Reviewed by Lewis

Geeky games reviews and other fun things

Archive for the month “October, 2012”

Ghost Recon Future Soldier Review

Future Soldier is the latest outing for the Ghosts. The 3rd person shooter series from Tom Clancy and Ubisoft has previously stood out in the sea of shooters with its high-tech gadgets and weaponry.

Ironically Future Soldier has less high-tech gear for you to play with, and feels less distinctive than its previous incarnations.

If you play Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, and lets face it pretty much everyone does, the weapons and equipment on offer will seem rather familiar.

Future Soldier has also drawn on elements from Splinter Cell: Conviction, another Ubisoft/Tom Clancy release, including stealth attacks, weapon systems, gadgets and marking hostiles for execution. The stealth element, which has always been rather passive in previous Ghost Recon games, has taken on a higher priority.

That said Future Soldier is the first time in the Ghost Recon series, when you actually feel like a ghost. This is due to a new piece of tech: optical camo, it is similar to the stealth camo in Metal Gear Solid.

However it doesn’t feel like a carbon copy, rather a decent piece of tech that feels new and absolutely indispensable. It kicks in automatically when you are crouched. It is cancelled when you attack or move from a crouch or prone position.

The drawback is that you’ll find yourself spending a lot of time crouched, slowing the game down in the process.

The old Splinter Cell standard of penalizing the gamer for raising alerts has reared its head again; it makes for somewhat restrictive game-play. The high-tech, x-ray vision, very similar to Batman’s detective vision, looks amazing.

However it is something of a double-edged blade. During recon, it is very handy for spotting hostiles, however during a pitched firefight it can be confusing. You may find yourself shooting at enemies that are safely behind multiple layers of cover.

Another feature that appears to have been borrowed from Splinter Cell, is the tagging and executing/ sync shot feature. It is an interesting addition, however sadly one that has been done by others before, and better.

It’s all very well tagging and stealth killing four hostiles at once, but sometimes you just want a stand up fight. After all it is a 3rd person war game. That said, in the later levels you’ll find yourself in more intense firefights.

The Sync shot function comes into its own when combined with the co-op game-play, which allows you and three friends (or strangers) to team up and save the world from extremists again.

Being a fan of the Ghost Recon series I had high hopes for the latest installment. However it feels something of a let down, while the stealth/recon game-play element is fun, it pales when compared to some of the stealth greats. The insane level of weapons customization is enjoyable, and gives you a great level of control over your load outs.

There are better 3rd person shooters out there but the co-op campaign, guerrilla mode and multiplayer makes Ghost Recon Future Soldier a solid choice if you’ve got some spare cash kicking around.

Dredd Vs Dredd

Judgment is Coming

When Dredd (Stallone) lifted his helmet from his grizzled head, there was a collective roar of dismay that still echoes through the web to this day.

So when Dredd 3D came out and Karl Urban donned the armour of the Judge; it went without saying; that helmet was staying put.

So to commit an act of gross heresy lets pit Judge Vs Judge and see who is left standing. So to kill what little credibility I have, I will state for the record, I loved Judge Dredd. The garishness and the ultra-violence of it worked.

Like many of the comic book movies that came out in the 90’s it was more than a little camp, with its big shiny pauldrons and gold chains everywhere. Again this seemed to work. Yet as much as I enjoyed the original, Stallone overshadowed Dredd.

This is where Dredd 3D differed.

Dredd 3D was an excellent case of allowing the comic book character to bludgeon its way through to the forefront. I wasn’t watching a Karl Urban film; I was watching Dredd in all his moody, scowly glory. This was highlighted very nicely by the somewhat oversized helmet, which dwarfs Urban’s features almost entirely.

Both films have featured a strong buddy cop trope, although thankfully the new Dredd film is minus Rob Schneider. Thank the Law for small mercies. Olivia Thirlby was§ a much better choice, playing Anderson as the badass, pixie cute physic/ rookie Judge.

Dredd was also a great example of how amazing 3D can look. The slow-mo scenes were moments of beauty amid the grim and grisly locales of Mega City 1.

Lena Headey plays an brilliant baddie, but then we knew that from Game of Thrones. Here she takes if even further as the sadistic and genocidal Ma-Ma. Sporting a haircut that looks like it was achieved with a pair of rusty shears, a host of tattoos and a hideous, disfiguring scar.

Ma-Ma is the sadistic slumlord who declares war on Dredd and his rookie partner, when what should have been a routine triple murder investigation turns ugly.

