E3 2014: MY TOP PICKS

Greetings all!!!

So, for a while I couldn’t think of anything to talk about because…not much interesting happened this week.

I did see Edge of Tomorrow, but there was no point in reviewing a film that has been out for a while, because everyone has probably already seen it. I wasn’t going to talk about the World Cup either because I don’t blog about sports.

But then in a conversation I had with my friend who was sent a code to try out the Destiny Alpha on PS4, I remembered..,

E3 HAPPENED!

So I’ll talk about the games I saw and picked the ones that peeked my interest…

Assassin’s Creed Unity

I’m not a die hard fan of the Assassin’s Creed games. Yes, I do have fun with them, but no, I have never actually completed them. In my opinion, Assassin’s Creed games are always a lot of hard work and require an enormous amount of patience.

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I was playing Black Flag on my PS4 the other night and I had to make a long ass journey by ship to my next destination, which left me sitting there thinking: “Why am I sitting through simulated sailing for the past 10 minutes when I could be doing something else?”

But maybe because Black Flag wanted you to be fully engrossed in the pirate experience.

I don’t know…

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But what makes me excited for this new installment is that it’s the first in the series made specifically for next gen and just because there’s no other game coming out on next-gen for a while to look forward aside Destiny.

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The time and the setting, which is Paris during the French Revolution, adds to it’s appeal. I also loved that, as demonstrated in the single player trailer, everything is seamless. You can go into a random building without having to load it up.

It’s the little things…

Mortal Kombat X

Mortal Kombat on the next gen platform…Need I say more?

This installment of the series is everything the Mortal Kombat series should be. Energetic, fun and brutal. And it looks like there’s exactly what it’s doing.

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What’s more is that it seems that some of the mechanics from Injustice: Gods Amongst Us have been incorporated into this game. You can grab objects from your surroundings and use them as a weapon.

There’s not a lot I need to say about this one, because the trailer and the gameplay speaks for itself.

The Order 1886

It was great to see more footage for The Order 1886, but for some reason I’m still on the fence with it.

It looks absolutely amazing. There’s no doubt about that. However I am not completely sold on it. I’ll probably wait for a hands on first impression before I decide to buy.

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Maybe it’s because of the premise of the game, or the fact that this is the start of a possible gaming franchise. Because it’s a stand alone release and hasn’t had a previous installment to establish that it’s worth getting I can’t put my faith entirely into The Order 1886.

Okay, yes, the guys who developed this game developed the God Of War PSP games but that’s not enough to go on.

Like I said let’s see what happens…

Tom Clancy’s The Division

This game has continued to impress me everytime new footage is released. It looks visually stunning. The gameplay looks superb.

I just can’t wait to get it for my PS4 and see it on my TV in all it’s glory.

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My only fear would be that it’s focused mainly on the multiplayer campaign, but I’d love it if it had a great single player campaign because it looks promising enough to warrant a playable story.

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Like Mortal Kombat X, the footage speaks for itself. Yes, I did mention that with The Order 1886, it wasn’t an established franchise yet, but considering The Division is being developed by Ubisoft, I have little to worry about.

No Man’s Sky

I didn’t know what to expect when the trailer for this game was about to play during E3.

Then it played…

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…and boy oh boy. I was surprisingly impressed.

I wasn’t expecting it to be impressive and I wasn’t expecting to be so interested in it. Because I’m not an “indie gamer”. I don’t play indie games. I play the big mainstream blockbuster releases, the games everyone has been hyping up for months.

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But this game, as an indie game, heck, as any type of game, looks impressive. And the scope of it sounds incredible. The fact that no two players will start in the same place and you can travel to anywhere and it’s infinite in quantity really excites me. And it seems so immersive.

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I can forgive it for being released in December next year. That much promise needs more developing time. So I can wait, and I have a feeling the wait will be worth it…

Batman: Arkham Knight

From the moment this trailer began actually showing the gameplay my jaw hit the floor.

THIS is the game that really impressed me at E3. It’s the Arkham games, so I expected no less. But it looks so amazing. From the gliding to driving the Batmobile.

