Gears of War 3

gears of war 3

Gears of War 3 – There’s little doubt that when Gears of War debuted in 2006, it changed the face of video games. For one, it cemented Microsoft’s reputation not just as gaming system designers but as the developers of games themselves, being the second of the company’s industry-shifting titles after fellow shooter Halo.

Gears Of War 3 is for a culture that’s lived the past decade against the backdrop of a slogging war. Surprisingly, Gears 3 reserves subtlety for that gameplay. Basics are still outlined in bold strokes: dash to cover, hunker down, blast enemies into chunks. But cover is now deformable, and occasionally movable, thanks to Aliens-esque powerloaders. Gears 2 featured two-character co-op; ups the ante to four. With friends commanding those fighters, Gears 3 blossoms into a tactical delight that far surpasses the pleasures of the previous two chapters. Wait, wasn’t war supposed to suck?

Gears of War 3 – Tables are turned on human forces in the Beast multiplayer mode, which emulates the returning Horde mode from Gears 2. Instead of controlling humans facing waves of monsters, players seek to pulverize the characters they’ve played through the trilogy.

Gears of War 2 was a nearly perfect video game – its environments ravishing, its narrative riveting and its online play engrossing. One of the significant, and negative, differences between Gears 2 and Gears 3 is the sheer volume of cutscenes, which are so pervasive and lengthy that they end up disrupting the flow of the game as much as they add to the story. There’s a level of emotional depth to Gears characters untouched in other games, and a great deal of that has to do with the seriousness with which it takes its fictional narrative sequences, to its credit. This means the narrative gameplay takes on a fight/scene/fight/scene/fight/scene formula that becomes repetitive, especially when not many of the combat sequences distinguish themselves from one another. The developers of Gears of War 3 seem to understand just how thoroughly its predecessor absolutely nailed it. (Barriers, “command centers” and ammunition now cost the game money you earn by completing certain achievements or levels.)
Not falling into that trap again would probably be the best improvement Gears of War 3 could ever accomplish.

Trenched Game Review



Trenched – You pilot a “trench,” an old-fashioned foxhole built into one of Frank’s mechanical suits. Frank and Vlad monologue some while introducing new weaponry and enemy types, but the story is mere justification for new battlefields.

Those battlefields are where Trenched shines. The game is part shooting, part tower defense, but unlike in Double Fine’s Brütal Legend, the blend of action and strategy works nicely. Most missions have you defending a structure as waves of enemies—neon jack o’lantern beasties on insect legs, with TVs in their mouths—pour out of spawn points. There isn’t a dramatic amount of variety in the game’s 15 missions, just a gradual escalation in complexity and difficulty, which makes the hectic fights deeply satisfying. Trenched The wealth of unlockable and purchasable gear, as well as the ability to play each mission with three other people, makes the missions worth revisiting.

If nothing else, Trenched proves Double Fine’s ability as game-makers, and not just character-makers.

Trenched is a new game developed by Double Fine Productions, published by Microsoft for the Xbox Live Arcade. With Trenched, they introduce their style to the world of arcade games, throwing their hat into the ring with a unique sensibility that is funny and captivating. Trenched combat borrows largely from games like Mech Assault with level design ripped from Tower Defense – you know what I’m talking about, the ones you see all over the internet. Trenched, in the trenches, deep behind enemy lines, and under fire.

Trenched Nothing but you and your trench. But luckily, your trench is no ordinary trench. No, your trench is a new class of trench, a mobile trench. The Trenched game takes place in an alternate reality of World War I. Your marine comes to the battle equipped with his trusty Trench, deployable turrets, and a sense of humor. The mechanics of the game are simple, but addicting. The level design is always the same simple concept, protect the base through a combination of turrets and fire power.

The Tubes have spawn points that they’ll barrage the base wave after wave until you reach the final wave. Your Trench is fully customizable. The Tubes are essentially lining up to die. Trench is never outright challenging, it’s just addicting. If you’ve every played a Tower Defense game online then you aught to be brilliant at Trenched. Matchmaking adds a level of depth to Trenched. Trenched is a fine showing for Double Fine’s first Live Arcade game. The multiplayer is fun if you have friends to play with, however online is glitchy and prone to lag.

