Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Medal of Honour review.

Well, it's been out for a while now, and i'm guessing you have either forked out for the game, or you're still sitting on the fence, what with Black ops just around the corner. I held out, but after a while I buckled, the temptation to see what EA have done with the first Medal of Honour game for the current gen systems. So here we go with gaming freaks review.

The plot:

Getting politics out of the way, the plot, like Modern Warfare 2 before it, is basically a confusing mess. I couldn't really tell what was going on from mission to mission. You follow both Tier 1 operatives, essentially the special forces, and Marines in and around the middle east conflict zones. I think it has something to do with chasing certain suspects, and there are a few rescue missions to rescue captured team members. Still in this day and age, we have storylines in games that feel like they are written by what a 12yr old kid would consider being a cool story. Where is the story in this game? Missing in action, from what i've seen.

What I liked:

Firstly, the sound. EA are known for their high production values, and this game does not disappoint. From the constant chatter of your teammates, to the cracks and bangs of allsorts of ordinance going on all around you, we have to give the devs kudos for the quality of the audio in this game. Playing it through a surround system is something to behold. The game controls well, not too far removed from the Call of Duty series. There are some great set piece levels, from the level where you are controlling the weapons systems of an Apache gunship, to using a sniper rifle to decimate the enemy from miles away, to storming through cave systems using your night vision scopes to negociate the darkness, there is never really a moment where the game goes stale or drags. Online is fast and furious, and veterans of the Battlefield series will feel right at home.

What I lothed:

Firstly, the campaign length. Ok, it's exciting, and as i've already mentioned some levels are just stunning to both look at and play....but, and it's a big one, most FPS veterans will go through the game in an afternoon. I clocked in completion of the campaign at around 4 hours, and it's pretty disappointing when you're just getting into what the game has to offer and then bing.....end credits roll. For the money that gamers are forking out for a game it's pretty inexcusable. At least give me a single player game that will last arouund 10 hours or so! The game in parts is essentially a fair ground ride.....you'll play the same levels again and again and the enemies will spawn in the same places, perform the same actions etc etc. It basically takes you out of the reality that they are trying to create. Gun play is fine, but due to the canned animations of the enemies you'll find in places that the bad guys just soak up bullets as they go through their pre-canned routines. Online play is very good, but it almost feels like Battlefield "lite", as you just don't have the depth and breath of that titles online modes. Maybe with a bit more play it will show some varity and depth, but from a few hours it won't make any converts of the Battlefield crowd.

The verdict?

EA have taken steps to bringing Medal of honour back, and may have won some fans in the process. Stellar production values and some genuinely exciting missions have their sheen removed by awful enemy AI, canned animations and criminally short campaign time. Even though I really enjoyed my time with the game, I can't recommend it at the current full whack at retail. Here's looking to the inevitable sequel to remedy what was troublesome with this game.

Rating: 6/10
(Xbox 360 version reviewed)

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

COD: Black ops campaign trailer.

Well, here is the new Call of Duty: Black ops trailer, which shows some of the theatres of war you'll be entering in a few weeks time.

I'm purposely dodging ANY footage from now on, so this will be the last post (barring any international incidents) that i'll make regarding Black ops.

Call of Duty: Black ops is due for release on PS3, Xbox 360 and PC on the 9th November, 2010.

Friday, 8 October 2010

Medal of honour details and videos.

The new Medal of honour (yes....I refuse to use the American way of spelling it) is almost upon us.

It's the first Medal of Honour game for the next gen consoles, and its release has been met with both excitement from fans of the series (such as myself), and controversy as well. It started off with the games creators saying that the Taliban would be included as the enemy, which met with shouts and cries about how this was disgusting, chief of which was the U.K defence secretary Liam fox, who called for retailers not to stock the game. EA soon bowed down to the controversy, and said that the Taliban would no longer feature in the game, and the enemies would now be called the "opposing force".

Anyway. That's all done and dusted now. We have a week until the game is now launched, and i've been deliberately dodging all videos about the game....until now that is.

Have a look at these two videos below. There are two videos here from a series that EA have made for Youtube called "the MOH experience". I've picked these two firstly because they are the only two I have looked at and, and secondly, because they are absolutely incredible to watch.

The first video i'd like you to look at is Part 2, "Gunfighters". This features a level where you take control (or maybe part control) of an Apache gunship helicopter, laying waste to an insurgents base of operations.

And the second video i'd like you to watch is part 4, "Friends from afar". This one has you starting in a sniping position which then goes to hell in a handbasket.

What do you think? I think the game looks pretty fantastic. Say what you like about EA, but one thing that you have to give them is that their production values are usually always off the scale, and from looking at this they seem to have taken them up a notch. From the sound effects, such as the crack of the sniper rifle and the chatter over the radios, to the explosions and even the second or so delay in the bullet from the sniper reaching it's target, it looks as solid as a rock. If EA can get the gunplay and pacing right, along with a story that makes some kind of sense (yes, i'm looking at you, modern warfare 2), then this game could be a serious challenger to the Call of Duty crown.

