Archive for category Game Impressions
(All screenshots were taken by me using the in-game screenshot feature. Full gallery here)
In one sentence: The best arcade racing game.
Compared with Split/Second: Split/Second was a recent arcade racer with the same exploding city theme. That was a great game, but MotorStorm Apocalypse is better; it simply has more creative tracks and racing.
What makes the MotorStorm series great: Intensely creative tracks are the cornerstone of the series. Diverse racing surfaces (rock, sand, dirt, grass, asphalt, water) that feel and behave like you’d expect. The vehicle classes (motorcycles, ATVs, buggies, big rigs, etc) each give the player a distinctly different race experience and aren’t just stat tweaks. This game keeps all of that and adds more…
What does Apocalypse Change?
- Tracks: When Apocalypse announced urban racing, I was worried that it was going to be all bland asphalt road racing and lose the charm of the diverse racing surfaces, jumps, branching paths, and creative geometries. Not even close. The tracks are as wildly creative as ever, if not more so. One good example is the track that takes place almost entirely on the damaged roof tops of buildings.
- Expanded single-player campaign: The races are more like fully designed missions rather than combinations of track/objective/vehicle class. The story is much more fleshed out, but it’s largely just entertaining window dressing.
- Multiplayer: Perks, leveling, way more unlockables and achievables; betting system. It’s the same competitive racing at its heart, but there is way more polish.
- Stereoscopic 3D: Stereoscopic 3D was made for this game. The effect is amazing and is a perfect fit for a game that is mechanically about maneuvering the environment.
- Music: The series is known for exceptionally good licensed music picks (maybe that’s just because I grew up in a similar time frame as the devs?). This game uses original music, including movie soundtrack style music and some techno.
In my opinion, nothing has topped the MotorStorm series in providing amazing, creative racing fun. This improves the formula and pushes the racing genre farther than it’s been taken before.
After first making an appearance on the Wii, and then taking a turn on mobile platforms, de Blob 2 is coming to the PlayStation 3 for the first time, in a direct sequel to the original. Since it comes from a motion-sensitive background, it is no surprise to see support for PlayStation Move controls integrated into the game, but you need not have invested in Sony’s latest peripheral if you want to enjoy its colorful world for a few hours.
The aim in de Blob 2 is to turn the monochromatic world into a hive of colorful loveliness, and thanks to the superior power of the PlayStation 3, the graphics are far crisper and more vibrant than on the Nintendo Wii. You move around the eponymous hero, and at its most basic, it is a kind of paint by numbers platformer, where you literally have to follow the required color scheme in order to progress. The story is thin on the ground, but the selection of cut scenes do a good job of bringing the broadly drawn characters to life, and the simple black and white of the good versus evil plot is pleasingly reflected in the gameplay, which is not something that can be boasted by many other games.
When I was at PAX East 2011, I got a chance to see brand new footage of Deus Ex: Human Revolution with several thousand other people. The only problem with that was that we weren’t allowed to capture it. I can totally understand why Eidos Montreal thought that was for the best. After all, the footage was from a build that was several months old, but after seeing what I saw, I was really impressed.
Honestly, I don’t see how that footage could have hurt the game; it was everything it should have been. To start things off, watch the video below. It gives you a look at what we saw, but does cut it short, since once the main hero entered the building, we got to see more of the action.
Earlier today I was hanging out at PAX East and decided to have a look at Battlefield 3. Every time I looked at the Battlefield booth the line was long, this was very discouraging but since it was the last day I had to get in there. I would have failed as a gamer to have been at PAX East 2011 which had the hottest new shooter in the works known to man and I wasn’t going to see it. I walked up to the counter and started speaking with the nice EA man. He was pleasant, but me waving the media badge had no affect on him. It was like a bad Star Wars episode, you know when Obi Wan Kenobi plays his Jedi Mind trick on the Stormtroopers in Episode IV to let him, Luke and the two Driods pass. Well it was like that except this guy wasn’t weak minded, he stood firm. I looked around and decided I had no choice, media or not I wasn’t getting in there any other way, ironically the line ended right where I was standing so I didn’t really have to go far.
Guerilla Games debuted a new game mode in Killzone 3 with much fanfare: Operations. I played it for a while last night with Tosh. It’s great to have a partner who actually knows what’s going on! He usually placed near the top of the leader boards and I usually placed near the middle. Here’s the Good, Bad, and the Ugly.
Operations is a lot of fun. It’s true. There are three maps with an Operations mode, and we played the two that were not in the beta – Akmir Snowdrift and Mawlr Graveyard. We played each map twice. It’s great fun to stop the ISA or pummel the Helghast. The objectives are similar to the objectives in Warzone mode, but the game strings them together nicely with cutscenes that show players that were instrumental in achieving the objectives. I saw my handle in these cutscenes several times, and it’s a blast.
I played the Tactician, and it was only on the second go-around on these maps that I knew them well enough to actually capture the occasional spawn points. Tosh did all the heavy lifting the first go arounds. Spawn points are key to winning Operations, and therefore the Tactician is of vital importance. Being a Tactician myself, I like that.
I am very much a run and gun player, so it was hard at first for me to pull myself back and think before I rushed in. Once I started doing that, my score went up. It also helped that I got to know the maps.
Last night there were several people playing with mics on. This is normal on the 360, but not so normal on the PS3. It was nice to actually communicate with team mates. Great stuff.
The maps look great. I was especially impressed by Akmir Snowdrift. For those of you who don’t live in cold climates, that’s really what it looks like. Made me glad I was on a couch instead of outside in the snow.
Is there an overall winner? If the ISA get the first two objectives but the Helghast prevented them from getting the third, who won? It wasn’t clear to me. Once the match was over, the game tells you the score, like “2-1″. So does that mean whoever won the most sub-parts of the match won the match? I don’t know.
Unless you’ve played the map in Operations before, you’re going to be lost. Often I couldn’t find the objective, and I was running around like a headless chicken. Eventually I figured it out, but it was quite frustrating at first.
Spawn camping. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but even in Operations mode I encountered some of this. It wasn’t as bad as in previous games (especially in Warzone), but it still happened.
Killzone 3 comes with a paltry eight multiplayer maps. Operations is only available on three of them. Considering that Operations could very well be the best multiplayer part of the game, it’s a shame that it’s limited to only three maps. Come on, Guerilla, please patch some of the other maps with an Operations mode.
So there you have it. My thoughts on Operations. I know some of you out there have a hate on for me just because I like to express my opinion. That’s your character flaw, not mine. But nobody else on this blog seems to be doing opinion pieces on Killzone 3 multiplayer, so I don’t have a problem doing it. Do you guys agree with me this time?