Trenched Game Image


Bastion Game Review


Bastion Game

Bastion The kid is your hero, aptly named The Kid, and you have to decide what to do next. Bastion is an action RPG where combat is rich without being complicated. At The Bastion itself, an idyllic meadow perched on the edge of oblivion, there’s a temple where players can shift the dynamics of battle by activating idols of the old gods. Invoking a particular deity might, say, increase the ferocity of Bastion’s Hayao Miyazaki-esque monsters, but in return, The Kid will level up more quickly.

Bastion game is fun and colorful throughout, yet within that spirit of fun, the level design evokes a remarkable range of emotion. Bastion takes players through its moods like a savvy DJ laying down the right tracks at the right moment. The Kid assembles a modest support crew in The Bastion, foremost among them Rucks, who serves as Penn to your Teller. Rucks only speaks when he has something to say, and the old man’s words play off your actions as the young Kid to produce wit and insight.

Bastion is a post-apocalyptic work, yet it’s almost never grim. It’s a powerful conclusion to an extraordinary game.

“Bastion” characters and storyline make for a memorable play

This year is no different with “Bastion,” from up-and-coming developer Supergiant Games, coming out alongside such great competition from Insanely Twisted Shadow Planet and From Dust.Bastion In addition to the brilliantly composed storytelling, the gameplay itself is no slouch. It’s a tradition action RPG with plenty of hacking and slashing, yet the controls for the hero are so precise, and the weapons are so much fun to use that the game is worth replaying on that aspect alone. It also has an incredibly addictive item management, with choices for gainful attributes given for each level, in addition has one of the best weapon customization options I’ve seen in a game.

Unfortunately the game does have an awkward, choose-your-own-adventure style ending. Yet everything else in the game is so superb that it can be overlooked, but is the best $15 game investment so far this year.

Bastion Game Image


Catherine Horror Game Review



Catherine – Survival horror games wish they could be as scary as the puzzle game Catherine. Players control Vincent, a 32-year-old man whose long-term girlfriend, Katherine, is starting to talk about marriage while encouraging him to give up his vices and work harder. The romantic plot takes place during the day through anime-style cutscenes and active play where Vincent chats with his friends and exchanges text messages with his two women. The game makes excellent use of the mundane fare, with well-written and well-delivered dialogue that makes his suffering feel earnest.

Catherine Once Vincent goes to bed, though, he experiences a recurring nightmare where he must navigate towers of blocks or fall to his death. Vincent isn’t the only man trapped in this nightmare. Catherine’s puzzles are harsh but feel fair, except when viewing problems add to the difficulty. When you do complete a level, Vincent experiences a moment of exaltation. Vincent may survive the night, but he still has to face his fears and indecision in the morning.

Catherine in PlayStation 3

Catherine It is a puzzle game combined with a unique storyline that forces players to not only think about strategy, but their own lives. The story focuses on 32 year old Vincent. Vincent trudges off to drink with his friends at the Stray Sheep bar. It is at the Stray Sheep where Vincent meets Catherine (with a “C”), a hot young blonde who takes an immediate interest in Vincent. Vincent is stuck in a moral dilemma. He must figure out how to handle his girlfriend Katherine, who wants commitment and the young Catherine who lives a freewheeling lifestyle of no responsibility.

Catherine Each night Vincent has a nightmare where he is frantically climbing a tower of blocks to reach an exit at the top. Vincent must move the blocks around in order to create a path to the top of the tower. The Catherine puzzles get harder with each level passed. In between each level there is a platform, where you talk to “sheep people.” The platform contains confession booth that takes Vincent to the next level.

A voice in the confession booth asks Vincent a different moral question. Vincent can either answer “good” or “bad.” There is meter throughout the game that shows what path Vincent is on. This is completely controlled by the player, which adds a level of excitement to the game. Players can choose Vincent’s responses in conversations and text messages. How Vincent responds can affect what happens in the game and how Vincent interacts with the other characters. Vincent spends his time in the Stray Sheep bar, his tiny apartment, some kind of cafeteria, and a small café where he has coffee with his girlfriend. Overall I found Catherine to be a refreshing change from combat style platform games. In addition to Vincent, Katherine, and Catherine, there are several friends, bar patrons, a mysterious bartender, and a wise waitress that Vincent interacts with. Catherine is a fun game full of challenges and intrigue.

