“Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” had its second beta this weekend. Last weekend held the game’s exclusive beta on the PS4, but this weekend opened it to Xbox and PC owners also. What started as a closed beta on Friday, opened its doors to all users on Saturday and Sunday.

The question that every fan wants to know is how the gameplay stacks up to previous years. Surprisingly, this is the first “Call of Duty” that has felt fresh in a long time. The increased health from 100 to 150, the addition of enemy and friendly lifebars and the all-new healing mechanic sets it apart from its predecessors.

Taking cover to heal is a thing of the past. Now it’s a conscious decision and is given a dedicated button, which leaves you vulnerable for a split second while your character goes through the animation of injecting him or herself with a stim. This not only varies the gameplay, but also makes the choice of healing more tense.

“Black Ops 4” seems to have adopted multiplayer mechanics from “Overwatch” without straying too far from its roots. There are new specialists classes that have their own abilities and powerful super that can be unleashed usually once per match, but is based on performance. For instance the Firebreak specialist can use a powerful flamethrower and Battery unlocks a grenade launcher.

These classes are picked before the start of the round. Depending on the gametype, games are limited to one specialist per team, but gametypes like Team Deathmatch allow for duplicate specialists.



The beta started with a handful of maps and gametypes including, Team Deathmatch, Search and Destroy and the new Control gametype. The latter is round-based with one team on offense and the other on defense. The team on offense must capture two points of interest on the map. Of both areas are captured, that team wins the round. Each team also has only 25 lives per round. If the lives are depleted, the round ends.

This weekend added a few new goodies like a new map called Hacienda and a new gametype called Heist. In Heist, two teams of five must locate a briefcase and deliver it to an extraction point. In this mode, players can be down, but not out, and may be revived by teammates. This is a first for the “Call of Duty” franchise.

I played the beta on PS4 (launch version of the console) during the first weekend and PC during the most recent. Both ran smoothly, but suffered from a few of the same bugs. Wait times between matches were a tad too long, especially the load times when loading into a map. Joining a game in progress caused some oddities like teammates appearing to have no bodies and no gun loading in on your character. It’s a beta, so it’s safe to assume that these things will be ironed out in the future betas and the eventual launch.

Personally, I haven’t been excited for a “Call of Duty” in a long time, but the changes made to “Black Ops 4” seem like positive ones. If the beta was any indication, “Black Ops 4” is going to be a game that I sink a significant amount of time into this holiday season.

Published in The Game Guy

TechTest“Titanfall 2” is here! Ok, well not really. But “Titanfall 2” is close. EA and Respawn Entertainment dropped a titan-sized bit of gameplay with their newly released beta. It’s actually not even a beta. It’s official title is called a “pre-alpha tech test,” but that doesn’t seem to have an effect on the gameplay. It seems as polished as ever.


This wasn’t my first time playing “Titanfall 2.” I played one measly match at E3. Do you know kind of info you can gather from one match of an unreleased first-person shooter? Practically nothing. But now I’ve played dozens of matches. I’ve hit level 8 in this pre-launch build, and “Titanfall 2” builds on ideas from the first game while adding depth and strategy.

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Evolvecover2K’s and Turtle Rock’s “Evolve” Big Alpha arrived last week giving the public its first hands-on look at the team’s upcoming big idea. The arena-style game pits four hunters against one player-controlled monster. The gameplay is basically a boss fight for four players, and a game of cat and mouse as the monster.


Since this is just an alpha that contains early gameplay, everything experienced should be taken with a big grain of salt. Things will be changed and improved. Weapons and classes will be balanced. A lot will happen between now and the game’s February release date. Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s dissect all the action from the “Evolve” alpha.

Published in The Game Guy
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 12:00

Xbox One early impressions

The consoles deemed as next-gen are officially current gen. The Xbox One had its kickoff weekend, which means I spent a copious amount of time glued to it, trying to see what it’s all about. Like most consoles, there were things I loved and things that I found to be less than stellar. Here are my impressions of the Xbox One in three easy to digest categories: the good, the bad, and the questionable.

Published in The Game Guy

I picked up my copy of God of War III this morning at midnight to see Kratos’ triumphant return with his first title on the Playstation3.  Without giving away any plot points to keep this post spoiler free, I wanted to share my impressions of the first hour of the game.  A full review will follow later this week.

As soon as you start controlling Kratos, the visuals will floor you.  The scale of the environment is epic and the direction of viewing angles is truly something to behold. Graphically, these are the best I’ve ever seen on the Playstation3, hands down.  The opening scene sets the tone of the game and story beautifully and is also one of the best prologues I’ve ever seen in a video game.

The only thing I’ll say about the story in this post is this:  you absolutely need to play the first two God of Wars before playing this installment to understand the story.  It picks up right where GOW 2 left off.

The play control is practically flawless.  There isn’t much about the controls of God of War 1 and 2 to complain about either, but you can’t knock Sony Sana Monica for sticking with a gameplay formula that works.  If you’re familiar with the control scheme of the earlier titles in the series you’ll feel right at home.

The “quicktime events,” or the events that take place when you need to press a button as it appears on the screen, have never looked better.  The viewing angle zooms in on the action to show the combat in great detail and the buttons appear on the side of the screen that relate to where the buttons are on the controller.  This alleviates some of the stress involved with the “quicktime events” of the God of Wars of old.

So far, God of War III is shaping up to be everything that Sony promised and is certainly worth the wait.  I am really looking forward to seeing how the story unfolds.  Check back to read my full review for more details on God of War III.

Published in The Game Guy

The biggest event for the video game industry, E3, kicks off on Tuesday!  Check back here all this week for live updates from L.A.  The expo starts on Tuesday, but there will be major announcements tomorrow from Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Activision.

Be sure to bookmark the blog to see the latest news, announcements, and hand-on impressions of E3's biggest titles.




Published in The Game Guy

The biggest event for the video game industry, E3, kicks off on Tuesday!  Check back here all this week for live updates from L.A.  The expo starts on Tuesday, but there will be major announcements tomorrow from Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Activision.

Be sure to bookmark the blog to see the latest news, announcements, and hand-on impressions of E3's biggest titles.



Published in The Game Guy
Monday, 02 August 2010 07:53

What's Happening This Week

Starcraft II

This week has some tasty tidbits on the way.  I somehow managed to get through Starcraft II without smashing my laptop to pieces.  Multiplayer has been equally stress-inducing, but frustration aside the review is almost complete for this RTS and will be posted later tonight. 

Madden 11

Can you feel it?  Football season is on the horizon.  The joy and heartbreak when following your beloved team, the fantasy leagues, the Sundays spent sitting in front of the TV and…..another Madden game.  Madden 11 will hit shelves next week, but I’ll have early impressions of the game later this week.  Word is that EA worked hard on some game changes and some AI adjustments to set this apart from past Madden titles.  Bring on the season!


Be sure to check back for these updates, plus all the other gaming news that awaits us this week. 

Published in The Game Guy
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