DOOM: The Review. Modern Classic or Just Another Shooter?

Titles that refuse to admit they are sequels must be the “self-titled white album” trend of the gaming industry. Xbox One, Tomb Raider, and now DOOM. Bethesda and id have had a pretty good track record when it comes to keeping an older series alive. Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and Wolfenstein are both great examples of taking franchises in exciting new directions and succeeding. Fallout and TES became the most popular and celebrated first person exploration/RPG games on the market, and Wolfenstein found its niche by being a FPS that stood out from the rest with a very unique story and unique gameplay/stealth mechanics. While these games have found a foothold in the modern gaming market, they did so by changing very fundamental pieces of the games in big ways. Players of the original Interplay Fallout games or even the 90’s Elder Scrolls games often find that the newer additions to their beloved franchises aren’t at all the same games they once were, relying more on combat and severely limiting dialogue when compared to the older games. This worked out pretty well, since it turns out mainstream gamers enjoy looking at pretty landscapes and shooting bad guys a bit more than engaging in tribal politics. With DOOM though, they took one of the biggest, baddest, most violent and most fast paced games ever made, and simply made a new, even more violent and still fast paced game where the goal is basically “shoot everything until it dies”. So, with a studio that has lost most of the minds that helped create the original, a poor showing at last years e3, and abysmal reception to the multiplayer beta, expectations were low and DOOM seemed, well, doomed (I’m so sorry). However, it’s finally here so we can answer the question, “Were they able to create a game worthy of it’s own name?”. Continue reading

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An Hour With: Dungeon Siege III

I’ve always enjoyed writing these posts, I get to play games I bought a while ago and never got round to playing. Not this time, this was free with Games with Gold. I just didn’t get round to playing it. Anyway, is it worth playing if you downloaded it for free, or is it worth buying? Or not. That’s the question I’m going to answer when I stop upping the word count for this article in the first paragraph. Maybe I’ll put a read more tag in the middle of this sen

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Gamepad: The Destiny April Update Is Amazing

destiny-taken-king-april-update.jpg

Pardon me for being so blunt with the title of this post, but there are so many thoughts racing through my head right now. So first things first, Destiny received a major update a few days ago, which among other things, re-introduced Prison of Elders, an end-game activity from the previous expansion: House of Wolves. And it’s just so tasty!

Let’s not pretend that Bungie doesn’t feel somewhat threatened by ‘The Division’. After all, Ubisoft’s online shooter came at a time when ‘Destiny’ wasn’t doing so great, in fact it was doing awful. So the live-team (the team responsible for supporting ‘Destiny’ at the moment) came up with a few ways to give the game a much needed refreshment, and I’ll admit that we’re in the “Honeymoon phase” as a famous face of the ‘Destiny’community put it, and we’re overlooking many problems and hiccups right now (like the new exotics that were removed from the armory after the update went live) but I have to say that I’m enjoying the game in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time. Why? Well to be honest, even though the update is all around an activity we’re already used to, it’s refreshed in a new and exciting way, along with quality of live improvements and whatnot. But as a whole, it turned the game into a much more rewarding experience and I feel like every minute I spend is not in vain.

If you’re unfamiliar with Prison of Elders (or PoE) it’s a round based survival mode in ‘Destiny’, and the goal is to beat round 4, then you can enter the Queen’s treasury and claim your reward… if you have a key…flash forward about a year and the key system’s removed, the PoE is brought to year 2 standards meaning that it’s a level 41 activity, and there’s also a new mode called ‘Challenge of the Elders’ which from now on will have different modifiers each week. First week’s modifiers are pretty easy, primary weapon damage is increased, and precision shots score more points. Ah, right! THE POINTS! So, Challenge of the Elders is based around scoring points, you buy a token each week and it requires you to score 30 000 points and get to 90 000. At 30k you get a guaranteed weapon drop, and at 90k you get an armor piece. Now let me tell you why that’s awesome. ‘Guaranteed’ is a word that makes ‘Destiny’ players shiver with excitement because a lot of the game is based on RNG (Random-Number-Generation) and many times you’re stuck with items you don’t really need, that often have to be destroyed for materials and whatnot. Now with the new guaranteed drops every week it changes the game A LOT! I’m actually excited about drops.

Now combine this with improvement in exotic items’ light level – they drop at a much higher rate, there are now reputation boosters for both PvP and PvE, reputation gain has been increased across the board, and faction package rewards almost always contain something cool. All of that turns ‘Destiny’ into the loot-shooter it is…pardon the pun…destined to be. Sure, we’re soon going to discover new problems and things to complain about, but for now, the experience is pretty amazing and I can’t get enough of the game.