And the Batmobile…

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It looks like a hell of a lot of fun to drive. I was slightly skeptical when it was announced that the Batmobile was a playable mechanic in the game, but this trailer ended those doubts.

The city of Gotham has never looked so beautiful, so real. At first, I was annoyed it got delayed, but after seeing this, all I can think is:

“If it looks this good now, how is it going to look when it’s finishing touches are done?”

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And I think we all know the answer to that…

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Also worth mentioning:

The really two big games also worth mentioning and I will gladly let them take my money would be Uncharted 4 and Rise of The Tomb Raider.

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Unfortunately, neither of these games exhibited any sort of gameplay footage but luckily their predecessor’s speak for themselves. The Uncharted series has always been a stand out, and if they carry on how they have done previously, like the Arkham games it should work out quite nicely.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it…

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The same applies to Rise of the Tomb Raider. With the first one I was skeptical with playing it, but when I did get round to it, my mind was blown. It was one of the best games of 2013. It didn’t get the credit it deserved to be honest. But I have high expectations now for Rise of the Tomb Raider.

The last game worth mentioning, yes, I know it’s been out for nearly a year and I’ve already played it on PS3, but Grand Theft Auto V for PS4 is one for some reason I look forward to.

GTA5_mediumIt’s probably because I’m carrying the same logic I have with Assassin’s Creed Unity. Nothing big and new is coming out for a while so I’ll gladly give my money to GTAV. I’m sure a lot of people with a PS4 will be doing the same for The Last of Us.

So, what did you think of E3 2014? What were your top picks?

Comments please and I’ll see you on the next post!!!

 

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: WATCH_DOGS – IS HACKING REALLY OUR WEAPON?

Greetings all!!!

This Tuesday just gone saw the release of UbiSoft’s much anticipated open-world piece Watch_Dogs, which I pre-ordered on Amazon and got on release day for PS4.

GID01476For anyone out there who hasn’t made their mind up about the game fear not, as hopefully my first impressions will influence your decision to buy it or not.

Be not afraid folks. It’s not a bad game. However, I’m not overly impressed considering the hype surrounding it, but I’ll get to the negatives later.

What I will say though is that it’s a grower, not a shower.

It gets compared to Grand Theft Auto V a lot and while GTA sucks you in and blows you away slightly from the start, with Watch_Dogs it takes time for you to really get into the game, the story and it’s characters.

watch_dogs_ss9_99866Without meaning to spoil the story, you really don’t get sucked into the story until you have to stop this one guy who’s going to point you out to the police.

But that’s just my opinion.

Anyone else who is playing the game or has played it will probably have their own opinion.

The story itself has been interesting so far. I can’t really say I’m totally hooked on it.

understand the writers of this game didn’t want to go down the conventional route of a man seeking revenge for the death of a loved one. While most stories in this scenario are about a man losing his child or wife to a hit that was placed on his head, Watch_Dogs, tries to be different and not make it so conventional by going for Aiden Pearce’s young niece.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but some may feel it’s a little impersonal because that kid wasn’t his child (even though she still counts as family), but from another perspective, if it had been his kid, then most people playing the game might just feel that they are playing a typical revenge story and there’s nothing really different about Watch_Dogs‘ story that makes it stand out.

So on the story front it’s debatable but like most gamers, I’m in it for the gameplay.

And guys, the gameplay does not disappoint.

Some may feel slightly let down because the hacking part wasn’t as complicated as they were expecting, but I like the idea that it’s simple. Believe me, if I was being chased by the police, the last thing I’d want to do is work out some complicated algorithm just to change a set of traffic lights.

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It makes getting into vehicles so much easier as well. In GTA, when you were trying to escape the police and needed to break into a car to do so, the character would take his time, look around, break the window, hop into the car, mess with the car’s wiring and then start the car.

In Watch_Dogs, one tap of the triangle button and you are set and good to go. When you escape the police, there’s a feeling of personal triumph when you speed ahead of them because you’ve caused an accident by changing the traffic lights or when you use the road block for them to drive straight into.