As always, if you have any thoughts then just post them up here!

Medal of Honour is due for release on PS3/Xbox 360/PC on October 15th, 2010.

Red Dead Redemption Undead nightmare pack.

Some of you will know about this already, but now that concrete details (apart from the date) have been released, i'll fill you in of you missed it.

Due for release sometime soon, the Undead nightmare pack features a new, "mostly" single player campaign in which we follow our hero John Marston as he battle hordes of the undead while attempting to find a cure for the outbreak.

Featuring new weapons, locations and most awesome of all, zombie animals, tha pack will also contain new multiplayer modes just to sweeten the deal!

It seem that in gaming at the moment, zombies are the new bullet time. While the WW2 zombie mode in Call of Duty: World at War bored the arse off me, i'm actually really looking forward to this. Zombies in a wild west setting has never been done before, and I'm a big fan of the Red Dead series, so this will be a day 1 purchase for me!

Have a look at this preview video, and of course let me know your thoughts. It looks spectacular!

The Undead nightmare pack will be available on the Playstation network for $9.99, and on Xbox Live for 800pts.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Spiderman: Shattered dimensions review

Spidey is back!

Spiderman: Shattered dimensions follow our web-swinging hero in a multitude of dimensions, where he has to do battle with a vast array of famous foes to claim pieces of a magical tablet.

The plot!

General all round bad guy Mysterio raids a museum to grab a magical tablet, which, as always, grants the holder unlimited power. However, our wall-crawling friend intervenes and in the ensuing battle Spidy manages to smash the tablet, scattering it's pieces in several other dimentions. Spidy is then contacted by Madam Web, who informs old web head that he, and other Spidermen in other dimensions, must track down these missing pieces before Mysterio can get his hands on them, as they have enopugh power to destroy the universe as we know it!

What I liked:

Well, for one, it's Spiderman. He's there in all his wisecracking glory. Voiced by a different actor from different animated series, each Spiderman feels different from the other one. Four different Spidermen are featured. Firstly you have Amazing Spiderman, follwed by Spiderman Noir, then we shoot into the future for Spiderman 2099, and then to the re-invisioned Ultimate Spiderman universe. All of the different Spidermen pretty much play the same, the exception being the Noir levels. Played out in a very nice black and white (with hints of brown) style, the noir levels play out in more of a stealth mode....think Spiderman: Arkham Asylum and you're pretty much there.

What some people may complain about is something I actually enjoyed, and that is that the game is slightly linear. You don't have the freedom to swing around all over the place like you did in past Spiderman games....on no. You tend to find you use the web more like a grappling hook, to shoot up to high vantage points, and to zip around levels quickly. I actually found this a whole lot more enjoyable to play then the other games, which bored me to tears with constant race missions and saving bloody civilians.

The villans cast is also first rate, Hammerhead, Hobgoblin, Electro, Scorpion, they all make a showing. A stand out level for me was the Sandman level, having to battle him as he turns into a 500 ft high sand tornado, webswinging around using all the debris he kicks into the air was pretty much as good as gaming gets!

And of course....Stan Lee narration!

What I loathed:

The repetitive nature of the levels. For the first few levels it's all new and fresh, but as soon as you get through a couple of levels things start to repeat. The same "save 5 civilians and take them back to the save point" is ok to start with, but after the 3rd-4th time you just want to leave the idiots to die. The game trys to stay fresh with different level challenges that you can go through to unlock upgrades, but even these challenges start to repeat, with challenges such as "defeat X in under two minutes".

And yes, you guessed it....the camera. Sometimes it's the greatest villan in the game. It almost makes the wall crawling completely unbearable, and in a game featuring Spiderman well...you would think that players may want to wall crawl....possibly.....maybe?? I just tended not to wall crawl at all, but sometimes the game forces you to do so, which is just a ball-ache.

The verdict?

I was pleasantly surprised by Spiderman: Shattered dimensions. It's a first class comic book game, well written, sometimes very, VERY funny, with fantastic combat and boss fights. Camera problems and repetitive nature aside, it's probably the best Spideman game since Spiderman 2, and if you're a fan of Spiderman and Marvel comics you really do owe it to yourself to pick up this game.

Rating: 8/10
(Xbox 360 version reviewed)

Available now.

The Force Unleashed II trailer.

Well, it's not that far away now. The latest Lucas cash-cow will be swinging it's way to probably every console known to man within a couple of weeks. Apparently there will be a demo available next week for the game, so if you can't wait until then, have a look at this.

I enjoyed the first game, even with the few faults and constant repetition, so i'm awaiting this game with baited breath.

The Force unleashed is due for release on 29th October, 2010.