Seeing this game coming out is going to make me one happy camper!
Seeing this game coming out is going to make me one happy camper!
There are many different schools of thought on what it means to be a gamer, and all of it is subjective.
You have those that are masochistic enough to try every single game they come across on the most brutal, gut-wrenching difficulty they can muster. I guess they figure their machismo is measured by how stressed out they can get twitching their controllers in a frantic pace trying to outwit the enemy that is put there by the developers to best them. Some of those games get downright sadsistic – even to the point of proclaiming how hard it is on the box art (yes, we see you, Dark Souls). Granted, there is a sense of accomplishment that comes from beating a game set as hard as the programmers and developers can possibly make it, but it depends on how much of your sanity you want to have left once you have finished. For myself, I have tried hard difficulties, and it just ends up stressing me out way too much to even enjoy a game most of the time.
There is another option that most overlook – “easy” mode.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I must be some kind of wimp or “casual gamer” because I don’t want to agonize over how long it’s going to take to get plowed under by the enemies in the game. Actually, I play games to relax – to enjoy the story, and stare in wonder at how gorgeous the game environment is that the programmers and developers have placed me into during the stay in their worlds of imagination. Now, granted, there are some games that will not let you explore everything unless you go to at least “normal” mode, so there are some pros and cons to each one. I played through “Alice: Madness Returns” on easy and really enjoyed the story, and it didn’t diminish the experience in my opinion, and even gave me a “New Game +” option for the next game, so i don’t lose any of the weapons and powers I got the first time. Some games don’t even have that for easy mode (I see you, Batman: Arkham Origins), so……….take away from that what you will.
With each successive generation of games, the graphics get prettier, the worlds get bigger, and the stories get more complex – this is why I play games! Have you ever stopped in the middle of an area in a game and just slowly rotated the camera around to take in your surroundings? I’ve done this plenty of times – most recently, while playing Batman: Arkham Knight, Watch Dogs, and Grand Theft Auto V. You should try it sometime when you’re in between missions – just wander around some and soak it in. Give the game teams the credit for painstakingly constructing this environment that you have decided to dive headlong into. One of the other things that I have enjoyed over recent years, is the change from text dialogue to spoken interactions. That just breathes so much more life into the game than before, because you get to hear the emotions that go along with the different characters, instead of just thinking about how you perceive what they are saying.
So if a game is beating your butt raw, and you are thinking that this is not what you plunked down 60 bones for, try a different approach – start over, knock down the difficulty, and just enjoy the immersive story that has been crafted for you, and relax in the world you have entered on a rainy afternoon while the real world will be waiting for when you get back.
I’ve discovered that there is a trend with how I like to play video games. I’ve often found that if I go into an area with guns blazing or kicking tail, that I more often than not end up getting my own butt kicked or worse – shot, so I have often opted for an alternative – sitting back and taking out my enemies from a distance.
I guess I’m a wannabe sniper. I say “wannabe” because I wouldn’t be one in real life. I say that those in our armed forces who do this for real every day are a small select bunch that I would not envy for the world…….and I thank you for your valuable service to our country and to the world. Since I am not military material, I have happily settled for the electronic equivalent – taking out computer-generated bad guys by any means necessary.
There is one small issue though…………I’m not big on military games, so I find other games that have this mechanic in them. Luckily, I have found some good stealth alternatives – stealth is another game mechanic that I really like. SO……….here is my list of games that I enjoy sneaking around in.
This was one of the first games I played that had this particular mechanic in it – best of all was the zoom scope that let you really zone in on your target………breathe………and then “plink!” – down they went. It’s a game where sneaking about really pays off more than just going in and announcing to the world that you are there while unloading the clip in the weapon of choice that you happen to be carrying.
Assassin’s Creed series (Multiplatorm)
This is the game that introduced me to the stealth mechanic – and a wonderful job it does of it too. Your whole goal is to take out your enemies while remaining undetected. In fact…….some missions, it’s absolutely vital that no one sees you, otherwise you are pretty much toast. Once you get used to sneaking around the city, it’s a lot of fun figuring out ways of taking out the Templars without getting yourself shish-kabobbed.
Infamous Series (PS3/PS4)
While not really a sneaking game or a sniper one, it does feature some mechanics that really allow you to take your enemies from a nice comfortable distance. You get time-slow mechanics, precision shots, and other weapons that you can really cause some damage with in order to complete your missions.
Watch Dogs (Multiplatform – best on PS4, Xbox One, or PC)
This game allows you to REALLY take our your enemies from a LONG ways away via the hacking mechanic used in the game. You can surf security cameras and use your hacks to burst steam vents, blow junction boxes, explode electric terminals, and more. The city really is your weapon in this game. You do get a nice arsenal of conventional weapons to play with as well, from sniper scopes to IED’s, and more. The “Bad Blood” DLC also lets you take our your foes with a nice, handy RC car. Oh, the toys that we enjoy………….
