This article is covering the single player aspects of Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The multiplayer is not mentioned and does not effect the overall score.
My initial thoughts on Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood were great. The improvement on animation and game play was astounding, coming along way from Assassin’s Creed II. replaying Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood, I began to see the flaws in the game.
Ubisoft has done a fantastic job recreating the Rome we found in Assassin’s Creed II, improving on what was and expanding for the Assassin’s Creed veteran. even with the improvement, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood still has its flaws.
In Brotherhood you are still the fabled Assassin, Ezio, from Assassins Creed 2. you are on a mission to destroy the Borgia family and army once and for all.
Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood’s setting and character list is similar to that of Assassin’s Creed II, providing a Deja vu experience until the dust settles. Immersing yourself with the improved game play and a incredible story, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood will whisk you away to renaissance Rome.
The character models have also been improved, giving each character more facial personality, making the game feel more realistic than previous entries in the series.
Ubisoft has introduced a town defence mission, wherein Ezio and a range of other characters defend their villa from opposing forces. Having the ability to now fire cannons at moving ground targets is a feature that should not be looked over.
The Hand to hand combat has greatly improved since Assassin’s Creed II. Ezio flows from one enemy to the next, stringing together lethal combos which will make even the violence tolerant players cringe.
The controls are probably the worst part of the game, making for a frustrating experience. When you are trying to climb a building or over a fiery lake and Ezio jumps backwards killing himself like a suicidal maniac, little forgiveness is found.
The mission descriptions are brief and confusing, leaving out important details as to what you are supposed to be doing.
Voice dialogue, although not a game breaking glitch, is annoying when 5 second time lapses in between characters speaking are present, leaving you unsure as to when a conversation actually ends.
Occasionally you will find scenery/Non-playable characters still loading in while you are fleeing. at one point Ezio was stopped by unknown forces, which, once loaded in, were quickly revealed to be 5 guards.
Another problem the game presents is you are running place to place like a chook with its head cut off. Ubisoft has integrated a fast travel system, however running on foot is still easier. While playing through the game you will find the missions to be similar, causing for stale game play towards the end.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood has beautiful graphics, good gameplay and the ability to ride horses in towns – which is awesome. The towns have been expanded and add more detail, making it one of Ubisoft’s best environments for the Renaissance. The world of Assassin’s Creed continues to improve, and it seems Ubisoft is getting the hang of the genre. The flaws are still present, but not game breaking. Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood is a solid game, and a stepping stone into a great franchise.
Listings have popped up on the Korean and Brazilian ratings boards that mention a PS4 version of Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare is in the works, which was announced earlier this year at E3 as an Xbox timed exclusive.
The ratings, which were spotted by Eurogamer, list that the game is on its way to PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and PC. Brazil and Korea also gave it a rating, Brazil stating that the game is not suitable for those under 10 and Korea went for PG. If this is true, it may mean the period of exclusivity might not be as long as we’ve previously thought.
Garden Warfare is due for arrival on Xbox 360 and Xbox One on February 20th. A PC version was also confirmed, but not dated.
For all the North American PlayStation Plus subscribers, Sony has an early Christmas gift for you! They’ve revealed the four new games that will be available free for you to download in December 2013.
The biggest one of the bunch is Borderlands 2, Gearbox Software’s critically renowned shooter. The rest of the pack includes racer GRID 2 for the PlayStation 3, and Urban Trial Freestyle and Sonic & All Stars Racing Transformed for the PlayStation Vita.
And like always, these free games will be added to the Instant Game Collection, a free catalog of downloadables, as we move through December.
Introducing… Living in the Past – A DigiBytes Original Feature Series
And so, the dust has finally settled. Although the PlayStation 4 won’t release in Europe for another week, both SONY’s console and Microsoft’s Xbox One are now available to gamers to purchase and play in the US. The build-up is over and the consoles are here.
Unfortunately, I can’t afford either of them.
Which is why, here on DigiBytes, I’m introducing a new feature series known as “Living in the Past“. It’s fairly self-explanatory, but I’ll give you the lowdown anyway.
Essentially, I’m going to be playing some of the oldest games from the 7th generation consoles (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3), and talking about them on here, discussing how they handle by today’s standards. We’ll talk about the visuals, the technology and my experiences with the game. At the end of the day, I want to be looking back at and playing older games when all the hype is surrounding the Xbox One and the PS4, because here at DigiBytes, we want to give you the best of the past, the present and the future.
