Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

Drake’s Journey

The Uncharted series has always been a firm favourite of mine, from as far back as 2007 when Drake’s Fortune burst onto the scene.  I had never been a fan of third-person shoot-and-cover games, but I really liked platformers and action adventure games.  So what changed my mind?

Drake’s Fortune delivered the complete package for me: amazing graphics, an atmospheric musical score, a great storyline, likeable, believable and lifelike characters that you really cared about, and at it’s heart- absolutely rock-solid gameplay.

Among Thieves

2009 marked the year that most of the world woke up to the realisation that the Uncharted series of games was something special.  Naughty Dog took everything that they’d learnt from Drake’s Fortune and made the game more action-packed and cinematic with some amazing levels and a wider range of enemy classes.

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What I’ve been Playing: Quarter 4 2011

Welcome to my mega review for the past three months of 2011.  In this post are mini-reviews of L.A. Noire, Modern Warfare 3, and Assassin’ Creed Revelations.  Some scores may surprise you.

L.A. Noire

This is one of those games I didn’t expect to be buying when heading into 2011.  Then the reviews came rolling in.  The trailers, the countless articles.  I had to get this game.

It just goes to show how far Rockstar have come.  You’ve got a sandbox city, you can play certain cases in whatever order you want, and you’ve got discretion on how you want to play through the cases.  So far, so GTA.  But this time you’re on the other side of the law- you are the law.

I doubt a game like this would have even been possible a few years ago: the advanced motion capture on actors’ faces- detailed enough to show/betray emotion, the look and feel of such a huge living, breathing city, and the noir storyline.  Breathtaking.

Verdict: 4 out of 5 STARS

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Thoughts on PixelJunk Shooter 2

After thoroughly enjoying playing through PixelJunk Shooter, I was really looking forward to PixelJunk Shooter 2, but I soon found out that it was very tough.  So much more difficult than its predecessor!

I immediately wanted to vent my frustration and write a critical post on this blog, but I held my tongue for the most part.  I calmed down, and I had other games to play through in the meantime.

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I have the Platinum Trophy for Modern Warfare 2

Shortly before the release of Call of Duty: black Ops over a year ago, I made a bold declaration that I would ‘Platinum’ Modern Warfare 2.  That is, complete 100% of all achievements.

Now, I’m going to level with you here.  When I made that announcement, I didn’t really expect that I would do it, although it would give me the incentive of public humiliation if I didn’t.

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My Top 20 Favourite Games

I spotted this on Dave Moran’s blog, so I’m going to quite shamelessly copy the whole idea.  This should make quite an interesting read as our respective top 20 lists are completely different.

So, what you’re going to find a bit further down, is a list of my top 20 favourite games of all time.  Whilst I’m a child of the 80s, you’re not going to find anything like that on this list as they don’t really stack up with the masterpieces I’ve played (my opinion!).

Sure, there was Sonic the Hedgehog on the Sega Mega Drive and Bomb Jack on the ZX Spectrum, but so what?

Here’s the list in full:

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Limbo still haunts me

It’s been a few weeks now since I’ve played Limbo.  I snagged it pretty soon after it became available on the PlayStation Store as its reputation preceded it.  It is of course the same game that was released on Xbox Live Arcade last year.

If you had to think of a video game that could be called art, then it would have to be Limbo.  For a game that’s relatively short, with basic gameplay at its heart, it makes a big impact.  The music, the Noir visuals, and the puzzles all add up to a great little game.  In other words, it’s gameplay done right!

I’ve since moved on to playing some of the bigger releases this year such as DiRT 3 and L.A. Noire but Limbo still sticks in my mind as a small game with big presence.  It is a platform/puzzle game cut to its bare essentials, but with such high-impact visuals.

I’m not going to go on about this game anymore as I’m already treading on familiar ground here.  I just needed to get a shout out for this game, mainly for PS3 owners who like myself, will not have had the fortune of playing it last year.  A must buy!

inFamous 2

I came to New Marais, I saw the need for a hero, I conquered all enemies.  But was it fun?

inFamous 2 didn’t really deliver on my request for shades of grey when dealing with moral issues.  Instead, in the sequel, it’s more or less business as usual: save the civilians, or kill the civilians.  What these clear moral choices offer is the opportunity to really exaggerate the qualities of good or evil on your play through.  I suppose this sits well with the comic book feel to the game, but I believe gamers are ready for an experience a little more nuanced.

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Buy games cheaper with the InvisibleHand

Feel like you’re paying too much for games?  Then you probably are.  If you’re popping into your local HMV, Game, or supermarket then you are almost definitely probably paying too much!

Sure, you may get a good deal in your supermarket or local entertainment store if they’ve got a particular game on offer.  However this tends to be the exception to the rule.  So what’s a thrifty gamer to do?

One option which is a particular favourite of mine, is if you can hold off on buying a game, then do so!  If you wait a few weeks to a couple of months games can fall significantly in price.  Yet this doesn’t help the thrifty gamer who needs their wallet saving from a day-one purchase, or a game that’s recently come out.

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Hands-on with Age of Empires Online

I can finally talk about the game I’ve been playing for the past few weeks as the non-disclosure agreement has been lifted.  It turns out that Age of Empires Online was the secretive project that Robot Entertainment had been working on, originally called Project Spartan.

Any fan of the series will immediately be able to tell where Age of Empires Online gets its pedigree from.  Looking at gameplay and the historial period covered, Age of Empires Online seems to be a hybrid between the very first Age of Empires game released and Age of Mythology except with a few twists and many refinements.

You can also see heavy inspiration taken from Age of Empires III with the concept of a Capital city and plenty of gameplay additions from that release.  However, whereas Age of Empires III was criticised for slowing down the gameplay, this has been rectified in Age of Empires Online.  It almost feels as fast as the great classic, Age of Empires II.

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