 

 

Ewan attempts to write a reality TV Show

So recently I saw my mam and dad watching Geordie Shore, a show about bumbling thick tosspots from Newcastle going out and getting shit faced to fuck anything that’s three tones of orange away from “Citrus Orange” and then they say “Whey aye man” as all people from Newcastle do. And I thought, if this money-making machine can leach onto any twat with an IQ lower than 45 then I want in on the shit show. I want my piece of the pie and a bit of money on the side. So I went to my local TV broadcasting station, and the conversation went a little bit like this…

Ewan: Hello, I’m Ewan, I called earlier about a new TV Show?

TV Man: Ah yes I remember, the nervous wreck who kept stumbling over his words, yeah, yeah, take a seat. So, what’s the idea for the new show?

Ewan: Well, actually I’ve had a couple of ideas about a number of different things.

TV Man: Excellent, as long as we can slap some gormless bastards into it then we can make enough money to build a rocket made out of cheese on a one way course to Mars.

Ewan: Actually I was thinking it could be a bit more sophisticated than that.

TV Man: Not a chance. That wouldn’t work in a popular environment.

Ewan: But it’s based on the extremely popular game series Fallout and I’ve already planned out the first episode and who would be cast and why, along with creating a rich story that links in with the games.

TV Man: Nah, it’s shite, anything else?

Ewan: Well, I did have this idea to do with sketch shows…

TV Man: I’m listening

Ewan: Well, take the very best sketch shows, so for example Monty Python and Mitchell and Webb, then take the very best sketches from these shows and re-perform them with the same actors and in HD cameras and so on.

TV Man: So it’d basically be a way of revitalising and commemorating the best of British humour?

Ewan: Precisely.

TV Man: Nah, it’s bollocks, I’m running out patience here you stupid cunt, so you better come up with something good.

Ewan: How about a reality TV Show?

TV Man: There’s plenty of those, Big Brother, Geordie Shore, Made in Chelsea, The Only Way is Essex, Blackadder, what makes yours so special?

Ewan: Well a number of things actually.

TV Man: Would you care to name a few of them?

Ewan: For a start, it would be an elimination system similar to that of Big Brother, but instead of being evicted they all have explosive collars on and when evicted they go all Battle Royale and their collars explode, splashing orange everywhere.

TV Man: Christ Ewan, that’s a bit barbaric isn’t it?

Ewan: Nah, they’re all thickos that we can pick up off of any street in Clapham.

TV Man: Alright, fair enough, it’s a good start, but what else have you got?

Ewan: Well, the winner will receive a lifetime supply of fake tan.

TV Man: Fucking sold, where do I sign?

Now this very real conversation happened not so long ago, and you can catch The Only Way is Purging The Thickos on BBC 4 at 1:30am, I think I’ve been buggered by the listing times, but hopefully it does well, I’m getting paid in ice cream and Um Bongo.

An Hour With: Mirrors Edge

I quite recently purchased this game and planned to play it over the weekend. I played Wolfenstein: The Old Blood over the weekend instead. No matter, I’ll play it now and be back in an hour.

Right, well then. That was something else. You can take that as good or bad, if you want to find out what my opinion is (which you probably don’t) then click the “Read More” thing, if I remember to put the bloody thing in.

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Gamepad: Call of Duty may be changing drastically and why you should care…

COD_2016   It seems that people are idiots and will always complain no matter what. Trust me, I don’t want to sound like a condescending neckbeard here, but I’m just pointing out the facts. Anyways, since we’re getting pretty close to May, which is the month that the annual CoD release gets teased, people are starting the rumor train, putting that coal in the speculation oven and choo chooing away into the land of rumors. And since we get ”leaks” on new game releases every other day, a pretty reputable source is suggesting that Call of Duty in 2016 is going to be a “full-on sci-fi”. The same source also predicted that last year’s CoD will feature cybernetic soldiers and robots, among other speculations. Now I’m not going to provide any evidence here, because this isn’t the point of this post. No, I’m here to talk about why YOU should care that this year’s Call of Duty is going to be a drastic change for the series.