New Living in the Past “episodes” will be published on the first day of every month as a written article, talking about the game(s) I have been playing that month. You’ll find that video features are going to be created more often on DigiBytes and other gaming websites now that the Xbox One and PS4 enable recording of gameplay, so we thought it would be nice to retain some good old fashioned written pieces. First on the agenda is The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion for the Xbox 360 – perhaps the first essential, system-seller game to release on Microsoft’s console back in 2006. You can expect to see this article published on DigiBytes on the 1st of January 2014, so we’ll grandly be kicking off the series at the very start of the new year.
Don’t be mistaken, I’m not actually going to be “living” in the past. At least, not to the extent of pretending there is no electricity and heating, or going down the garden to relieve myself. But I’ll certainly be playing the games of yesteryear – the games that may be long forgotten but still deserve more praise. So join me in my adventure – together we will remember, reminisce and commemorate the great 7th generation of consoles – treading where others are too focused on the future to realize.
Dust off that helpless controller, plug in the power brick, and put Summer of 69 on vinyl, for we’re going back in time!
You can follow Steve’s progress on a regular basis by glancing over his Playfire page, where he will frequently update you with his latest thoughts on the games he’s playing: https://www.playfire.com/FishPips
Alternatively, you can add him as a friend on Xbox Live by sending a friend request to the gamertag: Fish Pips, where you can also keep track of his progress.
DISCLAIMER: This top 10 list represents the views and opinions of Steve Wright, editor at DigiBytes. In no way do they reflect the views of DigiBytes as a whole.
DISCLAIMER: I do no own a Nintendo Wii console, which is why none of the games for that platform are featured on this list.
10. Uncharted 2 Among Thieves
Ah yes, Uncharted 2; perhaps the most visually arresting game back in its day. Combining charming characters, exemplary voice acting, engaging story, beautiful visuals, solid gameplay mechanics, fantastic pacing and general wit, Among Thieves represents the highest point in the Uncharted series. The multiplayer always kept me coming back for more.
9. Portal 2
Portal 2 is the only game I have watched a full Let’s Play of on YouTube, and that’s before I even bought the game. I was so engrossed in the comedy, the story and the mind-bending puzzles that I could not stop watching. Then, I bought the game for myself and enjoyed playing it. As far as delivery goes, Portal 2 is the complete package, combining a superb single-player campaign with thoughtful and co-operative split screen that offers plenty of replay value. And shouting.
8. The Beatles Rock Band
Though I’m not too hot on music games, The Beatles Rock Band is the definitive game in the genre. With The Beatles Rock Band, Harmonix didn’t just take The Beatles greatest hits and synchronize them with button presses. They created a perfectly realized representation of The Beatles with authentic visuals and excellent atmosphere. They also made me love The Beatles’ music even more!
7. Racedriver GRID
Racedriver GRID is in my top ten list if only for one game mode: demolition derby. The amount of hours I used to sink into the multiplayer mash-up is insane. For a while, GRID was the only game I would play, forever signing into Xbox Live just to race around an 8-ball style course and smashing into other players. I think there’s a game outside of that mode too, but I wouldn’t know because I never played it.
6. Grand Theft Auto IV
Of course, if you asked me today if I’d rather play GTA IV or GTA V, I would pick the latter each and every time. So why does GTA IV make it into my top ten list? Again, it largely comes down to one brilliant game mode. Although the entire GTA IV package is superb with downloadable mission packs that are arguably better than the main game, it was the Bomb ‘Da Base multiplayer mode that kept me coming back. The mode involved the players driving to a helicopter, flying over to a cargo ship, before blowing the damn thing up! A overlooked mode that would never get old.
5. DiRT 2
I remember playing the DiRT 2 demo, downloaded from the Xbox Live marketplace and being amazed at how stunning the game was, in terms of handling, audio and visuals. Not only does DiRT 2 sport the best soundtrack in any racing game, it’s water physics, sound effects and adrenaline-fueled racing made every drift hugely exciting. As far as my favorite racing game, DiRT 2 just about takes the crown ahead of Forza Horizon.
4. Heavy Rain
Heavy Rain was the first game in which I realized that games could make you cry. Looking back, the clunky controls and fairly measly graphics add up to what should be a pretty mediocre experience, but the incredibly emotional story combined with innovative quick time events – making great use of the Dualshock 3′s unique features – create an interactive movie that will have you opening the flood gates.
