Halo 4 Gameplay Video & Multiplayer Preview

Note: This is an old preview of Halo 4 before the game came out. Therefore, some of this info is incorrect. Thanks for stopping by!

If you haven’t seen the gameplay trailer for Halo 4 yet, check out this video. It’s the mission that they showed to us when we saw it at E3, but they gave us some extra information about it while we watched. Today I’ll be relaying all of the information they gave to me, as well as what my impressions were about the multiplayer match that I was able to play.

I won’t give you a play-by-play article of what you just watched, but I will point out some of the important information. For instance, the first large ship that you saw is called the UNSC Infinity, which will play a large part in single player and multiplayer. Due to a new graphics engine that 343 Industries has built, the whole game will look much better. The planet that Master Chief is on is a forerunner planet called “Requiem,” and is the site of the introduction of a whole new enemy: The Prometheans (although the covenant are still present). At first, you saw the “crawlers,” as well as the powerful “knight” and his sidekick, the “watcher.” You also saw a variant of the knight called the “knight lancer,” which we were told was only one of the many variants of enemies we’ll see in the final game. Some of the new weapons include the light rifle (seen first), and the scattershot (seen second). If you’re interested in Master Chief’s new abilities, you’ve already seen one of them. In the last gameplay scene, the enemy is shown glowing red. This is called Promethean vision, and is one of many unique abilities in Halo 4.

This is the UNSC Infinity. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more about this ship as we get closer to the game’s launch date.

Now, let’s talk multiplayer. Continue reading

Halo 4 Avatar Armor Giveaway

UPDATE: I just picked a winner for the contest and his name is James G! (@heykuda on Twitter). Thank you all for participating, I really appreciate it! I’d give you all a code if I could! If I get any other items to give away, I’ll announce it on here or on Facebook/Twitter.

So I’ve been trying to figure out a giveaway that’s easy to put together, because shipping stuff can sometimes get complicated. Well now I have a code for Halo 4 avatar armor (which you were only able to get if you attended E3), and so I’ve decided to give it away! I’ve put together a little contest, and we’ll see how it does. If I don’t get a lot of entries, I’ll change up the rules a bit, but this is what we’ve got so far: I’ve posted a picture on all of my profiles on different social networking sites (Facebook/Google+/Twitter), and all you have to do is share the picture and tell me what you favorite Halo game was! Also, since you’ve already found my site, you can just comment on here as well (but I would recommend doing it on the other sites as well)! Later this week, if we have enough entries, I’ll randomly select a winner. Sound good? So here we go! Below is a copy of the picture you should be looking for, and on the top right of any page on this site, you’ll find little buttons with social networking icons (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). Click on any given one to get forwarded to my page on that social network. It’s as easy as that! Thanks for playing!

E3 2012 Summary

Where to begin… I’ve seen so much in the past 3 days. I guess I’ll just start by saying that I’ve never been to anything quite like E3 before. The whole atmosphere is just mesmerizing. I’ve had multiple celebrities walk right by me, and I’m pretty sure I was on national television at one point. It’s a shame that it’s not open to the public anymore, but I do understand why. Even though E3 only for the workers in the gaming industry, it’s already packed with people. When some people have to wait in line for 4 hours to see a 15 minute preview of a game, I can understand why companies wouldn’t want any more bodies at the even. That being said, I was extremely lucky to be able to attend.

Outside the LA Convention Center. What a beautiful sight!

My first day was basically a scouting day. I wanted to at least see where everything was, and take lots of pictures. That way, I didn’t have to worry about taking pictures/getting lost during the next 2 days. I walked around the whole event multiple times (and this is a LARGE event), and played some games as well. I played some of the smaller games with shorter lines because I didn’t want to waste my whole first day waiting in a line. I did, however, stand in line for Call of Duty: Black Ops II because at the time, the line was fairly short and I knew it was going to be much longer later in the day. I also checked out G4 while they were filming, because that was one thing that I definitely wanted to see while I was there. On my second day, I waited in the lines for the bigger games, like Assassins Creed III and Halo 4, which took a lot of the time out of my day (about 2 hours per line!). On the last day, I stood in a couple more long lines, including Gears of War: Judgement, and checked out some other smaller games again. I also tried to grab as much swag on the last day as I possibly could.

I think the best way to go about describing all of the games I saw is by putting them all as separate subheadings and putting a description after each one. That way, if your looking for a specific game that I saw, you can easily find it. Oh, and just to clarify, these games are in no particular order. I’m just typing them out as I think of them. Continue reading

Microsoft’s Press Briefing At E3 2012

From Usher performing, to Master Chief making a comeback, today had a lot of cool content displayed at the Microsoft press briefing. I’m sure you’ve already heard TONS of news about E3 from TV and other websites, so I’m just going to take this time to talk about what my favorite moments were at the Microsoft press briefing. If you think I missed something important, post a comment below!