Catherine Horror Game Image


El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron Full Review


El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron

El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron – Then the archangels imprisoned the rebels. In the second book of Enoch, Enoch pulls a reverse Inferno, ascending through the seven heavens before meeting with the big cheese, who asks him to document everything before the Flood, and gives him angel-like powers.

El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron Enoch is making a comeback, though. His two apocryphal books loosely form the story in Takeyasu Sawaki’s El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron. Second, Enoch takes over angel-imprisoning duties. Your average action-game story this isn’t. One chapter sees Enoch traversing an indistinct water-colored plain on his way to fight Ezekiel’s giant boar-children, but in the next, he leaps about a candy-colored 2-D abstract platforming level where blobby Nephilim ride balloons. Right.

El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron Shaddai rejects the combo-driven button calisthenics of most post-Devil May Cry 3-D action games in favor of simple, elegant fights. There are only four buttons: attack, block, jump, and purify.El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron Fighting is a dance of quick attacks to weaken enemies, steal their weapons, then use them on opponents vulnerable to the stolen tool.

El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron Released in the same week as the long-awaited conclusion to Gears of War, Ignition Tokyo’s El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron may struggle to find the audience it deserves. Which would be a shame as within this strange title – inspired by the story of Noah’s ancestor Enoch – lies one of the year’s most frustrating and captivating games.

El Shaddai: Ascension Of The Metatron Developed by a Tokyo team assembled by an Indian-owned British parent studio in 2007, El Shaddai is a bubbling mass of conflicting cultural styles and gameplay norms. There are sporadic, dull 2D sections over-laced with exposition-heavy stills and the occasional unsuccessful attempt at Metal Gear-esque postmodernism, which suggests an element of style over substance, only made more glaring by the waves of meaningless and witlessly portentous dialogue that wash over the gameplay.

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Age Of Empires Online Full Review


Age Of Empires Online

Age Of Empires Online resembles a growing civilization. Each player controls a city of either Greeks or Egyptians, with more civilizations due out this fall. Your main city and other cities scattered throughout the world map offer quests, which play out like classic Age Of Empires Online missions. Completing quests rewards you with experience points, leveling up your capital city, which in turn grants you tech points you can use to unlock new units and structures, or improve existing ones. Many quests allow cooperative play, but it’s an odd experience.

Age Of Empires Online The second player starts off controlling a subsidiary gathering base, where they must build up the structures and forces to help their ally. If there are any special units associated with the mission, only the primary player gets them. Paying players can compete against anyone they’re in a group with. Age Of Empires Online offers a strong foundation, but no civilization thrives alone.

For many, Age Of Empires Online has long stood as one of the hallmarks of not only the real-time strategy genre but as one of the greatest PC game franchises of all time. In Age Of Empires Online, the series makes the jump from AAA retail title to downloadable, free-to-play RTSMMO (what a mouthful).

Age of Empire Online is a resource game from beginning to end. As you progress and your civilization levels up, unlocking new units, upgrades, and building types, so too does the number of buildings and abilities of your capital city. You can visit the capital cities of your friends regardless of their civilization type. This mechanic works well to give the player a lot of visual and gameplay feedback to their progression.

Age Of Empires Online From a multiplayer perspective, the game has a lot to offer, as you would hope from any game with “MMO” in its description. Due to the directly competitive nature of PvP and the fact that players at different levels and ages can have vastly different access to troops, this can become problematic, especially if you are hoping to play at lower levels. This, and the game’s lack of 3v3 and 4v4 matches, are the largest problems overall. Many people play RTSs solely for the PvP play (see Starcraft, for example), so it is a bit outlandish to require players to invest well over 20 hours in PvE content before giving them an actually fair and competitive level of PvP play.