3. Just Cause 2
In no other game have I had as much fun taking off from an airport, flying across the map and landing in another one, as in Just Cause 2. The draw distance is phenomenal and the sheer size and scale of the world is quite breathtaking. Technically, the game is pretty sloppy with weak voice acting and horrible lip-syncing. But when a game is as fun and exhilarating as Just Cause 2 – offering a huge variety of things to do – you simply won’t care.
I’ll admit, I’ve dropped out of the LBP community in recent years. A shame, given how much fun I had within it. The offline campaign mode is worth the price of admission alone, combine that with a seemingly never ending supply of community levels and you’ve got one of the greatest bargains in history. Heading into Create mode with 3 other players to build a level for others to play is great fun, making LBP’s mantra one that will never go stale.
1. Mafia II
Once again, it seems like there are a number of games on this list that are perhaps not outstanding technically, but when a game has had such a huge affect on you, that doesn’t matter. With Mafia II, it’s the small details that added up to an enthralling experience. I remember walking out of the car at the start of the game, feet crunching through the snow, when suddenly the in-game radio switches to ‘Let it snow’. The World War Two setting is perfect for this type of game, and Mafia II is an incredible experience that I will never forget. I love it.
The Ps3 is home to a heap of fantastic new games like DMC, Ratchet and Clank series and a lot more.
But with this current generation of gaming coming to an end I decided that it was time that I did a top 15 list of the best PS3 games of 2013 so far. If any one of you readers think that there should be a game that I have missed in this list, please let me know in the comments below.
DEVIL MAY CRY
Seeing Dante with black hair for the first time ( rather than his iconic silver hair ) turned a few fans off (me included) but there was no need to worry because this game delivers like the other 5 or so other games in the series.
With a whole new story and backdrop this game is one of the best in the 2013 line up.
FINAL FANTASY XIV ONLINE
Final Fantasy XIV Online wasn’t a very good game when it first released on the PC a few years ago. It was buggy, lacked features, and seemed like little more than a bastard child of World of Warcraft and FF11.
The new version of the game, which is slated for release on both the PC and the PS3 is being helmed by an entirely new team at Square Enix which intends to fix all the mistakes of the previous team and create a new game almost entirely from scratch.
As one of the few MMORPGs for the PS3, FFXIV Online is one to watch.
Remember Me is a cyberpunk-themed game in which players take on the role of an amnesiac heroine named Nilin, who roams through the streets of Neo-Paris in search of her lost identity.
The game features a mixture of melee combat, platforming and exploration which is a very strange mixture according to me.
The game also introduces a mechanic of “memory remixing” which allows Nilin to enter a target’s memories and manipulate them.
Tomb Raider is the most realistic entry in the Tomb Raider series. Seeing players being stranded on a stormy island in the middle of the dragons triangle, it is your job (as Laura Croft) to meet up with your friends and survive the harsh conditions of the island.
With a brand new control scheme and fantastic looking graphics, Tomb Raider is a mixture of survival and third person shooting.
One of the best games of 2013
The Puppeteer is a strange yet fantastic video game that tells the story of a young boy who has been turned into a puppet.
Puppeteer is a platform game from the maker of The Getaway and the Siren series of games that’s playable in both 2D and 3D. It’s designed in the unique aesthetic of a puppet theater.
In the game, players assume the role of a boy named Kutaro who’s been turned into a puppet. Puppeteer offers a unique control scheme in which the left analog stick is used to control Kutaro, while the right stick controls a ghostly cat named Yin Yang.
METAL GEAR RISING REVENGENCE
Metal Gear Rising Revengence is hack and slash game that sees players slicing Cyborgs into Sushi sized pieces.
Having strayed away from the traditional Metal Gear universe, Rising tells the story of Raiden. A cyborg Ninja who is tasked with protecting the African President.
Once Raiden fails his objective he is then sent to hunt and track down an evil band of ruthless cyborgs.
SLY COOPER THEIVES IN TIME
Theives in time is the latest and greatest instalment into the Sly Cooper universe.
players take on the role of a sly fox who also happens to be a thief. Its stealth-based predecessors served as influences in many newer stealth titles, and the new game is expected to be just as stealthy when it comes out on both the PS3 and the PS Vita.
Dust 514 is a spinoff of CCP’s highly successful EVE Online, with players taking on the roles of boots on the ground in the vibrant online universe. As a massively multiplayer first person shooter, you’ll be tasked as one of the countless soldiers dispatched by your spacebound counterparts to take over planets and military installations with the support of spacecraft from EVE Online.
