Posts Tagged ‘FPS’

New Medal of Honor Multiplayer Trailer

September 9, 2010

Earlier today EA posted a new Medal of Honor multiplayer trailer on the PlayStation Blog (seen above) for a mode called Combat Mission. I’m not going to analyze the details of the trailer, as I mainly just wanted to post the trailer and my response to it since it has me rather excited about the online portion of Medal of Honor. This is because the mode shown in the trailer is objective based and requires teamwork. Variations on deathmatch are fun and all, but having actual objectives besides “kill x amount of dudes” makes for a much more engaging game in my opinion. Thankfully I won’t have to wait too long before I can play this mode, and other portions of Medal of Honor, as it comes out on October 12, 2010.

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Killzone 3 E3 2010 Footage & Release Date

June 23, 2010

Killzone 3 was prominently featured in Sony’s E3 2010 conference, and for good reason. It is absolutely gorgeous looking, and could turn out to be one of the best looking games I’ve ever seen. Besides looking great, Killzone 3 will also try to help Sony back their big 3D and Move support.

Unfortunately I wasn’t at E3, so I couldn’t see the 3D effects myself, but the opinions seem to be a mixed bag. Some people love it and others are just saying why even bother doing this. I happen to fall more in line with the later group of people. However, if it adds something substantial to the game then I’d be first to say I am wrong about adding 3D to games.

Sony also announced that Killzone 3 will support their motion controller, which is called Move at E3. Much like 3D, I am still not really sold on motion controls. The Move does seem precise enough to be used in a shooter but I just don’t know if its enough to make me want to switch from the DualShock 3. However, I do think it is great they are adding these controls to more “hardcore” games as it should make it easier for people not comfortable with the DualShock 3 to play these games. If the Move is precise enough, it could even draw in people that prefer using a mouse to play FPS’s. Simply by adding these alternate controls it could potentially increase the audience for the Killzone series, which is a very good thing.

That’s enough about all this tech stuff, back to the actual game. According to Guerilla Games they are going to be adding a lot to the sequel. From adding a ton of variety to the locations in Killzone 3, new weapons, better melee, and different gameplay segments to keep it fresh. In the new E3 gameplay trailer (seen above) you will see that this isn’t just talk, Guerilla Games is actually backing it up. They are also supposedly adjusting the feel of the shooting, making it not feel as weighty as Killzone 2. This is something fans of other FPS’s seemed to complain about with the last game. If it makes the game more accessible and more fun to play, then I am ok with the change. I just hope they don’t make it too much of a twitch shooter and lose the feel of the Killzone games which makes it feel different than other FPS’s.

Another important change to the game is the environments. In Killzone 3 we will see much more variety, and not just in the style of the environments. Killzone 3 won’t just be another corridor shooter. The environments will be much larger. This will allow for different types of gameplay and for the enemies to have a higher level of AI, which the developers have said will be the case. This may be a problem, as from the looks of the game I will probably want to just take in the beautiful environments leading to me getting torn apart by the Helghast.

The snowy landscape in the demo just looks amazing. The raging seas in this location are probably the best looking in-game ocean I’ve seen, and makes the environment feel even more alive. We will see more than just dark industrial areas and bleak snow filled vistas in Killzone 3. According to Guerilla Games we will also be seeing jungles, and much more.

I guess this write up wouldn’t be complete without talking about the jet packs. I wasn’t quit sure what to make of this when it was first announced, but from all the demos and the E3 footage it looks like they are adding a lot to the game. They can be used for platforming and make traversal much faster in the more open gameplay of Killzone 3. It also looks like a lot of fun to shoot down jet pack wearing Helghast. Overall I’m impressed with their implementation of them. I didn’t know I wanted first-person jet packs in a game until now.

It looks like Killzone 3 is shaping up to be a fabulous FPS, and should make fans of the series very happy. There is still a long wait ahead of us, as the game isn’t releasing into February 28, 2011. I’m sure we will get more details about the other settings or weapons as we approach that date, but the only thing we really need to hear about now is what Guerilla Games is going to do with multiplayer. Hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to hear about this, and maybe we will even get co-op this time around.

