The Game Guy

 

The upcoming first-person action game “Dying Light” received the E3 trailer treatment today. Developers Techland showed off some of the fast-paced zombie slaying that will be shown at E3 next week in Los Angeles.

Join the conversation:

 

Uncharted 3 Boxart

UPDATE (11:55): It seems the free "Uncharted 3" deal is no more. The game is now listed as "disc only" on Sony's marketplace. Multiplayer modes remain free to play. The deal was live and confirmed earlier this morning, but it seems it was an error. 

Even though deal has been removed from the store, don't rule out "Uncharted 4" news next week at E3. 

The original story on "Uncharted 3" being free for PSN users can be found below.

_________________________________

 

E3 2014 preparation is kicking into high gear this week, and Sony may be laying the groundwork for a major announcement at their upcoming press conference. Developer Naughty Dog’s critically acclaimed action/adventure title “Uncharted 3” has been made available as a free download to all PlayStation Network users. Formerly, only the game’s multiplayer modes were available for free.

Join the conversation:

Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment teased the new Batmobile Battle Mode in “Batman: Arkham Knight.” The trailer comes on the heels of news that the highly anticipated game from Rockstready Studios has been delayed from late 2014 to 2015.

Join the conversation:

Longrunning fighting series “Mortal Kombat” is getting a new entry called “Mortal Kombat X.” An announcement trailer was released today, featuring the new song “Can’t Be Stopped” by Pittsburgh’s own Wiz Khalifa.

Join the conversation:

AlwaysSometimesMonsterscoverSPOILER ALERT: This review will discuss my character’s ending of “Always Sometimes Monsters.” Sorry. I tried to find a way around it, but the ending is a key part of the game’s tone.

Choice has become a central theme of current games. It is the evolution of the RPG. Players can control and fill the role of a character, but choice truly makes the character their own. The character becomes a mirror.

This is the core value of “Always Sometimes Monsters,” a 16-bit style RPG from indie studio Vagabond Dog. It plays like a simulation of life more so than “The Sims.” Rather than focusing on monotony like managing income or rearranging furniture like “The Sims,” this game is driven by humanity.

Join the conversation:

'Watch Dogs' reivew - Tech boom

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 03:01 AM Written by

 

Watch Dogs box artThe wait is finally over for Ubisoft Montreal’s “Watch Dogs.” After five years of development and nearly two years since it was first announced, this unique take on the open-world genre is ready to release. A development period like this one brings lofty expectations. Judging by the game’s quality, it looks like Ubisoft may have found their next big franchise.

 

It’s no easy task to make waves with a new open-world title. Rockstar Games’ “Grand Theft Auto” series casts a large shadow over the genre, while the popular “Saints Row” series has carved its own humorous niche. “Watch Dogs” proves there’s still room for innovation. That innovation is the power of modern technology.

Join the conversation:

ArkhamAttention Batman fans, AKA everyone: there’s a new trailer for “Batman: Arkham Knight.” Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment released a first look at the gameplay of this highly anticipated title set to release later this year.

Join the conversation:

 

WolfensteinCover“Wolfenstein: The New Order” could be a wrongful victim of stigma. Classic franchises often receive the reboot treatment with the sole purpose of cashing in on the recognizable name. Reboots are more often lackluster than they are noteworthy, but “The New Order” is the exception. MachineGames created a story-focused first-person shooter that stays engaging for nearly its entire tenure.

In a genre that continues to put more of a focus on multiplayer modes, this new “Wolfenstein” goes against the grain. There are no multiplayer modes of any kind. Instead, narrative takes center stage with the story of an alternate history in the post-World War II era.


Captain Blazkowicz fights for the U.S. forces in 1946 to take down the German regime. While carrying out a mission, he’s struck by shrapnel that lodges itself in his brain. The injury puts Blazkowicz into a 14-year coma. He wakes in 1960 to learn that the Nazi Army is the world’s superpower, since the American forces surrendered after Germany dropped the first atom bomb.