As of this writeup, the game is currently in open beta on the PS3.
Watch dogs is the next best thing as far as gaming goesWatch Dogs is the latest Ubisoft franchise that’s set to grace the PlayStation 3 and its next-gen counterpart, the PlayStation 4.Set in the modern day, the game is expected to play much like the Assassin’s Creed series, but sees the protagonist endowed with the ability to hack and twist technology to his whim as he strikes fear into the hearts of evil men who’ve escaped—or operate within—the long reach of the law.
First announced at E3 2012, the game has seen numerous demos played on the PlayStation 3, which gives us good reason to believe that the game will be everything it appears to be when it comes out next year.
NI NO KUNI WRATH OF THE WHITE WITCH
Ni No Kuni is the next best RPG.
Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch is Studio Ghibli’s first ever foray into videogame making. The studio is sometimes called the “Disney of Japan” and is beloved for its animated films like My Neighbor Totoro and Spirited Away. Teaming up with the makers of Jeanne d’Arc, Ni No Kuni is the only game to feature the designs, artwork, and animation of Studio Ghibli, with a storyline and characters also written by the studio.
Players take on the role of a small boy who loses his mom, and ventures into a magical parallel universe in order to bring her back. Like any Studio Ghibli film, you can expect to cry—a lot.
Infinite is the latest and greatest instalment into the Bioshock series
Seeing players take on the role of Booker de wit. You are tasked with collecting a mysterious girl called Elizabeth.
Once you make your way up to the floating city of Columbia, you go head to head with the cities police and military if you want to call it that.
a game set in an imaginary world of the early 1900s. It takes place aboard the flying city of Columbia, a city of American ideals that’s
plunged into civil war by two main factions that are not unlike the Tea Party and the Occupy Movement in the real world.
BEYOND TWO SOULS
From the makers of Heavy Rain and Fahrenheit comes a new adventure game starring the talents of Juno actress, Ellen Page. Beyond is set to be one of the most emotional experiences ever delivered in a videogame, according to its creator, David Cage, who sees videogames as a new medium for storytelling and not just for relieving boredom for those with an attention deficit.
The game is set to tell the story of Ellen Page’s character, whom we’ll follow throughout her entire life and grow to empathize with instead of being told that she’s someone we have to care about. To be sure, the game will offer a brave, new approach to storytelling
GOD OF WAR ASCENSION
It’s yet another God of War game, in which you cut people up with the twin Blades of Chaos. However, instead of being set after the events of the third game in the trilogy, Ascension is a prequel set before the events of the entire God of War series, and leads up to the events of the first game.
This time around, the developers say that they’ll be giving Kratos a personality beyond “murderous psychopath” to allow players to empathize with a much more human character. That doesn’t mean Kratos can’t still brutalize everything he encounters, though.
GRAND THEFT AUTO V
I would’ve listed GTA 5 has number one on this list, but it’s not a PS3 exclusive. That said, not being a platform exclusive doesn’t mean we want it any less. As the latest major title in the long-standing Grand Theft Auto series, GTA 5 is expected to be the last game from Rockstar for the current generation of console hardware and one that makes full use of everything the PS3 has to offer.
Instead of playing one character, you’ll experience the stories of three main characters for the first time ever in a GTA game, and experience San Andreas like never before.
THE LAST OF US
The Last of Us comes from the makers of the Uncharted series of games, and is set to offer a new take on the post-apocalyptic genre in a future where humans have been zombified—more or less—by a terrible fungus.
The game follows the story of two survivors, Joel and Ellie, as they traverse through the post-apocalyptic urban landscape, avoiding both the zombified plague victims and hostile scavengers alike.
Unlike the Uncharted series, The Last of Us has its roots in survival-horror, so engaging hostiles head-on is something you’ll probably not want to do very often. Both characters are extremely vulnerable, and their strengths lie not in their ability to fire a gun, but in stealth.
So there you have it. As the PlayStation 4 releases in the US today, with the Xbox One hitting the shelves globally on 22nd November, the curtain closes on the seventh generation of console gaming. So what better time than now to look back at the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3, to tell you some of my stories from the seventh generation.
