Bioshock Infinite Review

Bioshock Infinite is a game like no other. Yes, it’s not a completely original work, as there are other Bioshocks that came before it, but it sets itself so far apart from the others that it may as well be. Before giving you my thought on the game, I should probably give you a brief summary of what it’s about.

This is not my photo, go here for the original: http://hypeup.net/engine/images/uploads/1118/bioshock-infinite.jpg

Bioshock Infinite takes place in Columbia, a floating city high above the clouds. You play as Booker DeWitt, an investigator from the Earth’s surface sent to the city to rescue a girl and bring her back in order to wipe away a personal debt. When you first arrive in Columbia, it seems to be a utopian society filled with early 1900s American Patriotism. Barbershop quartets sing along the streets while American flags wave in front of every store. It all seems perfect at first glance, but then you begin to look closer… Continue reading

Skyrim: Dawnguard Review

It’s been way too long since I’ve written a post on here. Now that I’m back, let me tell you about what I’ve been playing lately! If you have any friends that play Skyrim, then you’ve probably heard about a little DLC pack that just came out called Dawnguard. It’s the first DLC that has come out for Skyrim, and it doesn’t disappoint.

If you don’t know what Dawnguard is about, I’ll give you a quick summary. While wandering through Skyrim, your character is approached by a member of the Dawnguard, a group of vampire hunters. They have chosen to recruit more soldiers in an attempt to wipe out the spreading vampire problem, and naturally, you’re chosen to join them. You are asked to speak to their leader, and when you do, you are given a task to show your usefulness. While on this quest, you meet another character who has a certain fancy for blood (I won’t give away too much because I don’t want to spoil anything for you). They have a different goal on their agenda, and instead, want you to meet their vampire lord and work for them instead. This is when you get to choose: join the hunters? Or the Hunted?

Personally, I wanted to see what it would be like to become a vampire lord, so I joined the vampires (although I’m going to go back and try the other side too). One thing that they’ve done in this DLC that I thought was quite brilliant is the fact that they’ve acknowledged that most players at this point are fairly high levels. Well, since they’ve given us a brand new perk tree, which differs depending on which side you choose (in my case, it was vampire-specific perks), one would assume that it would be hard to access these perks if we are already high levels. Well luckily, Bethesda has some pretty smart workers, so they’ve thought of a way around the problem. Instead of unlocking these perks via leveling up, you unlock them by using your faction specific abilities, like the vampire lord’s “life drain” ability, or a good ol’ fashioned blood sucking. The more you use your powers, the quicker you unlock the perks.

Now that I’ve finished the DLC quests (at least one faction’s side of it), I can truly say that you will get your money out of this DLC. It gives the player hours and hours of extra play time, and even more so if you consider the fact that you can go back and play the other faction’s quests as well. After all, if you want all of the extra achievements (which I do), you HAVE to play through both sides of the story. This was a great piece of content for Skyrim. Once you see the vast worlds that they’ve created just for this DLC pack, you’ll understand why they’ve taken so long to release it. I would definitely give this pack a 10 out of 10.

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

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!

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

Assassin’s Creed III Preview

I made a post not too long ago regarding the announcement of Assassin’s Creed III, but at the time, there wasn’t much actual information on the game itself. Now that we’ve waited a while, more information has been released, and I’d like to spread the word in the form of a preview.

Assassin’s Creed III takes place during the American Revolution. However, the story of the war is not being told in the way that you’ve learned it before. From AC III’s point of view, the story you were told is wrong. In AC, the Revolutionary War was not merely fought on the battlefield. Behind the scenes, there was a whole other group. They influenced the course of history from within the shadows, using secrecy and stealth to their advantage. In AC III, you play as a man named Connor, who had an English father and an Indian mother (By doing this, there is no specific side that you play for. Instead, there is a type of duality playing out before you, as the 2 differing sides of your heritage collide). Connor has had many conflicts within his life. For example, as a child, he witnesses his tribe’s encounter with white colonists, which presumably didn’t end too well. This eventually leads to Connor joining the order of Assassins.