So while it is a cop-out to say that both films have a lot going for them, it’s true. Dredd 3D lets you get a real feel for the unwavering servant of the law, that is Dredd. Where as Judge Dredd was and will always be a Stallone action film.

The difference between the two films can be summed up in just how they use the iconic line “I am the Law.” Stallone uses it in a petulant way, “I can’t break the Law, I am the Law.” Urban uses it in a more understated way (for Dredd), he uses it to denounce Ma-Ma who has claimed the tower has her own and inspire the downtrodden. He is a kinder, gentler Judge, well, unless you happen to be a criminal.

So Judge Dredd kicks ass, for the 90’s, but both Stallone and the garish costume consume Dredd. Dredd 3D however is the opposite. Dredd is the star, and he is as brutal and unwavering as we could expect.

Resident Evil 6 Review

The first thing I noticed about Resident Evil 6 was that the spider web design of the new logo was creepy and could mean nothing good. The second was how girly Leon looked.

Still the potential for creepy zombie-spiders and overly androgynous protagonists aside I was reasonably impressed with RE6.

RE6 put me in mind of Resident Evil 2, Leon is back in the game and the zombies are much more like the traditional walking corpses that we all love to shoot in the head.

Plenty of Leon’s his old friends make an appearance. His campaign takes place in lots of poorly lit urban settings, laboratories, sewers and underground tunnels, just like old times. I’m just thankful that Leon didn’t stumble across a croc in the sewers, this time around.

RE6 has continued the trend of downplaying the survival horror elements in favour of increased gun-play and more traditional 3rd person shooter elements.

I didn’t find Resident Evil 6 (or RE5 for that matter) all that scary. Perhaps I’m not as jumpy as my 12-year-old self was, back when I played RE2.

RE6 features lots of quick time events, I mean a lot! I have never really found QTEs all that exciting; they essentially take the action out of your hands, but don’t allow for the film fun of a cinematic. They should be used sparingly, but RE6 lays them on a bit thick.

The game-play is much the same as RE5 including the partner/ co-op functionality. Capcom have included a few nifty extras, for example the cover mechanism has been upgraded to allow jump out shots (although because of the camera, you may find yourself staring at the back of Leon’s head when you line up a shot). The HUD is in the guise of the characters smartphone/PDA, which is a nice touch.

One of the more fun features added for Leon is the ability to duel-wield his pistols. This can be quite useful in a tight spot. However you rarely have enough ammo to justify going Matrix on the zombies. Also the recoil makes it hard to aim.

The graphics are amazing, hair moves pretty much as hair should, head shots that don’t kill, still blow off a chunk of zombie skull. Leon’s leather jacket has been loving rendered, so has rather a lot of the female characters cleavage, not surprising given the target audience of most survival horror games.

However my biggest issue with RE6 is the skill points system. Essentially you collect points from dead enemies and certain locations and spend these on increasing your characters stats. This has replaced the weapon upgrade option from RE5.

The annoying thing is that these points are in every crate and container you smash. Meaning you won’t be finding much in the way of ammo and recovery items in these places. Including during boss battles, when an extra 500 points is useless but a herb or ammo drop would be a life saver, quite literally.

That said there are some genuine standout moments, shooting a liquid nitrogen canister out of a zombie’s hand then calmly putting a bullet to them and watching the pieces fly is one of my favourite moments.

The melee and close combat has been amped up allowing powerful, and satisfying, attacks that will floor or finish zombies. Just like RE5 you can combine attacks with your partner for massive damage. If you are like me you will find yourself relying on your knife a lot. This lets you conserve ammo and decapitate hostiles, bonus.

Resident Evil has evolved from the days of old; the survival horror elements that made the series a success just aren’t there any more, but the plot and zombie-wasting action does help increase the joy of playing RE6.

The 6th offering of the series has done a tribute to the history of the series and the zombie genre in general, although jumping zombies are rapidly becoming my least favourite type of reanimated corpse.

RE6 isn’t perfect, but the story is engaging, and killing zombies never gets old. The boss battles are cool, if a little clichéd. Resident Evil 6 is enjoyable but not the powerhouse that I was hoping for.

The Gaming Rig

I currently working on a new project with a great group of dedicated gamers. It’s called The Gaming Rig. It is a review, tips and cheats site made for gamers by gamers.

At the moment it’s a stand alone Facebook page but we are working on getting the site live this week. It will feature yours truly writing game reviews, kicking off with a review of Resident Evil 6 later this week. We have big plans for the future.

So please check out the Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/TheGamingRig and when the site is up and running I hope to see you there.

To tide you over please enjoy this.

Lewis

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