In a way, it’s what I’ve grown up with. Today – as a 16 year old – the seventh generation consoles are all I’ve really known. Of course, I had an original Xbox, a PS2 and a Gameboy back in the day, but I was too young to really understand what they were aside from entertainment. My brother and I got an Xbox 360 on Christmas day 2009. I remember playing Project Gotham Racing 4 for the first time as part of the bundle.
To me, the seventh generation is special because it’s led me to great things; it’s helped me develop my writing skills, it’s helped me understand the industry and the businesses within it. It’s made me happy when I’ve been upset and it’s helped me to understand the concept of money. It’s taught me an awful lot about life, as well as providing me with endless entertainment. When I grow up, I’m sure I will consider the Xbox 360 and the PS3 as what some people consider the N64 today; retro. Without further ado, let’s talk about some of my favorite moments, games and memories from the seventh generation consoles.
So I already mentioned that my first game was Project Gotham Racing 4, and I’m sure I spent lots of time with it. What I also used to spend lots of times with were demos, for I could not afford full price, retail games. I used to play the demos from the demo discs in the Xbox magazine. As for some of my most memorable moments in actual games themselves, here’s a selection…
- Being obsessed with achievements and trophies
- Using the chainsaw gun in Gears of War, and nothing else
- Playing “Beat It” by Michael Jackson on Guitar Hero World Tour
- Generally laughing at how crazy Saints Row is
- Buying Forza Motorsport 2 for £2
- Buying Ridge Racer Unbounded for £5 shortly after release, because the retailer made a mistake!
- Getting stuck on Tomb Raider Legend, using a walk through for every single section of the game
- Jumping onto a Scarab Tank with a Warthog in Halo 3
- Messing about in the skate park in Skate
- Singing “Paradise City” by Guns N’ Roses whilst playing Burnout Paradise
- Giving my brother a high five in Army of Two
- Impersonating the terrible voice acting in Call of Duty 2/3
- Constantly going on dates with Michelle in Grand Theft Auto IV
- Playing the drum set on Rock Band, which would lead to me playing the drums for real!
- Exclusively playing the demolition derby multiplayer mode on GRID
- Laughing at the story in Battlefield Bad Company
- Blowing so much s*** up in Mercenaries 2
- Learning about World War 2 in Brother In Arms Hell’s Highway
- Playing my friends on FIFA
- Giving my wife numerous presents in Fable 2, because I’m a good husband
- Endlessly playing Quantum of Solace multiplayer, especially the Golden Gun mode
- Not understanding how Fallout 3, or any role playing games worked
- Humming the Mirror’s Edge theme tune
- Playing zombies in Call of Duty World At War with friends
- Borrowing games off of friends, just so I can get achievements without having to pay for them
- Being wowed by the weather effects in FUEL
- Learning more great The Beatles songs in The Beatles Rock Band
- Loving every single song on the soundtrack for DiRT 2
- Creating custom cars on Forza Motorsport 3
- Getting stuck on the same mission in Borderlands, but never giving up. To this day, I can’t progress past the mission!
- Making fun of the Assassin’s Creed II voice actors. “Money, money, money!” “I guess that’s one way to stay in shape!”
- Falling in love with the World War 2 setting, music and cars in games like The Saboteur and Mafia II
- Trying to have sex with Miranda in Mass Effect 2, bless my little pubescent self
- Riding quad bikes everywhere in Battlefield Bad Company 2
- Taking off and landing planes at the airports in Just Cause 2, being amazed at how big and beautiful the open world is
- Struggling to complete the co-op missions in Splinter Cell Conviction
- Getting my first 1000G in Alan Wake!
- Learning more great Green Day songs in Green Day Rock Band. They’re now my favorite band!
