Vatsu’s Game Reviews
Hey everyone. The semester is coming to an end, and with that so is another year of great games (and not so great games) that I have been able to play and review for your entertainment. It was a blast sifting through them all in order to give you a chance at picking out the right ones for you – but it’s not over yet. Since this is the last one, I figured I would give a give a big preview of what to expect for summer 2014 (well, that and the fact that there is so little out to play now that I haven’t already touched on). With that said, hope you do well on your final exams, enjoy your summer and thanks for being an awesome reader.
The Amazing Spiderman 2 (Release Date- April 29, 2014)
Back in time for the second movie, this web-slinging action adventure title from Activision promises to bring back the fun web swinging hustle from previous titles while also adding a few new twists to prevent this game from being just a normal movie cash-in. In addition to what you would normally expect (punching up bad guys, saving pedestrians, silly one liners), developer Beenox has poised themselves to make the free roaming area of Manhattan more expansive and detailed then it ever was in the previous games. Alongside that, the combat has been improved via a new upgrade system that in addition to allowing the player to learn new abilities/combos at their leisure, grants the player several types of webbing to use on enemies like incapacitating enemies or blowing something up on contact.
The biggest change for fans however, the one most important thing to any Spiderman title, is his web swinging mechanic. In the eternal struggle to make it as close to the perfection that was Spiderman 2’s swinging, they have removed the ability to web-swing on thin air, meaning you must now tether each web to a building as you fly through New York. Although this makes the gameplay inherently ‘more difficult’ it comes as a side effect of adding the sheer fun and momentum from the earlier series like Ultimate Spiderman and SM2. In a nod to the other games also, you now control web-swinging with the left and right triggers, so you must alternate your left and right hands in order to keep your momentum up, or hold both triggers at once in order to launch yourself through the skies.
With a new morality system, some new gameplay involving playing as Peter Parker instead of Spidey, a bigger Manhattan and tons of collectables/costumes to find, this is definitely looking like a fun excursion for fans of the Spiderman games, or open world superhero games akin to Saints Row 4, only less vulgar.
Destiny (Release Date- September 9, 2014. Beta in Summer)
Another Activision published game, coming from the studio behind the storied Halo franchise (Bungie) and an RPG to boot! Sign me up! Not much is known about Destiny aside from Bungie promising it to be a massive FPS MMO set 700 years into the future of a post-apocalyptic world. Taking place on multiple, massive planets players will be able to choose one from among three archetype classes (Hunter, Titan and Warlock confirmed so far), each with their own abilities like the warlocks use of ‘spells’ or the titans powerful mech suits.
Regardless of whatever class you choose to play as, each can equip a plethora of weapons and take on combat in an almost limitless amount of ways. You can sneak up on enemies and take them out with hidden blades, shoot them up with elemental type bullets (lighting bullets? Yes please), or throw various types of grenades/explosives to blow up the enemies en masse. On top of this, whatever you choose to dispatch your enemies with, you are rewarded in some way. Each gun has its own custom leveling tree; that means it levels up the more you use it. Also unlike Borderlands, gear dropped from enemies is only able to be picked up by you: each player gets their own loot.
With a massive planet-sized scope, epic gameplay and a storied developer at the helm, I can’t wait to get my hands on the beta this summer and try it out for myself, and I wholeheartedly suggest you do the same.
The Evil Within (Release Date- August 26, 2014)
The father of survival-horror is back at it again with a return to how things should be. Shinji Mikami, creator of the Resident Evil series, and publisher Bethesda Softworks is coming back to bring the fright to current and next gen consoles late this summer with his next game The Evil Within. Playing as Detective Sebastion Castellanos, you start off rushing to the scene of a gruesome mass murder. Once there, something springs forth and begins to kill your fellow partners one by one until it sets its sights on you. After being attacked, you wake up hanging upside-down in a ‘meat’ locker while a giant butcher looms over you and hacking away at other unfortunates locked in the same area. After you cut yourself loose, your breath of freedom is taken away from you as you realize that the only way out is locked and the keys are with the butcher and his giant cleaver.