Another aspect that so many were looking forward to was the digital trips. In particular, the Spider Tank.

I can confirm…Spider Tank is so much fun.

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There a lot of things to love about Spider Tank. Mayhem? Check. Challenging? Check. Fun? Definite check.

Those were the things I loved on Spider Tank. Even moving with Spider Tank or jumping around with it makes a freaky sound that you just can’t help but like it.

I haven’t tried the other digital trips yet because I wanted to try Spider Tank so bad. And I made a good call. In fact, Ubisoft made a good call by putting that into the game.

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However…with all good things comes the bad. And I had some problems with the game.

Major problems.

My biggest gripe with the game comes mainly from one aspect: and that’s the driving.

From the trailers to the screenshots of the game, one would expect smooth, fluid driving mechanics. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen with this game.

To reiterate: It’s still not a bad game.

My reason for being annoyed at the driving at the game is how clunky it was. It was virtually impossible to drive a car in this game without hitting someone or something once.

ipXqbltlV7mW0There have been some many times on so many missions where the rigidness of the driving mechanics have affected my progress, meaning I’ve had to go back to my last check point and start that mission all over again and that annoys the hell out of me.

I’m not saying that the game is a disaster because the driving is horrendous.

But when you make an open world game, the driving has to be smooth, because in open world games, people like to drive, and when it’s not smooth it bogs the game down.

Yes, driving isn’t necessarily a huge negative factor to when it comes to open world games, but when I compare Watch_Dogs to Grand Theft Auto V like most people do, it’s that factor that makes me pick GTA ahead of Ubisoft’s product.

Because the driving was easy and fluid on GTA, I got so excited playing it, as it didn’t seem like extra effort and extra work when you’re going through the main campaign.

EDG243.h_watch.boxoutBut on Watch_Dogs it’s the complete opposite.

Not only do you have to take down someone who’s going to rat you out to the police on the highway, but you have to be concerned about how much speed you can actually apply to your car so you don’t hit anyone or anything and damage your car.

On this game you want to be recognised by it’s citizens as a hero, but with the driving I’ve gone from citizen to anarchist in a short amount of time. At the rate I’ve been playing this game I’ve just decided that I don’t care anymore, as long as I can make some progress in it.

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At least when it comes to driving a motorcycle it is a lot, no, a hell lot easier than using a car. The braking problems do apply to motorcycles but at least the movement is more agile and less work.

And what’s annoying is the fact that there isn’t a frequent number of times or places where you could get a motorcycle.

What probably annoys me most about driving on Watch_Dogs is the fact that when you’re driving, it just looks absolutely stunning. Especially when you have to drive through the tunnel or on the freeway. It just looks so beautiful but it’s wasted on these shoddy mechanics.

And the way the game looks brings me to my other gripe. I’m playing this on PS4, so I’m expecting it to look amazing.

Unfortunately, I have to bring GTA up again, because, especially in the day time scenes, their resolutions look similar. However, Watch_Dogs looks best and shines most on next-gen when it comes to scenes in the rain or during the night.

The scenes at night when it’s raining stand out the most to me because of the level of detail that went into it.

1400449424It’s the smallest things like when a puddle is formed and you can see the little droplets of rain causing ripples in that puddle, or when you use a sniper rifle and if you’ve activated focus, the rain no longer turns into lines or streams of water but they appear as drops on your scope.

That’s pretty cool.

Admittedly, when I saw the first glimpse of gameplay for this game that was unleashed upon the internet, I was skeptical about getting Watch_Dogs, but the more that was showed, the more interested I got.

Overall, my impressions of the game have been mixed to positive. Like I said at the start, the more I play it, the more I like it. It takes time to grow on your affections, so don’t go rushing in expecting to be amazed from the off.

So what are your first impressions of Watch_Dogs? Do you agree with me? Or do you absolutely disagree? Do you think it’s a great game or terrible game?

Comments below please and see you on the next post!

(I’ll have a rating for the game attached to my official review of it – once I’ve completed it that is.)