Microsoft started of their show with a demo of Halo 4 gameplay footage. They showed some significant changes, including new weapons and an all new enemy. The next game shown was Splinter Cell: Blacklist. It seems like the Splinter Cell franchise is slowly getting more and more action-oriented, instead of just stealthy. We saw that a bit with the last game, and it looks like we’re getting even more action in this one. The only thing I didn’t like was the Kinect integration into the game. Once again, it feels like they stuck in Kinect integration after-the-fact. I mean, do we really need to yell out “hey you!” to our Kinect in order to get someone’s attention in the game? It just feels unnecessary. Another game filled with action was Gears of War: Judgement, based on the Gears character Baird’s past. We still don’t know a whole lot about gameplay, but I’ll be sure to keep an eye out at E3. Continue reading

E3 Wish List

E3 is coming up incredibly fast, and I (along with the whole gaming community) can’t wait to see what games are going to be on display. Today I figured I’d make a list of the top 10 Xbox games that I’d like to see more of, or for the first time if that’s the case. Enjoy!

1. Assassin’s creed III
2. Halo 4
3. GTA V
4. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2
5. Resident Evil 6
6. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive
7. Skyrim DLC
8. Mass Effect DLC (new ending?)
9. Diablo III for Xbox
10. A Kinect game that will actually make me want to buy a Kinect

I also figured I’d throw in a couple games that, although they most likely won’t be talked about at E3 (or anywhere for that matter), I’d LOVE to see them. However, if they did happen to be there, I would be quite happy (and by quite happy, I mean I would go pretty much go insane).

1. Mirror’s Edge 2
2. Half-Life 3
3. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic 3
4. Bioshock: Infinite (This one just won’t be at E3. I’d still love to see it though…)
5. A Kinect game that will actually make me want to buy a Kinect

Do you have any games you’d like to see at E3? If so, post them in the comments section below! Also, make sure to follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc. for updates on my latest posts as well as posts on what I see at E3 next week! Just search for “xboxopinions” or click the symbols at the top right of this page!

Max Payne 3 Review

Before I start, I need to let everyone know about a problem I had regarding MP3. It’s not a problem with the actual game, but rather a problem that caused me to only access some of the game’s content. Due to the high price of games, I often use Red Box to rent games instead of buying them. If you don’t know what Red Box is, it’s a rental service where you pay a few dollars a day to rent games or movies. Not knowing much about the Max Payne series, I figured renting it for a few days would suffice. However, I was unaware of the fact that it was a 2-disc game. I was playing through the single player when suddenly a message popped up that said “please insert disc 2.” I sat in my chair utterly confused, knowing that I was only given one disc. What I figured had happened was that Red Box was either cheap and only rented out the first disc, or someone stole the second disc. I was still able to play through a large portion of single player and all of multiplayer, but I figured I should let everyone know before they read the review, in case some of what I say is inaccurate.

As the story of Max Payne begins, we are introduced to Max, who is living in a dirty New Jersey apartment. I haven’t played the previous games, so I’m completely unaware of why he is in his current depressed and lonely state. He looks like a mess and seems to be using drugs and alcohol to forget his past. The game throws the player into Max’s past through a series of flashbacks, during which Max gives commentary (Max will even throw in a line such as “I needed to move quickly!” if the player takes too long or is standing around). He describes his past job, where a hired gun, protecting important individuals and families. In one case (The first mission), he has to protect a rich Brazilian family. They might have a lot of money, but the town they live in doesn’t. Most of the citizens are poor, and many are involved in gang activity. Max learns that there is a threat within the family’s house, and the family is in danger. Max must then take out these threats (gang members), and thus the gameplay begins. The player is immediately introduced to the signature feature of the Max Payne series: bullet time. Bullet time is a gameplay feature where the player slows down time in order to dodge incoming bullets, as well as shoot his enemies with more accuracy. I won’t give away too much more of the story, but it should seem obvious that something goes wrong with this family, which then causes Max to have to track down these bad guys in order to fix everything. Continue reading

Where’s My DLC?!

DLC, or downloadable content, is a hot topic right now. You’re probably thinking to yourself, “But DLC has been happening for a long time, Ian!” Well you’re right, it has! But now, more than ever, DLC is something that game developers feel like they have an obligation to put out. If Call of Duty didn’t have any DLC after its release, fans would be absolutely furious, but is it really their place to be angry? That’s up for debate. Also, many games are now being shipped with DLC already on them, and then a developer with “sell” you the digital content for 10 dollars, when really all they’re doing is unlocking it on the disc (Mass Effect 3 had this happen. They sold the first piece of DLC right when the game came out) Once again, the matter of whether this is right to do is up for debate, and I see myself on both sides.