It is there that the game really sinks itself into you, because you really feel like you are helpless in a world that may or may not be what you know. Human like monsters with off-putting features, giant crazed beings running after you with chainsaws, dimly-lit environments enwrap you into the world in a way that I have not been since Silent Hill 4 (love it or not, it had great atmosphere). If you have not watched the 16 minute gameplay video on YouTube yet, I highly suggest you do as I guarantee you will immediately be just as wrapped into the game as I have been.
Super Smash Bros 3DS (Release Date: Summer 2014)
Need I say more? After what seems like forever, Nintendo is back with their newest entry into the beloved Smash series, only this time its releasing for both the console and handheld. Boasting a unique cel-shaded art style and coming out on the 3DS first this summer, the new Smash Brothers promises a bunch of changes to please hardcore fans and provide infinite amounts of fun for everyone, regardless of skillset. Random tripping has been removed from the game (yay) allowing for smoother gameplay across all the game stages. Several stages themselves have been overhauled in that they now have a ‘Final Destination’ type motif so that during competitive play you can still get the Final Destination ‘fairness’ while still enjoying the art/music of another stage. Smash Run, a mode unique to the 3DS, will task players to run through a randomized dungeon filled with enemies from various Nintendo properties. Each enemy defeated drops powerups that increase your stats and abilities and after 5 minutes, the mode ends and your powered up player of character of choice is pitted against 3 others in an online match.
With multiple new characters like Lumina (Super Mario Galaxy), Wii Fit Trainer (Wii Fit), Little Mac (Punch Out), Villager (Animal Crossing), Greninja (Pokemon) and Mega Man as well as many returning favorites, this is definitely a sure fire hit for both Nintendo and 3DS owners when it releases later this year.
Watch Dogs (Release Date- May 27, 2014)
After a lengthy delay from November of last year, Ubisoft is back with the one must have game from E3 2013: Watch Dogs. I admit, after the delay, my excitement for it has waned a tad as I have gotten a closer look at the game and how it differs from the phenomenal release trailer seen from a year ago. While the spectacle of it all may not be the same, the game still looks a blast to play. Taking place in a futuristic Chicago, Illinois, you play as Aiden Pearce, a highly skilled hacker who along with a team of others looks to bring back autonomy to the people. Akin to 1984 or V for Vendetta, society is now so engrained in technology that supercomputers now run everything, with people in charge of the supercomputers having power over everyone. It’s an interesting story that is sure to enthrall conspiracy theorists, while doing a good job of setting up the world and how you digitally interact with it.
Using your cellphone to hack the world around and create havoc to those in your way is still an ingenious mechanic that I can’t wait to tinker around with. Use your phone to disable electronics around you so you can sneak around without worry of being caught on camera or go in guns blazing and activate barricades so the cops are trapped in a street while you drive away safely. Run alongside a target and shoot him down, erupting into a block wide firefight between you and the police or use traffic lights to cause your targets car to crash. The game really does have a lot of options of how to tackle each mission, fitting whatever type of gameplay you are most fond of.
Murdered: Soul Suspect (Release Date- June 3, 2014)
In Salem, Massachusetts Detective Ronan O’Connor is a regular gumshoe who unfortunately is killed by an unknown suspect. Typical fodder for a game, but not many have you play as the ghost. As the newly deceased Detective Ronan, you return to the world unable to rest until you solve the mystery behind your own murder. While uncovering the clues throughout the town and piecing the mystery together you come into battle with demonic creatures and begin to figure out that not everything is as black and white as it seems.
Being dead, you are able to walk through walls and possess humans you come into contact with in order to see the world through their eyes, pierce their thoughts and use them to your gain. In addition to that you are able to interact with a girl named Joy, the only person who witnessed your death and whom was luckily able to speak with ghosts, an ability she inherited from her psychic mother. Fans of the cult favorite Ghost Trick may be rolling their eyes thinking this is blatant theft of the idea, but I assure you this is definitely strong enough to hold its own. With great graphical presentation, a robust setting, a fairly unique gameplay premise and chilling atmosphere this is definitely one that should be near the top of your list when it launches this summer.