Age of Empires Online is one of the first forays into the western free-to-play space that feels right and it does this mostly by replicating the shareware model of yesteryear while incorporating in modern online transactions and social interaction. Where many free-to-play (or pay-to-play as many like to call them) attempt to nickel and dime you endlessly with a wide array of minute and time-based items, Age of Empires Online respects the player enough to give them a lot for nothing and even more for something in Age Of Empires Online.

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Deus Ex: Human Revolution Full Review


Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution is a marvellously detailed character-based shooter that combines classic concepts and modern technological wrinkles. In 2000, Deus Ex blended shooter concepts, RPG character development, and a story that genuflected deeply toward William Gibson. The game might have become an industry-defining benchmark.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution In 2027 Detroit, where millennial angst festered instead of fading, Sarif Industries is pushing augmentation technology—essentially semi-affordable cybernetic implants. Large, multi-level city hubs are the crown-jewel levels. Superficially, the game Deus Ex: Human Revolution narrative is linear and not exactly surprising. Augmentations, purchased or earned with experience, activate physical strength, stealth abilities, hacking skill, and other quirks.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution DX:HR eschews a mortal judgment system, but choice remains a core philosophy. Translate that core philosophy to “freedom,” and Deus Ex: Human Revolution becomes the rare game in which theme and gameplay harmonize.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution – The Missing Link DLC Walkthrough

Deus Ex: Human Revolution has received a lot of praise since its release. Receiving very high review scores and selling over 1 million copies worldwide.

Now Eidos and Square Enix are ready to release the first piece of DLC for Deus Ex: Human Revolution called “The Missing Link”. Eidos and Square Enix have recently released a walkthrough video for the upcoming DLC to show players what they can expect when they buy this DLC.

The Missing Link DLC for Deus Ex: Human Revolution will be available for PC, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 in October.

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Madden NFL 12 Full Review


Madden NFL 12

Madden NFL 12 – If Madden NFL 12 were simply asking you to control a football team on the field, this wouldn’t be a problem. Franchise Mode, Madden’s centerpiece, hands over the reins to a team and allows control of most details defining the team’s future over multiple years. Everything can be tweaked, from player salary caps to players’ roles in the hierarchy (Team Leader, Franchise Quarterback, etc.).

There’s also Madden NFL 12 Ultimate Team, a cross between Magic: The Gathering and fantasy football that has players collecting trading cards of classic and current players, forming a perfect team and competing with friends to earn points. What about the actual game of football? When not hidden behind math and menus, Madden NFL 12 is still a good football game. Madden NFL 12 still those moments that capture the visceral thrill of an NFL game, when you’re completing a play in a regular game, or in the Superstar mode (another returning sub-game that has you developing a single player through his career). That’s ultimately Madden’s greatest problem, though. It replicates watching the NFL more than it does playing NFL football.

Meanwhile, we watch our neighbors to the east (Green Bay) win another Super Bowl.  So with that, as well as the fear of losing an NFL season due to the player’s strike, made this year’s Madden highly anticipated for many people, including myself.  EA promised players a whole plethora of new exciting features and modes, while also amping up the presentation, as well as adding some “RPG like elements” to the game.  I’ve loved the Madden series since its inception.  Hell, Madden has the longevity of Mario, (which is impressive in the video game world).  Let’s examine a couple points.

Madden NFL 12 Player’s abilities and tendencies are affected by the game performance. If your QB has all the time in the world to throw the ball, you will probably succeed. The computer AI might try that after you’ve nailed their QB a couple of times, but it isn’t going to affect your psyche in some way that will cause you to blow the game.

Madden NFL 12 This year’s presentation is made to feel very much like watching the game on TV.  Same goes with the introduction stadium entrances; it’s always your highest rated player as the only featured athlete. One feature I really enjoy in this year’s game is the extended rosters, which makes the pre-season actually meaningful. You also won’t ever cut a guy like Chester Taylor (rated 79 overall).  Great idea, but just needs some serious fine tuning.

The Madden NFL 12 franchise is one of the best-selling video game franchises ever. It’s a shame really because the Madden games have seen a level of quality on par with video game franchises like FIFA and NHL.

