Black Ops 2: Better than the first?

By: Elise

Better Than The First? I think so! When I first heard that Black Ops 2 was coming out, I wasn’t too excited. As the release date grew closer, I caved and preordered the game. Watching the trailers as they released them, my expectations were continued to build. After waiting in line for 4 hours to finally get the game on November 14, 2012 I raced home and played a couple rounds on multiplayer. It’s safe to say Black Ops 2 multiplayer definitely exceeded my expectations.
The first thing I noticed I liked better about Black Ops 2 multiplayer was the maps. In recent games, such as MW3, the maps aren’t terrible but they don’t compare to the maps in Black Ops 2. Some things I noticed about the maps were that they felt more three dimensional and had moving parts, and best of all fewer places people could camp at. I definitely enjoyed playing on these maps a lot more than in past COD games.
In the article by Devin Connors, Connors seems to agree with my insight into the game. Connors said “While the core multiplayer experience of Black Ops 2 has the same basic framework as previous Call of Duty games, Treyarch has addressed many of those issues: revamping the way you customize your loadouts, fine-tuning core components, adding new game modes, and filling out the baked-in competitive aspect of online play.” Although customization has never been a complaint in the past, the new Black Ops is “a welcome addition that really allows you to address your strengths and weaknesses as a player.” Connors sums it up by saying “Black Ops 2 multiplayer has its fair share of failures and successes. Does the whole experience feel appropriately tied in with the campaign? Absolutely. The maps, whether they’re pulled directly from the campaign or merely inspired by it, were designed with diversity in mind, and they hit that goal. If you’re a fan of the established Call of Duty multiplayer experience, Black Ops 2 takes everything you enjoy and improves upon it.”

I would definitely suggest getting this game. The multiplayer alone is the worth the $60 dollar price tag. I haven’t even touched upon the campaign and the zombies. The campaign and zombies bring so much more to the table and gives a whole new experience to players. Great game 9/10.

Article:
http://www.shacknews.com/article/76697/call-of-duty-black-ops-2-multiplayer-review-same-but

Youtube:

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The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct will it live up to the show?

By: Elise

With The Walking Dead tv show that airs on AMC being such a hit with young and old alike, does the video game The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct measure up? It appears not. According to the article by Rich Stanton, “The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct is what comes, with sad inevitability, alongside such an achievement.” He explains how the original comic was innovative and had an original take on the zombie apocalypse. The game could not live up to the original The Walking Dead comic for Stanton.
In the game you are cast as hillbilly Daryl Dixon, “whose most distinctive trait is calling female zombies “d***head” as he stabs them.” Your mission is to by stealthy and shoot through corridors on a mission for something different on each level. It seems like each level has potential to have something really great, but there wasn’t the proper time or budget put into this game. After messing around on the game for a few minutes you’ll notice the windows are bulletproof and the doors which open look exactly the same as those which don’t. The buildings are boxy, cars are boxy and surprisingly enough the houses are boxy too. Many ideas are too unfufilled to make this game worthwhile. Where there could be minigames and such to add to the game, there are simply menu options for players to choose from. Another flaw with the game is your vechicle and the limited seats it allows you. When you have too many people in the vechicle you are told to “dismiss somebody, abandoning them to the zombie apocalypse because you couldn’t possibly fit three in the back seat, what happens? Nothing. You move to the next menu screen and they’ve disappeared.” One last complaint is the zombies, the enemy. When you pause the game to look at the crowd of zombies, each zombie has a look a like. They can easily be taken out at back but when you get close enough for them to see or smell you or if you were to shoot off your gun, they all come running. Maybe it’s best to just run from this game.

Article:
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-04-03-the-walking-dead-survival-instinct-review

Video Game Music – Love it or Hate it?