We’ve all been there, you see the new CoD trailer and there’s about a hundred comments saying that it’s the same thing every year, Activision wants your money and CoD sucks, and whatnot. Those are the same type of people that always have such a problem with Destiny, even though their opinion is based on seeing a few semi-subjective posts or videos on the game, and the same type of people that always have such a hard-on for Minecraft, Bethesda and other franchises or companies whose MO is pretty close to that of Activision. Some are even worse…

But in the past few years we’ve seen the Call of Duty brand evolve pretty nicely (apart from all the microtransactions shit). CoD multiplayer now slightly resembles that of a MOBA with individual characters having unique skillsets and “Super” abilities. We’ve also seen an improvement in loadouts and some killstreaks. And in terms of stories, we’re getting very weird (in a good way) plots. Even though BO3’s story was pretty lackluster in my opinion, I loved the world that the game took place, the sort of gritty cyberpunk dystopia, or Advanced Warfare’s semi mechanized world with exosuits and invisible sniper drones.Yet people complained like crazy about them.

A pretty interesting observation I heard recently is that the average CoD or FIFA or whatever gamer will never go and bitch about how bad the game is on random internet videos, even the hardcore part of those communities prefers to spend time in the game, as opposed to trolling the comment section. It’s always the vocal minority that’s a problem.

But don’t get me wrong, it’s not like I’m the biggest CoD FANBOY around, I don’t have a hard-on for Activision or whatever, and after all this is pure speculation, so we can never be too sure if it’s a false rumor. But if it’s true then I’m glad Call of Duty is making the steps to innovate it’s brand and I can only hope we get a pretty good game at the end of this year…

2K Games – The Most Dominant Games Developer

You’ve almost definitely played a game developed, made or released by 2K Games. Civilization V, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, WWE 2K14 and onwards, NBA, Borderlands, Bioshock Infinite, you name it, 2K Games somehow got their hands on it.

It seems they’ve got pretty much every gaming genre locked down, strategy, sport, shooter, dating simulator, literally any genre, they’ve probably done it. So they’re pretty much the biggest game developer, aren’t they? Well, sort of, yeah.

If you look at the most popular game series’ today, you’ll come across at least a good four or five game series that had 2K games involved in some way. Bioshock, Borderlands, Mafia II. The list goes on for a very long time. When we think about all the games they’ve been involved in, how did they do that? I mean, they’ve only been round just over 10 Years now, so how did they come to being a mega power in the gaming industry?

Well it’s quite simple actually. They make good games. You thought I was going to go into length about the ethics of video games and publishing rights and all that juicy stuff didn’t you? No, not today, that’s for a different post. They’ve got a franchise in mostly every platform. For every Elder Scrolls there’s a Borderlands, for every Age of Empires there’s a Civilization V, for every suspenseful, underwater utopia horror shooter, there’s Bioshock, for every pile of shit, there’s Evolve.

And to be quite honest, Evolve was the only blunder they’ve made. As long as we don’t count the Ghost Rider game for PS2. Every game company has its ups and downs though, but what they did with Evolve is disgraceful (all that damn DLC) and definitely a mark on an otherwise perfect record. Like I said, every gaming company has its ups and downs and 2K games has mainly been up, rather than down.

I honestly don’t think any other games company has come close to doing what 2K games has done. And what they’ve done is made a hell of a good company in such a short time with some amazing games. But what about companies like Bethesda and Activision? Some could argue that these are the true behemoths of the market, with Bethesda running two of the most critically acclaimed RPG’s in gaming history, and Activision releasing the same old shit year after year with no end in sight.

But what makes 2K so successful? I think for me, it’s probably because of the very pristine image that 2K have gotten over the years. It’s very difficult to trust game developers nowadays so the fact that we can trust 2K to deliver a functioning and good game surpasses all expectations. The fact that when they show off a game, we can put our worries to rest at the fact that we know 2K Games is going to bring us some top quality gameplay.

Now I must say, the only 2K game I’m really a huge fan of is Civilization V, I was never too keen on Borderlands, I’ve never played Bioshock and I have a copy of Mafia II that I still haven’t played yet. 2K games own about as many different franchises as EA, but are able to deliver new, fresh content every release they make. I think this has got to be something to do with how much they care about us.

I don’t mean individually, they couldn’t give a shit about our lives, but they give a shit about if we like the content they’re creating. A bit like me, I give a shit so I can find out if you like my content, but more or less, I don’t give a shit who reads it. I’m not saying I don’t like you, I’ve just never spoken to you so. Anyway, I’m getting off topic.

I’ve basically said all I can on the subject of why we like 2K Games. It’s because they give us quality games for quality prices and give a damn about whether or not we’re enjoying our time with the game. Unlike EA, they’re horrible.