Portal managed to strike a balance between unique mechanics and polished execution. It did so flawlessly, but Portal 2 faces its own set of challenges. Forced to walk the tightrope of maintaining what made the previous game great while changing it enough to avoid the “1.5” branding, Portal 2 is no doubt a difficult sequel to develop. Luckily, Valve steps up to the plate and delivers one of the most charming games I’ve played since Portal’s initial release in 2007.
Crysis 2 looks good and developer Crytek knows this. The intro credit says “Achieved with CryEngine 3,” and the first achievement you get is called “Can it run Crysis?” However, pretty visuals alone don’t impress me. Luckily, Crysis 2 offers more than just its console-PC flame war inducing graphics. It’s also a fantastic game and a serious contender for the best shooter of 2011.
Set in the United States under North Korean occupation, Homefront attempts to differentiate itself from other first person shooters with a unique back-story. You take control of Robert Jacobs, an ex-helicopter pilot, and fight in the American resistance. This grim scenario could have allowed for an incredibly interesting shooter, but instead fails to implement anything we haven’t already seen in the genre.
Let’s first get this out of the way. I’m not doing this to be a dick. Karli already wrote an excellent, insightful review of Dragon Age II…even though he never completed Origins and his companions in the game totally hate him…he said so himself. My feigned (?) outrage is all in good fun, despite the fact I spent countless hours with Origins, completing it three times, and finishing each and every DLC, not to mention reporting on every single piece of DA news…Karli finished DA2 first, so fair is fair.
Historians argue that the ancient city of Troy was destined to fall. Whether or not Helen had eloped with Paris or not, Troy’s detractors would have found some other reason to siege the city. Of course, the Trojan War became famous for the petty reason that started it, but knowing that this great conflict was inevitable adds a certain bit of tragedy to what is otherwise just another war for poets to write about. We like to believe that video games can, and should, deliver stories with depth and layers to it, but to date, these stories have been shallow, simple, and sometimes just plain old nonsensical. Bioware must have realized this when they came up with the story of Dragon Age 2.
Has it really been 10 years since the last Marvel vs. Capcom game? I guess since 2D Capcom fighters such as Street Fighter and other “Vs.” fighting games are such a constant presence you just kind of take it for granted. Not that the latest MvC game, Marvel vs. Capcom 3: Fate of Two Worlds is a generic, throwaway title in the publisher’s superb stable of 2D fighting games; far from it. It is one of the most exciting, most entertaining, and accessible 2D fighters thus far.
Sequels are always put in the unenviable position to deliver the same thing but in a completely different way. The fallback plan to that is to just do the same thing but in a grander way and probably with more flash to it. It’s sad to say that Dead Space 2 decided to go plan B, but at the same time, it’s hard to complain when it does it as well as Dead Space 2 did.
It’s funny. I don’t recall there ever being a sport called Call of Duty. What ESPN is it on? 4? The only way I know it exist is that it’s serialized like Madden. Aren’t sport games the only game franchises that get serialized? I’m really only bringing this up because like any game franchises that gets serialized, each year it gets tougher and tougher to live up to its own name.
Popcorn works great for watching movies. You don’t have to pay attention to it if you want to eat it. It isn’t like a steak where you have to watch where you’re cutting. Unfortunately, popcorn’s not all that easy to eat while you’re playing a video game like Vanquish. I guess that’s why they don’t call them popcorn video games, but if there ever was one, Vanquish would be leading the charge.
It seems like ever since Infinity Ward came out with Call of Duty Modern Warfare the original, everyone and their mama has been trying to get on the contemporary battlefield bandwagon. Even though other firms have been making games based on fictional conflicts these days for years (the Battlefield series chiefly) it wasn’t until Soap and Price came onto the scene that things really started blowing up. [Read more...]