When Halo 4 was released, I stumbled upon a link on iHeartRadio that is dedicated to having a radio station for Halo, entitled Master Chief Radio, which has been on in my room since I discovered it. This radio station is so awesome because it is mixed entirely by 343 Industries, the new developer for the Halo franchise. This is something that has never been seen before and is an awesome idea. This radio station appeals to Halo fans and music fans alike and once you game with music it is hard to game without it.

I have listened to this station for the past few days and the music selection is fantastic and have heard little repeats in song selection. The station has a plenty of dubstep and high-paced jams for you to enjoy, as well as some rap and classic rock. Mixed into this station is orchestral numbers from the Halo series that puts a nice touch to this mix so it doesn’t seem like a “regular” dubstep mix of tunes.

Since listening to this station I have began to listen to other popular video game soundtracks via YouTube and these are amazing pieces of art. Soundtracks to video games are nothing new as they are now released with collector’s editions of games, as well as being separate entities themselves having their own special editions.

Take a listen to Master Chief Radio, as well as some of these other soundtracks when you are writing a paper, at work, gaming, or driving in the car and get a sense of how awesome video games, their soundtracks, as well as this special radio station are!

Some other soundtracks to listen to (if interested) are:

“Durango” Unchained? The newest Xbox architecture and what is inside!

As soon as the New Year started there have been rumors swirling about the next generation of consoles. What will they contain and what will not be supported has been highly speculated as of this point; however the fine people at VGleaks (@VGLeaks) released what the make-up of the newest Xbox, codenamed “Durango”. The components within the new Xbox are still not official and ARE NOT CONFIRMED.

xbox

Starting with the CPU of the system we have an 8-core chip running at 1.6 GHz which is much improved over the triple-core 3.2 GHz CPU that is in the Xbox 360. “Durango” also sports 8GB of DDR3 RAM which crushes what is in the current Xbox 360, which is only 512MB of GDDR3 RAM. These improvements already are setting itself up for success, but we aren’t done yet! The GPU in the “Durango” is a custom 800MHz graphics card built specifically for the newest Xbox. Look for this to be another monster upgrade for Microsoft’s newest console.

One thing that all console gamers have been asking for is a Blu-ray drive and it appears that Xbox lovers will be in luck as it contains a 50GB 6x Blu-ray drive! This may not be important for people who own both the PS3 and the Xbox 360, or for those who own a separate Blu-ray player, however this is HUGE for those who don’t!  Other miscellaneous things to look at are the USB 3.0 port, as well as a dedicated Kinect IN slot for people who own one of those nifty units. Lastly, there is HDMI IN and HDMI OUT slots as well, leaving some room for speculation as what the HDMI IN would be used for.  Unfortunately there has not been any mention of hard drive sizes yet, but hopefully the 4GB units will be history!

This system looks extremely impressive so far and appears to have enough power to last as long as the original Xbox 360 in terms of longevity (the original Xbox 360 was released in November of 2005). According to VGLeaks they will be releasing the architecture for the next Playstation, codenamed “Orbis”, in the near future so stay tuned here to find out the latest with Sony’s next generation system! Expect an official announcement of the new Xbox at this year’s E3 event in June of this year during Microsoft’s annual keynote.

Xbox 720. Will it nail it or fail it?

By: Elise

According to Gamestop, the Xbox 720 is a ‘very hot, compelling device’. Although the game is still unannounced, the CEO of Gamestop Paul Raines is very excited as to what is coming. According to the article, he believes that the announcement is going to attract gamers worldwide and that Microsoft is going to benefit greatly from its release. Since Gamestop and Microsoft often spend time together, they know the product is going to be a hot spot on the market. “Raines said. ‘They are doing some really cool stuff, and I’m eager to hear them start their announcements because I think the world is going to stand up and take notice.'”. He also believes that the current demand for the Playstation 4 is likely to be met by the Xbox 720. There have been rumors that these will be hitting the shelves this 2013 holiday season so don’t forget to write them on your lists for Santa.
A major question for gamers is if the systems will feature backwards compatibilities. In an article by Matthew Humphries explains what EA is thinking on this topic. There predictions are coming from Blake Jorgensen, EA’s chief financial officer, thinking it may be out of the question to offer this feature. Due to their advancement in technology, it would be very costly for Sony’s PS4 to offer backwards compatibility. Sony would need to add additional hardware, due to their switch of cell architecture to a PC-like set of components. They do have a form of Gaikai, which would allow previous generation games to be played without the additional hardware. For the Xbox 720, having Xbox Live could possibly allow gamers to download the older games through this allowing gamers to play on the new hardware.
There is a lot left unknown for the Xbox 720, but hopefully all our questions will be answered when they announce the system in the next few months.