Killzone 3 Scans

May 21, 2010

Ok, so earlier today one screenshot (above) of what was said to be Killzone 3 was leaked. It features several Helghast in new winter gear as they appear to be in a snow covered environment. I’m a sucker for snow levels, and just imagining what Guerilla Games could pull off with their Killzone 2 engine has me very excited. However, I wasn’t sure how real this image was. Well, it looks like I was wrong to doubt it. It is real and it seems we are on the brink of an official announcement of Killzone 3.

Some scans (seen here) have since been leaked of the upcoming issue of GamePro, which will have a world premier of the game. They show some familiar faces, new places, snow, jet packs, and other assorted awesome-ness.

Here are some details from the actual GamePro article which were posted by a user on Game Spot’s forums that I found interesting:

– Will have the feeling that “of being in a place far away from home, outnumbered by people who want to kill you.”

– Will include arctic levels.

– Game is playable in 3D!

– Have to wear 3D glasses, apparently the 3D effects are “crazy.”

– Hand to hand combat involves you “Unloading a string of different (and often brutal) attacks on stunned enemies.”

– The scale is supposed to be “bigger this time.”

– The Jet-packs are “surprisingly lightweight and agile, Killzone 3’s jet-pack is easier to maneuver compared to the sluggish incarnations of the gadget found in other games.”

– Will show off the Helghast culture.

– There is actually a Helghast language, which will be explored in the game.

– Will have “diverse locales.”

Hopefully this is just the beginning of the information about this game. It is quit possible that journalist have already seen the game, or are going to get a good look at it around E3. I’d also imagine Sony will have an in-game trailer or maybe even gameplay of Killzone 3 during their E3 press conference. Hopefully they aren’t banking on it being in 3D as the major selling point, as I could care less about that. I just want another beautiful action packed FPS with a great setting and atmosphere. I guess this is just one more reason I can’t wait for E3 to come.

Borderlands Review

February 6, 2010

BorderlandsPublisher: 2k Games Developer: Gearbox Software
Platform: PS3, Xbox 360, PC  /  Genre: FPS, RPG  /  Release Date: October 20, 2009

Do you like shooting lots of things, finding a lot of things, and hoarding  those things until you find better replacements? Well, then you will most likely thoroughly enjoy Gearbox’s newest game Borderlands. The first person shooter (FPS) and  role playing game (RPG) hybrid with a lot of style and a lot of fun.

Story:

Welcome to Pandora. Get some guns, rescue some people and robots, kill lots of people and lots of creatures, and collect stuff… I think that sums up the story of Borderlands. I know there is more to it, but the game never really centers on the story. Instead your lust for more loot and new areas is what drives you to progress through Borderlands.

The basic story is that you are searching for the legendary vault on the desolate and mostly abandoned planet called Pandora. Pandora has mostly been left to its own devices, after settlers found very little worthwhile on the planet to make any profit from. The only substantial things on Pandora are alien artifacts, ruins, weapons, and the vault. This vault supposedly holds alien technology, artifacts, and good old fashion wealth. However, it only opens every 200 years and everyone that has discovered it has never returned.

You are lead through out the games many missions by the “angel”, whom watches over you and tells you how to reach the vault. Besides this angle, you’ll run into several characters that add something to the game besides the missions they provide. However, all of this still plays second fiddle to the actual gameplay and good old fashioned lust for loot.

Gameplay:

Borderlands is suppose to be a FPS and RPG hybrid, but to be honest it is much more FPS than RPG. So for me, that let me down to a certain extent. However, the smooth shooting controls make the game so fun to play that it doesn’t really matter that the RPG elements are rather lack luster.

The story moves you forward in the game, as you are given missions that you have to complete to access new areas of the world and to open even more missions. These missions are what structure the game. You can get them by talking to people, finding things out in the emptiness of Pandora, or from several job bulletin boards. In general the missions are varied enough to keep you occupied enough to seek them out and finish them. You’ll want to complete them in order to level up so you can use some of the higher end weapons. Basically, it is all in service of you shooting, killing, and looking for more loot.

Besides gaining experience for your level you can also grow your character in two other ways. When you use weapons you gain proficiency in that weapon class. So the more you use a type of weapon the better you become at using said weapon class. This adds some small bonuses, like increasing accuracy and so on. I found myself using about 3 different types of weapons, and then forcing myself to use the other types just level them up some for missions where they would become very useful for.