Obviously this game is very similar to Madden 11 which was considerably akin to Madden 10 which in turn was much like Madden 09; a criticism that has been consistently aimed at most of EA Sports releases. The result is a vast improvement over the rag dollish appearance of previous games.

Graphically the game reflects this realism also. You play matches to earn coins that can be spent on packs of player cards. Some of the best sports games ever made (the early Tony Hawks games, WWE, FIFA) were designed so that they can be easily picked up by someone who has never played the sport before and the player can quickly suss out what to do and how to play. In the defence of those that made the game, American football is a surprisingly in depth game with a big part of the game involving trying to outthink what the opposing team is going to do and how to counter it. Go nuts, Madden 12 will not disappoint!

Overall, the game Madden NFL 12 play is fantastic.  All the player’s movements are fluid, and plays are executed rather smoothly.  The Gameflow play calling system has also allowed you to pick your options between Gameplan, Pass, or Rush (offense) or Gameplan, Conservative or Aggressive (defense).  The overall theme of this year’s Madden NFL 12 game: it’s good, it’s a great effort, but you seriously need to clean up some stuff for next year.

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Dead Island Full Review


Dead Island

Dead Island – Dead Island feels like a frankengame cobbled together from scavenged parts. It’s an open-world, co-operative first-person role-playing game set on an island overrun by zombies. After gaining a level or two, players begin to understand the differences between the game’s four playable characters. Dead Island is best played with others, but the game seems more content with hooking you up with strangers than empowering you to play with friends. Still, once you’ve managed to cajole the game into putting you and a buddy on the game’s beach, there’s plenty of fun to be had running quests, crafting weapons, scouring the island for loot, and of course, dismembering hordes of the walking dead. The game’s combat isn’t as satisfying and over-the-top as Dead Rising, or as tight and fast as Left 4 Dead, but it will do.

Narratively, Dead Island is unambitious.

Ever since the release Dead Island of that incredible first cinematic trailer, fans of horror video games and the zombie sub–genre have been frothing at the mouth to get their hands on the latest title from developer Techland (Call of Juarez and its two sequels, Bound in Blood and The Cartel) and publisher Deep Silver, Dead Island.

Dead Island is The game takes place on the island of Banoi at a beautiful vacation resort. First of all let me just say I never allow my anticipation levels for a game to elevate over a cinematic trailer (apart from Skyrim, perhaps). Your character being immune is clearly necessary as a plot device because things would be a little complicated if you turned to a zombie every time you got attacked—and you will definitely be attacked—but it does also affect the gameplay. Again, it was necessary for the game to work, but sacrifices to the fear factor were made as well.

Dead Island As for the zombie killing, to be perfectly honest, it’s a hell of a lot of fun. Guns do come into it more as you progress through the game, but there’s nothing like a melee kill.

You’ll also find your fair share of head–scratching moments in the game. Attempting to avoid the zombies on these docks after completing the quest, I jumped into the water and headed for the beach. Always let players save whenever they wish to.

Dead Island Then there’s the workbenches, where you can repair your favorite weapons or make special new ones. I’m someone who could never get into the other big zombie games out there: Left 4 Dead had little appeal to me and Dead Rising is fun for a short time, but grows old quickly. I’ve always said that the best possible zombie game would be one where these walking dead exist, but are not the primary focus. Going into Dead Island I had hopes that this might finally be that kind of game I’ve been craving, but, sadly, it was lacking in a little too many areas to pull it off.

All of that said, I still had fun with the game Dead Island just in terms of pure zombie carnage. There’s just something about killing zombies that will always be fun to certain people, and apparently I am one of those people. It’s also worth mention that playing the game Dead Island with friends is supposedly even better.

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Resistance 3 Full Review


Resistance 3

Resistance 3 – Ever since 2006’s Resistance: Fall Of Man gave gamers a good excuse to shell out for a PS3, the Resistance series has been bleak, but in Resistance 3, winning the war isn’t even on the docket. Surviving the cold snap to end all cold snaps is all Joe Capelli cares about.