Grand Theft Auto V (Multiplatform)
For a game that focuses so much on mayhem, robbing, being a thug, shooting, and trying to be as much of a badass as possible, there are some very nice weapons options in this game – some of which have sniper scopes, and some that even have infrared capabilities! You’re not tied down to any specific mission though, so feel free to be a thug around Los Santos as much as you wanna be, popping your targets off from far away vantage points.
So not every good sniping game is a military game (even though I’m sure there are many that are – they’re just not my cup of tea), so have fun choosing your weapons and honing your skills. Just keep them in the electronic realm and off the streets. ENJOY!
I don’t get it. People nowadays are expecting a game that has been hyped and anticipated to be something truly epic – something truly glorious that will fill a person’s day with many hours of fun and joy. Well, at least that is what we would want to believe when it comes to today’s games.
There is just one problem with this theory – one mind-numbing issue……….the launches……..FAIL.
It seems that lately when big-name game companies come out with a game, they get all the hype and pre-orders, and then it just falls flailingly flat on its face. I think one reason why they do this is because these companies figure they can just poop a game out and then do in-game fixes and patches afterwards as time goes along – meanwhile, gamers are frustrated that the games are broken, buggy, glitchy, and overall just don’t work right.
Assassin’s Creed Unity was a victim of this maneuver. When it first came out, there were reviews, blogs, and videos of various glitches and bugs in the game, from parts of characters not being rendered, to people falling through floors, or any number of other issues. They’ve done a number of patches since then, but still………you would think this would have been more polished prior to launch.
Another issue with recent games was that the hype outweighed the actual gameplay – Destiny was the biggest example of this problem in 2014. This game had so much hype, it might have rivaled the presidential speeches or the last launch of the space shuttle. The only thing is……….this game was so short of story and focused so much on GRINDING. It was a game that should have been much more than it ended up being. Watch Dogs was also dogged for not delivering on promises – mostly based around the fact that the E3 footage was much better than what came out for PC. Granted, later on, someone found a mod to bring back the graphics, but by then, the damage was already done.
Another issue………..how about doing DAY ONE DLC? Oh yeah……..nothing says “money printer” than releasing a game, and right away touting all of the extra stuff you can get as add-ons for a game for more money! Evolve apparently fell into that money hole, which ticked off a number of gamers, which may be why the game isn’t being the huge thing that it was touted to be either.
When a new game comes out, and it shows off beautiful graphics, promises groundbreaking gameplay, and an overall mind-blowing experience, we expect these companies to put their money where their mouth is, and actually deliver on the goods – give the gamers what they expect – something awesome! We’re getting games for the new-gen systems, like PS4, Xbox One, and hopped-up PC’s – we’re ready for something cool! Why not step up to the plate and actually deliver that promised experience, rather than drive off the people you are trying to bring into the fold.
Game Review: Watch Dogs
Platform Reviewed: Playstation 4
The city………is your weapon!
Watch Dogs was released last year by UbiSoft for the PS3, PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Wii U, and PC.
You take control of a vigilante named Aiden Pearce, who was targeted for a hit by a mob boss, but when the gunman tried to take him out, he ended up killing his niece instead. Now Aiden is on a mission to find out who targeted him and killed his niece, and get his revenge on them. An arsenal of weapons is at your disposal, found throughout the game in increasing abundance, but the main focus on this game is hacking – something Aiden Pearce knows a lot about.
This game admittedly looks much better on the next-gen consoles (PS4/Xbox One), than it does on any other console platform. The PC version was downgraded until people found out there was a way to unlock the graphics settings, which then allowed people to bump them up to what they expected at the E3 demonstration when it was first unveiled. The graphics really shine during atmospheric times, such as sunset/sunrise, rainstorms, and when dealing with large explosions. The voice acting for the most part is well-done, although many were hoping Aiden Pearce would have a little bit more……….personality for someone who lost a family member. The map is large enough to where it’ll take time for people to traverse the area from one end to the other. You have the whole of Chicago to roam around in and around, as well as Pawnee – a rural area a little drive away from the city, but definitely has it’s own character. An open world for to see, roam around in, and soak in the sights while taking out your enemies – ranging from fixers, to cops, to street thugs.
Juries on this front have mixed things to say about this game. The driving sections are a bit loose, and the control of the vehicle does depend on what type of vehicle you are driving. You won’t get the same control from an SUV as you will a motorcycle, so choose your vehicles with care and get the ones that won’t let you down. The moving about on foot feels right at home. You can run at a good clip, or just casually stroll so you can blend in with the locals. Hacking is really easy, thanks to the simple interface used to activate the cameras, puzzles, and so forth. Surfing the cameras can really let you survey a large area quickly, which is helpful in some of the online modes. You can also use the free ctOS app for IOS & Android to hack players games as they battle you while you are in control of ctOS itself!
You have a large toybox of side-missions and “digital trips” that you can play, as well as the main story missions. The trips take on a life of their own, whether it’s a Mario-style coin grab romp while avoiding purple skulls, to VR alien raids, or “Alone”, where you have to power up generators while avoiding the single-eye gaze of the robotic citizens who roam around the area. “Madness” must not be missed. This is kind of like Death Race 2000, where you make points by running down the people in the levels – the more you get, the higher the score – as well as the Epic Spider Tank (who doesn’t love scaling buildings in a robotic tank while blowing stuff up?). The Season Pass is well worth the cost of this game, as it adds more add-on content PLUS you get the full on “Bad Blood” storyline, where you get to play as T-Bone! If you like him in the main game, you’re gonna love him in this DLC pack. If you play everything this game has to offer, you’ll be calling Chicago your playground for quite a while.