The skill tree is the other way to customize and grow your character. This is probably the most recognizable RPG element of the game. You select different skills with points you ear as you level up. After dumping enough of them into any one skill another skill on that path will open up. It sounds like a familiar and useful RPG mechanic, but it sadly falls short. I barely felt any difference in how I specialized my characters. In general, these skills didn’t change how I played the game or how my characters felt. If they had more notable effects on your character I think that would have been better.

Speaking of characters, you have to choose from one of four characters at the start of the game. These characters are basically different classes. You can be a hunter (sniper/scout), a soldier (generalist among the group), Brick (melee/tank/berserker), and a Siren (has a magical phase ability). You start out with different equipment for each character and at the beginning of the game you’ll play towards their strengths. However, as you progress once again I found myself feeling that all the classes generally blend into however I played. Since you can use whatever guns you want, you can make any of them good at whatever weapon you like using. This is probably good, as you wouldn’t want to be stuck with a limited arsenal or even worse get stuck at a part of the game because your class wasn’t really suited to the mission.

At first I didn’t really like how you can’t upgrade your weapons, but since there is a steady stream of new guns and equipment I eventually got over it. However, I always found myself wishing I had more storage space. In Fallout 3 you could get your own place where you could store a ton of stuff. There should have been some kind of storage system in this game when it released. There is now a bank where you can store stuff, but you need to buy a $10 DLC pack to access it. That is just feels really wrong to me.

Gearbox claims that Borderlands has some insane number of guns. It does have a ton of them, but they fall into a few categories just with differences in stats and special characteristics. Some add fire damage, poison, shock, explosions, higher percentage for critical hits, damage multipliers, unlimited ammo, and so on. You will reach a point where you barely find any new guns that are better than what you currently have. This became a little disappointing. Once again, I think a better system would have been to allow actual  customization of your guns. Allowing the player to mix and match parts, modifiers, and abilities would add a great depth to the weapons. It would also feed into the great loot whoring aspect of Borderlands.

Online:

The online aspects of Borderlands are pretty much identical to the single player experience with a few differences. Probably the co-op, both online and local, portion of the game is what most people that want some multiplayer action from Borderlands will play. This allows you to jump in and out of a players game to play along side them. The missions and objectives don’t change, but the amount of enemies and loot does change. With more enemies comes more loot. Also, the game will try to find a balance for the level of the enemies which could lead to better loot if you are a lower level than another player.

There are some other multiplayer options, but they aren’t all that deep or too much fun in my opinion. These other options are variations of Player versus Player action. At any point of the game you can trade melee attacks and go into a in-pomp-to duel with another player. Normally your fire doesn’t hurt your teammates but once you’ve engaged in a duel it does. A bubble will pop up around the two that are dueling and remain there until one is victorious. Players not engaged in the duel can’t effect the dueling players.

The other PVP option is to enter arenas. In this arenas you can go play 1 on 1 or 2 on 2 against other players. Once again you are in a closed off area and play until you kill each other. You can have it set for different amount of rounds for each arena battle. So it could be best out of 3 wins. Once your rounds are over you warp back out of the actual arena and can either set up a new match of leave and continue gunning your way across Pandora.

Overall I think being able to play through the whole campaign in Borderlands is a good idea and great fun for those that enjoy multiplayer. For me, I mainly enjoy single player so it doesn’t add much to the game personally but I can see why other people would really enjoy it. Hell, there are a lot of hours in this game so being able to share some or all of them with a friend is a nice thing.

Conclusion:

Borderlands is a highly addictive game, but there are some flaws that hold the game back from being great. The game play and overall presentation are very strong. However, you will notice some graphical problems. The art direction wouldn’t make you think Borderlands runs on the Unreal Engine (UE), but as soon as you see the slow texture load times and framerate issues you will immediately suspect that the UE is under the hood. The textures take a significant time to load when you access a new area . You will also notice ground vegetation pop up, almost like it is rapidly growing as you approach it. This mainly happens when you load a new area or are moving quickly through an area (running or driving). The framerate will dip when there are a lot of enemies on screen, especially if they are all close to you. This problem also occurs during multiplayer as well. Both of these things are not game breaking, but disappointing and annoying.

The graphical and engine problems are not my main complaint about the game, the story, characters, very light RPG elements, and overall blending of everything are. I found myself not caring about finding the vault, my character, or most of the other characters that populate Pandora. They take a page out of Bioshock’s book and try to add more back story through logs you can collect around the world. To me it felt like they were trying too hard with these, and they didn’t really draw me into the game anymore. And for all the supposed RPG elements, it never really feels like one. Yes, you gain experience, level up, and there are skill trees. However, these elements don’t really make your characters feel all that different.

