenge story. Handsome Jack has taken control of the Hyperion Corporation and as such, has declared himself the leader of Pandora. Wiping out all resistance in his path and utilizing Pandora's resources to his advantage, the people of Pandora group together to form the Crimson Raiders, bent on eliminating Jack's control on their home. One of the weak points of the original was the lack of a proper story and while Borderlands 2 makes a slightly better effort this time around, it's not a notable one. Luckily, the supporting cast is interesting enough to carry the dull plot and keeps you interested enough to keep pressing forward until the end. The game does boast it's own set of collectibles in the form of audio recordings. Some will tell the story of Pandora in between the games and through the words of the heroes of the original game, while others will focus on the leading cast of Vault Hunters.
The mission structure in Borderlands 2 will be familiar for fans of RPG's. You speak with a specific character to receive a quest and are sent off at their request to do them a favour. One of the biggest annoyances while making my way through the side quests is the constantly recurring "fetch" quests you're sent on. The world is enormous, there is no doubting that, but when you're sent running back and forth across portions of the map only to grab the most redundant items, it becomes a chore.
Easily the most redeeming quality of Borderlands 2 this time around is the absolutely comical dialogue. The conversations to be over-heard between the cast of characters is simply priceless and you can't help but chuckle at some of the topics being discussed. The cel-shaded visuals make a return and while they haven't improved much over the original, the style remains unique and a pleasure to look at.
In accordance with the popular tagline, Borderlands 2 returns with 98 Bajillion more guns for your pure enjoyment and it's here that Gearbox truly succeeds. While there is only a certain amount of weapons to choose from; Assault Rifles, Pistols, Shotguns, Snipers, etc, almost each weapon you find while looting has it's own set of statistics that set it apart from one another and it's almost guaranteed that you won't find another gun identical to the other. The gameplay remains the same and quite honestly for the better as the gunplay was arguably the best part of the series and it's enjoyed even further with a group of friends by your side, eliminating everything in your path.
Borderlands 2 and Gearbox deliver again with the award winning gameplay and ridiculous cast of characters that will keep you occupied for hours on end and while the story might fail to grip the gamer, it does a better job that it's predecessor.
Resident Evil is a series that has seen a variety of changes throughout the years to it's once award-winning formula. Everything changed once Resident Evil 4 hit in 2005, changing the face of the series as we know it. Long gone was the camera controlled action along with slowly creeping around corners and newly introduced was a massive dose of third-person shooting while maintaining it's popular survival horror elements. Resident Evil 4 was critically acclaimed along the board and was believed to have inspired some of the more popular third-person action shooters of today. Capcom attempted to replicate this success with Resident Evil 5 and was treated with slightly mixed results albeit it was still mostly positive even when the game dropped the survival horror element for bigger action sequences and co-op, which was a first for Resident Evil.
Resident Evil 6 is now out and the amount of mixed results are staggering. The reviews range from near perfect scores to absolutely abysmal reviews that just rip the game apart limb from limb. Obviously, a reviewers opinion is his own and should only be taken with a grain of salt as if you're still curious, you should check it out for yourself, but here are my thoughts on a few hours in the game with each campaign.
There are three separate campaigns with two of them following arguably the series' two most popular characters: Leon Kennedy and Chris Redfield. The last follows a brand new character Jake Muller with connections with another major character but I'll leave out the spoilers.
First off is Leon's campaign. It attempts to harken back to Resident Evil games of old with creepy, dark corridors and even tossing in the traditional zombies again. Chris' campaign is basically Resident Evil 5 again. It boasts massive action sequences, with gun-wielding foes and enormous BOW's to face. As for Jake, his campaign is mostly similar to Chris' with a twist. The campaign takes a major focus on chase sequences where you sprint away from a massive BOW on a hunt for Jake and his partner Sherry Birkin.
Each campaign has it's own style in one sense or another but they all play relatively the same to one another. As for the gameplay, it takes a giant leap from the previous installments in the series with the biggest change of all: being able to move while shooting. Overall, the game takes a more action oriented focus when it comes to gun-play, allowing you to roll and dive around and newly introduced is the camera being able to fully rotate around the character instead of being locked to the shoulder. As with Resident Evil 5, this game re-introduces a cover system which is arguably one of most unusual additions to the series as it doesn't work at all. It's glitchy, you often find yourself not even being attached whatever surface you are up against and end up being shot up completely.
Capcom tried to re-integrate survival horror elements into the series by reducing the amount of ammo you receive and with that said, it's a ridiculous mistake due to the games massive action focus and you'll find yourself wasting the majority of your ammo quite quickly and being helpless especially in Chris or Jake's campaigns. Also a new addition is melee attacks. With a tap of a button, the character can initiate separate melee attacks that are limited by a small energy gauge. Sadly, melee attacks are far more effective than actually shooting your enemy in the head.
On top of that, weapon upgrades are now completely removed and the health system has been revamped. You get stuck with a set of weapons for each campaign, and while you can find a new weapon or two along the way, you can't choose what you want to use. Instead, a skill upgrade system has been chosen to replace weapon upgrades and to be quite frank, it's a lazy and boring mechanic. From what I saw, you had three slots to choose from and a massive list of skills to select, but still had to be bought or unlocked. They range from critical hits to improved piercing damage or even stronger melee attacks against certain enemies. As for the health system, you still pick up the different coloured herbs, but instead of using them as spray's, they now become ingested in pill form and each pill only fills a single block of health at a time.
As for the story, there are a large amount of cutscenes to be seen and while they are well produced, they occur far too often and break apart whatever tension there is in the gameplay. While the game remains enjoyable and has a decent control system for the most part, some of the new additions and changes are a little irritating and you'll find yourself dying... a lot. Although, you'll be interested to see how the story plays out and how each character interacts with one another.
It's that time of the week again and we're back for our third instalment of the Swole your Role where the lovely folks of ComicVine ask us questions regarding fitness, nutrition, etc and we use our experience and knowledge to answer to the best of our abilities!
Remember, this is just the questions thread where you simply leave questions and a respective answers thread will be made after we build up our responses.