Check out the articles here: http://www.gamespot.com/news/xbox-720-a-very-hot-compelling-device-says-gamestop-6406315″ title

http://www.geek.com/games/ea-thinks-next-gen-consoles-wont-feature-backwards-compatibility-1539573/

http://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyxPVyA-GUM

Is Outlast going to be the scariest game of all time?

Is a new game coming out called Outlast the scariest game of all time? A guy at IGN thinks so. The article is by Marty Sliva and he talks about his experience playing the Outlast demo. Just as some background, the game is based as a first person horror game that is set in (cliche enough) abandoned asylum that once housed the criminally insane. The character you play as is a reporter that has nothing but the clothes on his back and a infrared camera.
Before Sliva went in for the demo, he had a chance to talk to the team that developed the game, the team at Red Barrels is made up of former Ubisoft designers that worked on Prince of Persia: Sands of time. They told him that some demo goers “bolted out mid-demo, others stumbled out unhealthily pale, and one guy almost destroyed the entire booth in a fit of panic.”
Sliva thought that this was just to get the hype up for the game and other demo players before they actually got to play, “I was a nonbeliever. In reality, I was a complete idiot who had no idea what he was about to get himself into.”
The booth was covered, he was given a pair of headphones after he made is way into the booth he realized that he made a mistake by going into the booth.
The video of Sliva’s reaction to the game is in the article on IGN, you can click here to read the article and watch the video of his reaction and another PAX East goer.
Personally as a horror fan myself I just really hope that this isn’t another promo-ed “this game is scary” nonsense. I loved playing Deadspace and Deadspace 2 because they had cool game play and awesome story lines  but they were also pretty scary. I really hope that Outlast doesn’t disappoint.
The trailer looks kinda freaky, I hope the game gives me the same feeling when I get to play it. The game has a release date of TBA 2013.

Activision’s new lifelike CGI renderings, is it a good or bad thing for the gaming industry?

I’m sure people have asked, “When are graphics going to become so realistic that you can’t tell the difference from a real person?” Well, if it’s not right now, it’s going to be here soon.


The CGI video is property of Activision. Even though I saw this exact same demo done by Nvidia, I’m not sure if they’re partnering up on this or what, but the fact of the matter is, these CGI renderings are spectacular, if not lifelike.
My only problem with this is that most of the game developers are mainly focused on the power of the graphics and how realistic games look, when not all of them actually need to look super realistic. Take the game Dishonored for example, the games graphics aren’t amazing or even the average for most of the games that came out at the same time.

BUT, people seem to forget that even if you have amazing graphics it doesn’t make the game play or the story line any better. What makes dishonored different are the overall game play and aesthetics of the game. I think that the graphics weren’t meant to be the most advanced. They were meant to compliment the story line and the game play.
While I’m all for amazing graphics I’m worried that the industry is spending too much time focusing on how technologically advanced graphics can be instead of taking the time and effort into making the graphics compliment the story line and game play as a whole, instead of just being “The best looking game out there.”.
That being said, I still think this achievement is amazing and ground breaking but I’m worried about what’s going to happen to games now that this realism is now possible. Here’s the Kotaku article where I saw the new Soldier renders.