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Mass Effect Ending Discussion

I was contacted recently by a few friends who wanted to discuss the controversial ending to Mass Effect 3 (If you haven’t seen yet, a lot of people are angry about how Bioware ended the series). However, at the time, I hadn’t finished the game. So I told them that as soon as I finished it, I would make a post on here so that we could discuss the matter. I just finished it last night, so here it is! We will discuss whether we liked the ending, as well as a couple theories that several of us have pertaining to the game. If you’d like to give your own opinion or theory, don’t hesitate to make a comment! So let the spoilers begin!!!

WARNING: THE COMMENTS ON THIS POST WILL CONTAIN SPOILERS. IF YOU DO NOT WISH TO KNOW HOW THE GAME ENDS, DO NOT VIEW THE COMMENTS. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

 

Mass Effect 3 Review (Updated)

I’ve played ME3 some more, so I thought I’d add some more to this review. If you’ve already read what I have so far, just skip to the bottom and you’ll see what I’ve added.

Mass Effect 3 is finally here!!! I really do hope that everyone is going out and buying this game because it is SO incredible. I’ve only played it for a day now, but I’m definitely hooked already. If you’re still curious about what the whole game is about, I’ll give a quick synopsis. The main character in Mass Effect is Commander Shepard. You can choose to make Shepard a male or female, and fully customize his/her appearance. Without going too deep into the past games, Shepard is basically a hero who has saved the universe several times from oncoming threats (the typical kind of hero story one would find in any sort of video game of this magnitude). In the third game, Shepard must save everyone from the biggest threat they have ever seen: the reapers. The reapers are an incredibly powerful race of beings, whose powers cannot be matched by any other living creature (as far as we know). They are not simply biological creatures, but rather something greater. As discovered in Mass Effect 2, (*SPOILER ALERT if you haven’t played the other games!!!) these reapers come about every 50,000 years and wipe out all living organisms. They kill all powerful civilizations and then have all of the others start from scratch (This whole concept vaguely reminded me of the end of The Matrix, where Neo finds out that there are many cycles of life, and he is just one of many. He then goes on to try and change his fate, just like Shepard does). However, humanity has never known about any of this until Commander Shepard found traces of a previous civilization, known as the Protheans. He now uses their knowledge in an attempt to discover a way to defeat the reapers, instead of having humanity die once again.

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Assassin’s Creed III

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to make a post for a few days, but I’m finally free to make some posts. Also, check out the new Facebook design! (I think it’s pretty cool, personally) Make sure to like the page, and follow me on Twitter and Google+ as well in order to get the latest news when I’m unable to make posts on here.

Anyways, I wanted to let you know about a piece of news that was recently announced. If you’ve ever played Assassin’s Creed, you know the extremely original story, and now, it has become even better. After all, the environments in the previous games, in my opinion, have started to get old. That’s why Ubisoft has thrown a complete new twist on the game’s story, and they’ve announced it by releasing the game’s cover art. The newest Assassin’s Creed game will be during the Revolutionary War!Characters in the picture can be seen dressed in traditional Revolutionary-War style clothing, while wielding that same era’s weapons as well. Lastly, you can see the American flag in the background, which has the Revolutionary-style design on it. Personally, I think this is an awesome twist to the story. It will bring all new weapons into the mix, and I’m sure it will have a completely different play-style as well. This is really all they’ve officially announced so far, but GameInformer stated that they will have a huge 13-page cover story on it very soon. As of right now, Gameinformer has some extra pictures on their site, but they’ll add more after the article is released. I will definitely be following this story, and if anything else come’s up, I’ll make sure to post about it. If I’ve missed any news, feel free to comment below!

Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning

UPDATE: I’ve played the game a little more now, so I’ve edited this review a little bit and added some more information at the end.

I’ve been playing KOAR (Let’s just go with KOAR, since the name is so big), and I’ve been having a pretty good time. It isn’t the greatest game I’ve played, but it’s definitely not the worst either. If you want to know the whole background and story of the game, I’m not going to be covering it here (Mostly because, in my opinion, it’s not that great. At least not yet. I’m still getting into it). From the beginning, it felt as though the game was lacking in something. Yes, the game has you customize your character at the beginning, but it doesn’t feel right. There are preset options for everything, so it doesn’t have full customization, but I didn’t really mind that too much. Little things, however, started to bug me. Continue reading