Not being one to sit back and let evil succeed, Blazkowicz becomes a key member of The Resistance. “The New Order” follows him and his small team in their quest to dismantle the Nazi forces.

Blazkowicz isn’t the most dynamic character, but his persona fits with a soldier’s mentality. His primary skill is Nazi killing. He combats brutality with brutality, which has always been the general nature of the “Wolfenstein” franchise.

I’m admittedly always a fan of seeing fictional takes on historical events. “The New Order” succeeds because of its in-game world. Exploring this steampunk-esque nightmare of evil atrocities is the chief pillar that supports the entire experience. The German regime is obsessed with achieving power through science. Their land is patrolled by mechs. Other enemies have their flesh infused with metal. Gigantic robotic dogs called Panzerhounds keep any opposition in check.

The steampunk WWII style isn’t a new concept, but this one succeeds thanks to its detail and devotion to the idea. German grenades are named after their assumed inventor, Nikola Tesla. Popular music of the era is all sung in German. The world is littered with newspaper clippings that reinforce the strength of the Nazi army and the hell it has brought on the world. The game is occasionally campy a la a Quentin Tarentino movie, but the world feels authentic throughout.

Wolfenstein 1

The gameplay is a clean approach to throwback first-person shooting mechanics. “The New Order” features fast paced gunplay with choice. The arsenal is the typical fare of pistols, machine guns, rifles and knives. Each weapon can be dual-wielded to add some extra firepower with the sacrifice of speed and accuracy. In a surprising turn for a series that has never been about subtle combat, stealth plays a large role in many of the levels. Blazkowicz can sneak around and take out enemies from behind. This is particularly helpful when eliminating officers who have the ability to sound the alarms and call reinforcements.

Blazkowicz has sets of skills that can be upgraded based on the style of play. Different perks can be unlocked by racking kills in a specific fashion like running and shooting or knife throwing. It’s difficult to unlock all of his perks in one playthrough, but fortunately you can replay chapters to look for collectables and unlock more perks. Secrets called Enigma Codes unlock additional game modes, but there are a lot of them and they aren’t easy to find.

The story also promotes multiple playthroughs. Decisions have to be made throughout the story that slightly alter which characters are present and cutscenes of dialogue. These decisions aren’t earth-shattering ones that will give you a completely different ending, but they’re important enough to make me curious about the other paths.

Wolfenstein2

These kinds of story elements as well as the brilliantly realized environment keep “The New Order” engaging, but occasional moments within the base of The Resistance grind the action to a halt. The Resistance headquarters is often a stopping point between missions. While there, Blazkowicz’s skills are reduced to fetching items for different Resistance members. The gameplay becomes so tedious in these moments that I dreaded ever being brought back to the HQ. At one point, Blazcovicz mutters “I’ve become an errand boy.” How do you think I feel, Blazzie?

The game often suffers from technical problems in the sound department, a much larger issue for a game driven by narrative. Character dialogue and Blazcovicz’s inner monologue are almost always drowned out by ambient noise or the game’s score. I tried playing with headphones, and the result was no different from my soundbar. There are no sliders to adjust voice and music volumes, so it stays a problem with no solution.

Aside from the poor sound editing and occasional lull in the action, this game is a surprising success. When a game is strictly single-player, the story needs to deliver. This story does, plus brings polished gameplay as an FPS. “Wolfenstein: The New Order” is a sleeper hit of 2014.

8.75 out of 10

 

Pros:

Brilliantly realized environment
Tight throwback FPS gameplay
Perks and decisions promote multiple playthroughs

 

Cons:

Poor sound editing
Fetch quests

 Platform   Xbox One (reviewed), PS4, PS3, Xbox 360, PC 
 Release Date   5/20/2014
 Price  $59.99
 Rated   M for Mature
 

 

Join the conversation:

Page 4 of 47