Resistance 3 In a possible sign that Halo is finally loosening its power-armored grip on first-person shooters, Resistance 3 ditches the two-weapon cap and regenerating health in favor of a weapon wheel and health bar. Add to that the secondary fire options, brutally satisfying mêlée combat, and a leveling system for weapons that encourages variety, and Resistance 3 might just have the coolest munitions in gaming.

The pivot away from Resistance 2 is mostly welcome, “mostly” because the multiplayer has been pruned from 60 to 16 players, and the engrossing eight-player co-op mode has been scrapped in favor of a two-player campaign with no matchmaking. Resistance 3 delivers the goods, make no mistake.

With Resistance 2, developer Insomniac’s mantra was clear – make it bigger. As such, scale was the focus with 200ft mega-creatures in epic set-pieces and boss battles aplenty. But presumably when it came to Resistance 3 the developer had a problem. Resistance 3 takes a more subtle approach to the alien-invasion angle – more atmosphere, and a little less bombast, reflecting humanity’s more desperate situation in the sequel. Resistance 3 follows the story of Joe Capelli, a major player in the events that closed out the game’s predecessor, and finds humanity at its lowest ebb.

Capelli and, it is implied, the majority of humanity have been driven underground by a Chimeran counter-attack following the climax of Resistance 2. Dishonourably discharged from Echo Squad and paying a price for his bravery in Resistance 2, Joe Capelli is holed-up in the tunnels beneath Haven with his family and a desperate band of survivors, including another alumnus from Resistance 2, Dr Fyodor Malikov. As you’d expect with a Resistance title, each weapon has primary and secondary fire functions that are now automatically upgraded as you earn kills. It’s a nicely-structured upgrade system and the rewards are much-appreciated in the heat of battle. New weapons in Resistance 3 include the Cryogun, which freezes enemies allowing them to be shattered with the alternate fire, and the Mutator, which messes with the target’s genetics with unpredictable, and often explosive, results.

With limited ammo and, breaking tradition from the last game, no regenerative health, you’ll need to think tactically about the fire fights, preserving your health and selecting the right weapon, knowing that some are more effective against particular enemies. Insomniac also deserves credit for throwing fiendish combinations of enemies at you at any time. Resistance 3 is more about the mid-size boss battle with easily-identifiable weak spots and, while they punctuate the pacing in the game effectively, it’s the basic combat that stands out; Insomniac has deftly crafted a compelling, if not lengthy, single-player campaign.

The large-scale, 60-player battles of its predecessors are gone, replaced with tighter, more-focused 16-player skirmishes and the now-obligatory levelling-up system. Classes and weapons are unlocked as you rank up and the developer has wisely included the same weapon upgrade system found in the single-player campaign in the game’s online modes too. There are definite limitations; it may lack the narrative weight of some of the competition, and may struggle to break free of its rigidly linear approach to FPS gameplay, but Resistance 3 takes an existing concept and executes it well, especially in the single-player game.

For me, the Resistance series has always lacked a little something. The game begins with new protagonist Joseph Capelli lamenting the events of the end of Resistance 2, then dives straight into humanity’s ongoing struggle against the Chimera. Resistance 3 is a cross-country road trip in four acts, with snapshots of humanity’s struggle to survive. Each of Resistance 3′s sections tells a different, distinct story. There’s the group of resistance fighters holding the Chimera at bay in Mississippi.

Throughout the game, radio broadcasts detail various human colonies and spread the message of helping one another. There’s a large arsenal, and each gun serves its purpose. Weapons also upgrade through use, gaining new abilities, which adds another great incentive to play around with all the gun types.

The setpieces are excellent too, with the game mixing up its structure between siege sections, horror-style crawls through deserted factories and towns, and some great boss battles against giant mutated beasties. Unfortunately, issues with the game’s multiplayer brings it crashing down to earth somewhat. It’s a shame too, as the multiplayer itself is great. It’s impossible to tell whether this is the fault of the game or of Sony’s PlayStation Network, but when other games function perfectly well it’s impossible not to criticise Resistance 3 for this. The single player, a decent length for an FPS at 8-10 hours long, is superb and reason enough to play the game by itself.

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