So, after Bulletstorm whetted my appetite for shooter games after awhile away, I went to my local GameStop looking for a new fix. Shooters – both first person and third – are a favorite game type of mine, because they really do more than any other game style to showcase the capabilities of a system. Modern shooters features fast action, multiple enemies moving around, explosions, complex geography setups, elaborate set pieces and of course have to deal with the unknown element of a human being holding a controller, so it’s really, really easy to screw up some portion of that delicate mixture and end up with a game flat like a bad soufflé. To that end, when I got to GameStop and realized that I was just in time for the release of Crysis 2, I thought that the sequel to the game that’s still used as the gold standard of video game and machine performance would be a good one to give a shot.
Normally when I do the overview for a new review, I try – emphasis on the word “try” – to do it in a manner consistent with the tone of the series or game or what have you that I’m reviewing. I’m not going to try doing that for Bulletstorm, though, for two reasons. First, while I’m all too aware that my language isn’t among the cleanest out there, I’m just not quite crass and rude enough to pull it off for this one. Second, the game’s obsession with a particular portion of the human male anatomy is one of my complaints for this title, and I don’t really want to fall into the same trap. So, with that said…
Once upon a time, there was a young boy playing in his room, keeping the loneliness at bay; trying to hold back the gloom…
Where upon four mischievous rats, with their eyes that bulged and their claws that scratched, stole his toys with a speed, though he tried, the he could not hope to match.
Running and scurrying about, they lead the boy out; a merry chase so full of haste…deep into the forests of yore and doubt.
There within a tree, now a stump, he finds a crown…he puts it on, then looks around…
Seeing now that on this day, somehow, some way, he is king of this merry land…filled only at the moment with his advisors, jokers, and knaves.
"This should not stand, this should not be," cried as one; his advisors three. "We need carpenters, soldiers, farmers, and people! Not these lumps of lard and carefree sheeple!"
"And when we get them, and amass our army," said the old one, malicious and smarmy, "The world shall be min…err…OURS…and it'll be a helluva party!"
The Little King thought this over; head bowed and back bow over. It sounded good, it really did. Perhaps with a Princess or two…or even Seven instead.
For this, he did as he must, for all were giving of the deepest of trust; however his brow often furrowed, his mind started clouding with a worrying rust.
Because the signs and portents found in travels and news, with a sea that sighed and an earth shaking booms, told him that unless he could find a way to decipher these clues, the world as he knew it was totally doomed.
Megatron has lit the fires of rebellion within the city state of Kaon. In the ensuing conflict he killed Sentinel Prime in one on one combat thus starting the great Cybertronian Civil War which has ravaged the world for uncounted millenia. Now, however, Megatron thinks he's found a source of power that will enable him to tip the balance of power in the war permanently into his favor. Though Megatron may have killed or rendered ineffective every other commander of the Autobot forces, the field commander Optimus will not quietly wait for slavery or death to come for him and his fellow Autobots, no matter the cost.
Let me start this off by admitting that all in all, major stealth games are generally not my cup of tea. It's not that I can't play through a game stealthily – quite the opposite, I usually take every chance I can to avoid/eliminate an opponent from as far away as possible, and there's a reason that nine times out of ten, the sniper rifle is my preferred weapon. There's a difference, though, between that, and a 'major' stealth game, that being that in a 'major' stealth game the goal isn't so much to eliminate your enemies as it is to complete your objectives without alerting the entire world to your presence. That's something difficult to do when you bang down the door and start spraying the enemy contingent with pulse rifle fire. So, with that in mind, I decided to take a look at Splinter Cell: Conviction after playing through the demo and being pleasantly surprised by it.
While he didn't participate in the Crusades himself, Dante Alighieri the poet was a member of the Guelph cavalry, in the years before he penned the three parts of one of the greatest pieces of literature in the history of the world, the Divine Comedy. This epic consisted of three parts, the Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso. They described a journey taken by Dante, guided by the Roman poet Virgil, and later his unrequited love Beatrice, as he became lost and misled at the midpoint of his life. He descended through hell, Virgil teaching him about each of the nine rings and some of the inhabitants within, then ascended through purgatory's nine levels and eventually into paradise's nine levels. The poems were unusual in that while they did tell a story, story telling was not their primary purpose. Instead, they served much more as a sort of roadmap to the journey, crafting through word and prose a vision that to this day defines hell, and to a lesser extent purgatory and heaven. That roadmap is the one that Visceral Games decided to illuminate with their own interpretation of Dante's Inferno.
Batman has been a fixture in the world of DC Comics since he was created in the late 1940's, rising to become one of the trinity pillars of DC's many, MANY superheroes. Dark and brooding, though he has allies in his personal war, Batman has most often stood alone against the criminals that overrun Gotham. His personal rogues gallery includes some of the most colorful figures of villainy ever devised, from the sexy and seductive dryad-like Poison Ivy to Gotham's Crown Prince of Comedy himself, the Joker. Gotham city itself, the protectorate of the dark knight, has grown to become a living, breathing entity over the years, a creature fighting to overcome the sickness trying to devour it. And in all of Gotham, if there's one place that could be called the source of the infection, it would have to be a small island in the middle of Gotham Bay named Arkham Island… the home of Arkham Asylum.
Armageddon, the final battle between Heaven, Hell, and Earth in which the fate of creation shall be decided, has come. Streaking to the ground in balls of living fire, the armies of Heaven and Hell lay waste to the Earth and its people, who are not yet strong enough to withstand such an onslaught. Enter into this conflict the awesome visage of War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, there to bring order to the conflict; only to find out that the Earth was not ready, his fellow Horsemen not present, and the final seventh seal was not broken. Recalled by the Charred Council and accused of starting the final conflict prematurely, War is stripped of most of his power, and given the chance to clear his name after being sent back to Earth. There he finds nearly a century has passed and the humans all dead leaving the demonic hordes to run rampant over the ruins of a shattered world. It's going to be a Helluva trip; time to saddle up, lock and load, and show everyone the why for and the whatnot, because they just pissed off the wrong mother fucker.
As I believe I've mentioned before, I personally rather enjoy World War II era games, despite the general consensus that they've been played out these days. The Call of Duty series was always a spectacular example of what could be done with good writing, solid setting, and well thought out controls in the WWII FPS genre. More recently though, CoD launched into a new era – that of Modern Warfare. The first game in the MW series took gamers by storm, completely smashing through fears that moving Call of Duty to a modern setting would destroy the series. Now, two years later, it's time for Modern Warfare 2, the follow up installment that more or less picks up right where Modern Warfare left off.