Like I’ve said earlier in this review, the loot and gameplay are the real stars of the game. I generally enjoyed exploring Pandora in search for more things to shoot and more things to collect. However, the repeating enemy types is somewhat disappointing. I really wish there were more types of enemies and more variation in the game. Towards the end of the game you finally get into some truly different locations, but it is only the end of the game. If there was more variation in both the environments and enemies it would  have made it feel more fresh. Also, the final boss was very disappointing.

Overall I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Borderlands, but I came away wanting more from it. There is a great base here, but the lack of variety in almost all aspects of the game gave me an impression of a not totally realized game. I know I probably sound like I am nit-picking this game to death, but that’s because I can see what Gearbox was going for and hopefully where they will go in a sequel. If you are wondering whether or not you should get this game, it comes down to one simple question. Do you like loot? If so, there is no reason not to buy this game. If you aren’t that driven by the lust for new weapons, well then you might find yourself let down by Borderlands but I’d still urge you to check it out as it is a very fun game.

SCORE: 8/10

My Initial MAG Impressions

February 2, 2010

MAG (formerly Massive Action Game) is probably one of the worse and shallow named games ever, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a surprisingly deep game. I’m not sure if I’ll end up doing a review on this game, but I just wanted to give some of my impressions of the game so far.

First of all, let me begin by saying I had no intention of getting this game. I had no interest in it at all. I never looked into trying the beta, and have never been a big fan of online multiplayer (especially in FPS). So why the heck am I playing MAG like a mad man all of the sudden? Hell, I don’t even fully understand it but that is why I wanted to write about it.

MAG may look like a normal FPS, but it feels so different to me than other FPS games. I have no problem with playing the single-player aspects of the more twitchy FPS games. However, I was never compelled to go online in those games. Knowing how they are usually filled with obnoxious and loud kids was one of the main reasons I didn’t care to dive into them. They seemed to attract people I would never really want to interact with. So jumping into an online only game like MAG seemed like it would be a total nightmare, but that is not the case at all.

A few days before the release of MAG I started getting really interested in the game. Like I said before, I don’t even know why my interest was peaked. Maybe it was some of the videos I started seeing, maybe it was the leveling up system I started reading about, and then there was the teamwork aspect of the game.. I guess it was a lovely combination of all these things. So on a whim I decided to go ahead and pick the game up. Taking my first real dive into the world of online multiplayer, and I am so glad I did.

Since I got MAG I haven’t put another game in my PS3. It starts off a little rough, but quickly grew on me. You will die often when you first start playing, especially if you aren’t familiar with the maps, the game itself, and online shooters. I am primarily an RPG guy, so this was pretty much all new territory for me. Luckily, they start you off on smaller maps and a team deathmatch mode. This allows you to get familiar with game’s controls, guns, and the overall feel. After you gain some levels and skill points you can start crafting your character. I picked up some medic skills as it seemed like they are always needed and can really help your team. I also picked up a couple upgrades to my guns, which made a huge difference in how I could play with them. These skills really started to make my character play how I wanted to play. This leveling system is great and has me really involved in it like an RPG would.

I’ve started playing the larger game modes now. It is just amazingly fun and addictive. I’ll sign on to play just a few matches and then realize hours have passed. Like I’ve said, I am not a huge FPS fan but MAG has a different feel and these little hooks that have me thoroughly enjoying it.

I guess the main difference in the gameplay that is resonating with me is how it is more tactical than your average FPS. Playing as a team makes a huge difference. You don’t need a mic, but if you have one it would be a good thing. Although as long as your leader and a few others have mics you should be fine. This way they can call out enemies, objectives, plans, and when they need a medic or mechanic. Holding down a specific spot with a team feels great, like you are really contributing to a team and a larger cause. You can’t just run around the vast maps trying to take down squads on your own. This will pretty much guarantee a quick death.

If you are a little hesitant about the game due to its size, or because you are a “noob” like me, I’d say don’t fret about it. You should really consider giving this game a shot. I’d think MAG is a must own for all FPS fans. For people like me who primarily grew up on RPGs, action games, platformers, and other single-player games should also give MAG a much closer look. Like me, you could easily become entrenched in deep and tactical FPS that will scratch your RPG itch as well.