- Admiring the setting for Singularity
- Dropping my jaw when “Let It Snow” comes on the radio in Mafia II when it’s snowing, because it’s the small touches
- Trying to move the analogue stick with great precision in the F1 games, then spinning out
- Loving the demo of Enslaved Odyssey To The West
- Deleting my Fallout New Vegas save because I didn’t know that you were supposed to be collecting the bottle caps
- Seeing the lights of New Vegas in Fallout New Vegas for the first time after an hour long walk on foot
- Proudly being British when playing Fable 3
- Learning how to mix some tunes in DJ Hero 2
- Enjoying only one Japanese game – Vanquish
- Doing all of the side missions in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood
- Escaping the cops in Need for Speed Hot Pursuit
- Travelling across the map in Test Drive Unlimited 2
- Kicking folk in the genitals in Bulletstorm
- Being hurt by the opening cinematic in Homefront
- Being amazed by how good looking Crysis 2 was
- Watching a walk through of Portal 2 online, without owning the game, getting the game, knowing how to beat the puzzles
- Telling whether a witness is telling the truth or not in L.A. Noire
- Uploading videos to YouTube in DiRT 3
- Playing Call of Juarez The Cartel, for some reason
- Finding the end of Driver San Francisco far too difficult
- Buying Bodycount because it’s made by Codemasters
- SPOILER – being upset when Dom dies in Gears of War 3 with Mad World playing
- Having a great time in the TV Studio mission in RAGE
- Coming across more places in Skyrim
- Playing some classic Sonic in Sonic Generations
- Playing an adrenaline-fueled set-piece race in Need for Speed The Run
- Switching between the original and updated visuals in Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary
- Adoring the art style in Rayman Origins
- Mucking around in co-op in Saints Row The Third
- Wishing “I Believe In A Thing Called Love” would feature at least once in The Darkness
- Getting angry at almost every level on SSX
- Winning the star letter in a PlayStation magazine and getting Binary Domain for free!
- Not really caring about the Mass Effect 3 ending
- Embracing the return of FIFA Street!
- Thinking that the sex scenes are the best part of The Witcher 2
- Grinding through Max Payne 3, failing despite playing on the ‘easiest’ difficulty
- Loving the licensed music in Spec Ops The Line
- Uploading a video tutorial for a side mission on Sleeping Dogs, currently standing at 10,770 views and 109 likes (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAcN0pGYmbM)
- Splashing out on the rare Borderlands 2 Ultimate Loot Chest Limited Edition
- Strategically commanding my troops in XCOM Enemy Unknown
- Enjoying the soundtrack on Forza Horizon, being introduced to great new bands like The Enemy
- Getting to see what a ship looks like below deck in Assassin’s Creed III
- Reading all of the pieces of information in Assassin’s Creed III regarding the theatre, the churches and so on
- Speeding everywhere in Need For Speed Most Wanted
- Enjoying LEGO Lord of the Rings without watching the films
- Taking everything in in Far Cry 3
- Being amazed at all of the set-pieces in Tomb Raider
- Being overwhelmed with things to do in Grand Theft Auto V
- Playing a massive amount of community levels on LittleBigPlanet
- Wondering how Killzone 2′s visuals are still better than most games today
- Playing crazy set-pieces in Uncharted 2 and 3
- Playing Journey with an unknown player
- Realizing what the Dualshock 3 can do with Flower
- Watching buildings destruct in Motorstorm Apocalypse
- Crying at the story in Heavy Rain
- Driving go-karts in Grand Turismo 5
Wow, that was a pretty extensive list, but that just goes to show how many fond memories I have of the seventh generation consoles. There were other great things that happened during the life cycle of those consoles, because of those games. For example, had I not played Rock Band and Guitar Hero, I might not have gotten into playing the guitar and the drums in my band.
Another great memory is how I used to work for a LittleBigPlanet fansite called LittleBigPlanetGalaxy. Unfortunately the website is closed down now because the domain expired and the owner didn’t want to commit to it anymore (but you can still check out the YouTube channel: LBPGalaxy). On the website, I used to run a weekly series called Picks of the Week where I played through lots of LittleBigPlanet community levels each week and wrote about which ones were best. It was a great way to develop my writing skills, but also made me feel like part of that games community. Sometimes the creators of the levels would come onto the website to thank me for mentioning them, which is why that will always be one of my favorite memories. I felt like I was rewarding people, and when they came to thank me and tell me how great the series was, that was rewarding for myself.
Of course, nowadays I write for DigiBytes. It’s great to be here because not only can I talk about the things I’m interested in, but it’s also very satisfying when your features or your reviews reach out to people who might want to agree or disagree with you. It’s great when it leads to discussion.
Everything I’ve talked about, none of it would have been possible without the seventh generation consoles, which is why I personally ow e a huge debt to them. Not only have I had a great time playing all of my games on the Xbox 360 and PS3, but it has done a lot for my life outside of gaming as well. Therefore, the seventh generation deserves to be talked about more, which is why I’m setting up a new monthly feature here on DigiBytes which will be revealed on 22nd November.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m just as excited for the future of video games as you are, but sometimes it’s good to look back, remember and reminisce about how great things have been. Thank-you, seventh generation, and fond farewell.