Online – It’s All Connected
Online modes are another part that really makes this game stand out. Players can hack into other people’s games, and likewise they can hack into yours. Sadly, the hacking does not go cross-network, so people on Xbox Live can’t hack PSN accounts, and vice-versa. You have Online Hacking and Online Tailing for all-around fun, but PS4/Xbox One also have Online Free-Roam and Online Decryption for even more fun. You never know when the online hacking is going to happen, so this will keep you on your toes!
Some Better Than Others
Depending on the platform you have, the experience may not be the same. You will get the most content out of PS4, Xbox One, or PC. PS3, and Xbox 360 are missing some of the online missions, and the Wii U version does not have the DLC that the other platforms have OR ANY Online Mode. If you only have one console, then you get what comes with that version, but if you have the next-gen systems, you will have a more complete experience.
Overall, I found this to be a very fun, and satisfying game – well worth the time and money spent. It’ll keep you busy for quite some time, unless you just play the main story and that’s it. Take some time, enjoy the hacking, and this game will keep you active for quite a while. Also, the online modes are adrenaline-filled fun, playing cat and mouse with random people, seeing who is the better hacker! This is a game that is sure to bring a lot of fun to fans of open-world environments with lots of stuff to do.
FINAL SCORE: 9/10
Well, it’s been a week of new games and some new progress in games that I’ve been playing. I’ve found that there are a few games that I’ve been actually enjoying and having a blast with. Let’s delve into this week’s topics!
inFamous (PS3) – This week I actually got a stunt unlocked that I’ve been trying for months to get. It’s called “Splash & Crash”. Basically, you have to jump off a building, hit an enemy with a lightning bolt, then do a Thunder Drop on the same enemy. For some, this is pretty easy, but it’s been a PAIN to get! Of course, now that I got it, it’s so far along in the game that I probably won’t get the last 2-3 stunts to get my Stunt Master trophy. *sigh* – guess I’ll be doing another run-through. At least I’ll get my “Hard Finish” trophy, so that’s one closer to completion.
If you have not played inFamous, I highly recommend it. There are a total of 4 games out: inFamous, inFamous 2, inFamous: Festival of Blood (all PS3), and of course, inFamous: Second Son for the PS4 – SO worth the time and expense!
Wolfenstein: The New Order (PS3/PS4) – I pre-ordered this title some time ago for the PS3, then I picked it up, but hadn’t played it yet. I then ran across some articles that say if you get this and have a PS4, you should get it for this above any other platform, SO…..I took it back to the game store and was able to swap it for the PS4 version. Yay me! I started playing it, and it’s a good FPS game (not sure if you can switch to 3rd-person view like some other Bethesda titles), but the graphics are solid, the sound is great, and the controls are solid. I think I’m going to give this one its fair shake and see just how far I can take this fight with the Nazis in the alternate-timeline 60’s.
Watch Dogs (PS4) – How can you not love games that have you hacking and taking control of stuff? Well, if you have played GTA or Saint’s Row, then you are familiar with taking stuff that’s not yours, only Watch Dogs throws a cyber-twist into the mix. You can literally hack into anything within your reach on the ctOS network, such as ATM machines, street lights, bridge controls, hacking personal information – just about anything is up for grabs. Nice crisp graphics, tight controls, and a good story so far lead me to believe this one is a keeper. Oh…and the playmap is MASSIVE. For a plus, get the Season Pass – and if you have an Android device, get the free Watch Dogs ctOS Companion app – it’s free, and lets you take control of the city to fight against players! So far, I like this one!
Skyrim (PS3) – I tried this one before, and while it takes a while to set up your character (you have a TON of options), it does seem to deliver a pretty solid story. I was put off at first due to the first-person perspective, but then found out from my friends that you CAN switch to third-person view by toggling the R3 button. So now I picked up the Legendary Edition since it’s cheap, and will give it another go. I’ll have more to report on this later on.
Touch My Katamari (Vita) – I have enjoyed all Katamari titles since the PS2 days (although Beautiful Katamari on the 360 left me cold as you paid for the game, only to find out you had to pay MORE to unlock the REST of the game!), but this one lends a new twist to the game as you can smoosh and stretch the katamari to different shapes in order to achieve your goals. The Vita makes good use of the dual-analog sticks, but also lets you use the touch screens to your advantage as well. Yup – it’s a keeper!
Yes, I favor mainly Sony products, even though I do have a first-gen Xbox, Wii, and some older systems, so I’ll do my best to throw in some other stuff as I get through playing my ever-growing list of games I’ve started and have yet to finish. I hope this helps somewhat if you are thinking about any of these games. Feel free to comment, leave feedback, subscribe to my blog for other randomness, and I hope to see you again soon!