I do believe that DLC is a fantastic thing. It lets the developers satisfy its fans with a bunch of extra content for a smaller price than what they paid for the original game (and it also provides the developer a heap of extra cash, which helps them stay in business). However, when a company sets aside a DLC team to start developing extra content before the game is even released, I start to get offended. Continue reading

Diablo 3 Coming To Xbox?

There were rumors a while ago about the just-released PC game Diablo 3 coming to Xbox, and there have been mixed opinions on whether or not it’s a good decision. After all, PC games are laid out completely differently when compared to a console game. PCs have a whole keyboard, while we only have a controller. Controls will have to be simplified, and the gameplay will be very different than it’s original format.

Recently, Blizzard has confirmed suspicions by saying that although they are planning an Xbox release, they are going to take a while. They said that they don’t want a straight port onto consoles. They actually want a console version with it’s own unique controls that have been designed specifically for controllers. They’re taking it very seriously, and are saying that they are in no rush to release it alongside it’s PC version. I’m very glad they’re taking this approach because it’s annoying when you can tell a game has been rushed just to get it released.

I personally don’t know much about the game, besides the fact that it’s a dungeon-crawler and a huge hit on PC. I’ve actually gotten more and more curious about it, to the point where I almost considered buying it, but if it’s coming out on Xbox I might just wait to pick it up then. If this game is pulled off successfully, this is going to be a huge story in the PC and console community. If you’ve played any Diablo games, including Diablo 3, you will definitely want to keep an eye on Blizzard, because they might be the next huge console game developer. Any thoughts? Post them below!

“True” Achievements

As I’ve stated before, I love achievements. They’re a great idea, and they’ve contributed a lot to the gaming world. However, there have been several games that have handed their points out way too generously. When I can get all 1,000 points within a minute while playing Avatar, there’s a problem. So when I see someone bragging about their gamerscore, I get mad when half of their points are from games that require little to no skill to play. If you feel the same way, then I have the perfect website for you!

I found this site a while back, and I checked the other day to see if they were still around, and to my surprise, they were! The site is called trueachievements.com, and their goal is to show gamers how hard each achievement is to unlock, and then alter the original reward for that achievement accordingly. So beating a game on easy might only deserve 20 true achievement points when the actual game rewards you with 50, while beating it on it’s “insanity mode” or whatever it might be called, deserves 200 points when you only actually get 100. This is to show the gamer not only how much they’ve played, but also if they’ve truly earned the gamerscore they have.

If you’d like to figure out your own “true” gamerscore, create an account on their site, give them your gamertag, and they will sort through every achievement you’ve unlocked and send you an email when they’re all done. When they finish, they will present you with a score that reflects how much gamerscore you’ve actually earned. I was curious as to what my true gamerscore was, so I created an account and had them tell me what I’ve earned. I currently have 52,380 gamerscore, but my true gamerscore is 73,724!!!

I was quite pleased by the way they set up their website, and I definitely recommend all Xbox users check it out. If you do end up creating an account, post your gamerscores in the comment section below (actual vs. “true”). Let’s see who has the most!

Staying In The Loop

There’s so many sources of news out in the world. It amazes me that I can literally figure out the same piece of information in so many ways. I can read a book, a magazine, or a newspaper. I can listen to a podcast or the radio. I can see a movie or watch the news. I can even simply talk to others, and I can get the same information from any of the sources. I’ve been thinking about this more and more because as I talk to people about video games, they all (basically) know the same gaming news, but follow completely different sources of information. It’s just intriguing to see what one person prefers over another.

Personally, I subscribe to magazines and check online for news once in a while, but my favorite source of news is through podcasts. I love listening to them as I go through my daily routines. I just feel like podcasts are much more personal, and over the course of an hour, I will have acquired much more information than I would have if I was reading a magazine or a newspaper, simply because of the fact that I can listen to something a lot longer than I can read something. I often get distracted while reading, but if I’m listening to a podcast, I feel like someone is talking to me and I have a much harder time ignoring what they say. I have also been thinking about this because I was recently given the opportunity to be a podcaster myself, and I might just take that opportunity. I just don’t know what people find to be the most successful in terms of getting information across, so I haven’t made up my mind yet.

So my question to you, the reader of this humble little blog that I call home, is what do you find to be your favorite source of gaming information? Along with what your favorite is, what is the most useful source you use? I find that sometimes these often differ with people. Some like the internet, but get more useful information from a newspaper. So if you have an opinion, just leave a comment below. I’d love to hear what you have to say!