Whether it’s thanks to mobile devices and tablets such as the iPad or the rise of the Xbox Live and PlayStation Network services, indie games have vastly grown in popularity in recent years. But after looking at the launch lineup for SONY’s PlayStation 4 which will be released this Friday in the US, I worry that indie games are going to overthrow retail titles, when they should be merely accompanying them.
Indie games are great on tablets and such because they’re normally very accessible, easy to play without having to concentrate, and often don’t require the player to focus much on some kind of story. When I’m at home however, I want to play games with long lasting appeal; games that I will play for more than just five minutes at once; games that allow me to become engrossed with its story, its setting and its characters.
Analyzing the PS4 launch lineup – with the exception of a few games like Killzone Shadow Fall and Knack – I’m not sure that’s going to be so easy. Of course, there are plenty of multi-platform games like Battlefield 4, Call of Duty Ghosts and Need for Speed Rivals that are bound to have great longevity value, but as far as exclusive titles go, there’s not much to see beyond the aforementioned Killzone and Knack if it’s big budget games you’re looking for, especially since Evolution Studios’ Driveclub has been delayed.
Games like Contrast, Resogun and Super Motherload lead the PS4 line as far as exclusive arcade/indie games are concerned, with Sound Shapes, Flower and Flow also claiming to be part of the launch lineup, despite having been released on the PlayStation 3/Vita for some time now.
See, I remember a time when expectations for Xbox Live Arcade games were low; when independent developers were seen as incapable of making a good game simply for financial reasons, meaning that when great titles like Stacking or Shadow Complex came out of nowhere, they were seen as pleasant surprises and nothing more than that.
They never took away the limelight from triple-A retail games, and that’s the kind of philosophy we need to return to. I’m not saying that we should care less about the quality of our indie games – that would be ridiculous, but I do believe that the quantity of these games produced needs to be reduced, because they could potentially affect the sales figures of more expensive games like Killzone, which – in the end – are what our industry relies on.
Don’t get me wrong, there are lots of superb arcade/indie titles out there. I’ve had great experiences with the likes of Trials Evolution, Journey, The Unfinished Swan and Minecraft Xbox 360 Edition, but I don’t want them to replace the great times I’ve had with games like Need for Speed, Gears of War and LittleBigPlanet.
For me, it’s all about quality, not quantity.For every Awesomenauts there’s a Leisure Suit Larry, for every Bastion there’s a 0 Day Attack on Earth and so on. Like I said, I love quality games like Journey and I want more of them, but it gets to the point when companies like SONY are going over the top with how much they love indie. Sure, it’s great to give this opportunity to independent developers – it’s great to give them an undoubtedly successful platform to create their low-budget games for, but at the end of the day, the success of home consoles like the PS4 and Xbox One will rely on the quality and success of the more expensive games.
Indie games aren’t system sellers. Fact.
If I wanted an Xbox One, I would want
One one because of games like Dead Rising 3, Forza Motorsport 5 and – further down the line – Titanfall. For me, PlayStation 4 doesn’t have enough of those sorts of games, especially not at launch. What also has me worried for the PS4 in particular is how the innovation and/or quality of the two biggest launch games – Killzone and Knack – is uncertain. Killzone Shadow Fall looks like a graphics demo that won’t add anything new or special to the first-person genre, and critics have been saying that Knack – despite it’s artistic appeal – is actually pretty lame.
Anyway, enough taking sides. The point is, indie and arcade games should accompany retail games – it’s great that they do – but they should never take over them, regardless of the platform.
Call of Duty has become a yearly ritual. It goes without saying that every year, a new installment will make its way to our local store. While Call of Duty was once considered the reigning champion of the First-Person Shooter genre, I think it’s time to say that the king has been dethroned. The biggest problem with the latest installment, Call of Duty: Ghosts is the fact that Infinity Ward hardly brought anything new to the table. Call of Duty: Ghosts is unfortunately a very generic shooter even if it does have a few saving graces.
Been There… Done That
The biggest problem with Call of Duty: Ghosts is that we’ve seen most of what this game has to offer with the other games in the series. With each sequel, a developer should start improving on what they did the previous year, but Call of Duty: Ghosts plays it safe and that’s ultimately its downfall. The campaign is full of absolutely stunning set pieces that are ruined by our typical run and gun gameplay. Veteran players of the series will find no challenge throughout the 18 missions in the campaign. I’ll give Infinity Ward some credit because the space battles and scuba mission were really awesome, but these standout moments are too far apart to really appreciate them. There’s diversity, but there is usually a long time to wait between those moments.
The story involves The Federation which is made up of oil-producing countries in South America. They quickly grow and become a dangerous force that makes its way towards the United States to strike. We play as The Ghosts, a group of highly trained operatives that are tasked with stopping The Federation once and for all. There are some pretty interesting moments in the campaign, but for the most part, the campaign is predictable. I knew my characters were in danger, but I didn’t really care about them because I just knew they would make it to the next mission. After all, this is Call of Duty that we’re talking about.
A Fun New Multiplayer… With A Few Problems
What would Call of Duty be without its multiplayer? Some would say that the multiplayer is more appealing than the single-player game and I’ll have to agree completely. While I have a huge problem with the multiplayer of Call of Duty: Ghosts, it’s an intense experience that never gets old, but it can get frustrating. The problems that I have are the spawn locations and the unbalanced guns. With the spawning issue, it easily makes people (myself included) not want to even play the multiplayer portion of the game. The players are not to blame, the level design is what’s to blame. There were many moments that I would spawn, literally take ONE step and then I would die. The process repeated plenty of times throughout the first 8 matches that I played.
I decided that I should take a break for the day and start playing multiplayer the next day, but the ordeal continued. It’s something that I wish could be fixed, but I don’t think that can happen. The unbalanced issue comes from the fact that I can be behind a player, unload a clip into them and once they turn around, one bullet can kill me. One cool new mode that was included with the multiplayer is the new Squads mode. In this mode, you can use your created character and go up against bots. This helps with your character progression and it also provides a training ground for a player to get skilled in the game. We play against bots in Squads mode, but they are surprisingly impressive and not stupid like plenty of AI bots in First-Person Shooter games.
There are many reasons why the multiplayer will cause a player to continue playing Ghosts, but the biggest reason is definitely the level-up system. Call of Duty: Ghosts allows players to create custom characters that can each be leveled up differently. Their stats, levels, and abilities are all separate from one another. This gives the player many different ways to play and extend the life of Ghosts. My personal favorite multiplayer gametype is definitely a new mode called Cranked. It’s essentially team deathmatch, ,but after every kill, you only have 30 seconds to kill another player or you’ll explode. It’s a hectic gametype that provides a constant rush.
Extinction: The Addiction
The best mode in all of Call of Duty: Ghosts has to be the all new extinction mode. Instead of putting in a Zombies mode, Infinity Ward decided to pit the players against an alien horde. This mode is a mixture of Tower Defense and Valve’s awesome Left 4 Dead. Players must bring a drill to destroy alien hives and defend the drill as it is in use. During each hive attack, there are challenges that the players will receive. Some include not taking damage while others will have you use the environment to kill enemies.
The leveling system in Extinction is separate than the multiplayer mode and with Extinction, you can use your level up to make better starting load-outs. After each hive is destroyed and after each challenge is completed, you will receive a skill point to upgrade your character only during that play session. It’s a fun mode while playing on your own, but the mode truly shines when you have a party of four people trying to tackle the alien invasion. If Extinction was a standalone game, I would buy it in a heartbeat.
Conclusion: The Fall of Duty!
Call of Duty was always a loved franchise, but it was never a yearly franchise until Call of Duty 4. When Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare was released, Call of Duty became a force to be reckoned with. Every year, people rushed to get Call of Duty, but it started to lose its charm. The developers could never seem to recapture the exhilaration that Modern Warfare gave the player. Now with Call of Duty: Ghosts, we only have a good game. People expect this series to be excellent, but somewhere down the line, the Call of Duty games became everything but excellent. Call of Duty: Ghosts can’t quite capture the glory days of the series, but it’s still fun.
While the story is clichéd and the campaign is uninspired, there is fun to be had with the multiplayer. The Call of Duty series could regain its status as the king of modern-day First-Person Shooters, but if the next game is anything like Call of Duty: Ghosts, they’re headed in the wrong direction. I expected a lot more out of this game and while I had fun, this game won’t be that memorable for me. My advice is to buy it for multiplayer and extinction, but skip the single-player. This series needs a new breath of life. It needs to be outstanding again, but Ghosts is not outstanding. It’s just okay.
[alert size="alert-block" variation="alert-success"]Score: 7.0/10[/alert]
*Note: Will update the review if needed once the next gen version (Xbox One) is released*