The Calm Before the Storm

Bordelands 1000OK, its true. I have been a bit obsessed with Borderlands and Borderlands 2 and although they are fantastic games, I must admit that one cannot survive on badassitude alone. Mind you I am not stopping until my current character, the Mechromancer, is at least level 50. I have already played the Siren and Commando to levels 40 and 35. But I need something else. So why not play Grid 2? I have made it through four seasons and the game difficulty level certainly has stepped up. The competition online is always fun as well. I was really enjoying World of Tanks until the beta servers had issues last week and the game came to a screeching halt. It is back online now but all settings were reset and progress erased. And yes, there are several game apps that still keep my engaged, The Simpsons Tapped Out and the new Plants vs Zombies 2, not to mention Scrabble of which I am a true devotee. But it’s not the same.

But we all see the big wave coming. The new consoles, whichever you choose or especially if you get both, will start a spending tsunami as it will be difficult to decide where to spend your money first.

I have preordered an Xbox One, so my game selections are all for this console. Call of Duty Ghosts, Battlefield 4, Forza 5 and Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag are all must-haves, since I have played almost every iteration of those games and they are amongst my favorites. Certainly there are many advantages and improvements that the new consoles are touting and that game developers are all exploring to make full use of the new technology. Each game has so many improvements that you really need to visit each one’s website and learn more.

Yeah, I can’t wait to try out the enhanced character customization in the new Call of Duty and look forward to advances like the dual focus scopes, but what I am happiest about are the dedicated servers that hopefully will do away with issues that plague the current game. This new one really does look good.

Battlefield 4 has many new features including the new Commander Mode which allows players to oversee and support their team from a console, tablet or PC. The environments are so rich and complex and the level of multiplayer combat that can be achieved is staggering. I also welcome the Battlefield series’ dedication to be more realistic than its competition, although I must admit that the inherent difficulty that accompanies this realism is not always something I wish to take on. Then there are the destructible environments or what they call “Levolution” which allow players to dramatically change the playable space by destroying skyscrapers and splitting aircraft carriers.

I have spent more time playing games in the Forza series than any other and as a true car lover I am getting Forza 5 on day one. Apart from being a driving simulator, probably still the best one too, this game allows you to be a part of car culture in ways that no other even seriously tries. I love both the Grid and Dirt series, but they do not feature the ability to collect and augment your car collection. Where else can I see a car in a film or on the street and run home and recreate it exactly on the Xbox? Or buy a design that someone else posted? Where else can I see the detailed interiors and exteriors of the world’s most expensive and exclusive cars? And with the level of detail available using the new console, this game will be even better. Adding the Spa Francochamps track and bringing back Laguna Seca prove that Turn 10 knows its audience. Throw in the Top Gear exclusives for insight and humor and the Forzavista mode for pure car photography that borders pornography and there is no way that car lovers can NOT buy this game. Plus the reveal trailer shows racing through Prague. Did I mention that I was born there?

I have played all of the Assassin’s Creed games and thoroughly enjoyed each. My personal favorite being Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood mainly for its amazing locations and for Ezio Auditore, of course, who many believe is the strongest of all of the series’ characters. Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag features seamless transitions between ship and walk/run modes which results in much smoother gameplay. The new environments take full advantage of the new consoles graphic capabilities. The attention to historical detail, a mainstay of the series and what make it so unique, is illustrated in everything from the characters to their weapons and clothing, the towns and islands and the ships. Much like reading a good novel, playing a game in this series always encourages me to learn more about that point in history. I can think of no other game that can make that claim.

Now for me, playing those four games is a given, but one of the games I am most eager to try is Tom Clancy’s The Division. The plot line of The Division may be familiar but the execution seems to be top-notch. The trailers that have been presented thus far show this to be another strong contender in the now crowded open-world RPG sandbox arena. The graphics look fabulous as does the attention to environmental detail. The ability for players to join in and play together in various ways and from various devices, similar to Battlefield 4’s Commander Mode, is also enticing. The user interface is beautiful as is the way players gain information from the environment. Add to that the destructible environments, impressive lighting and particle systems and the ability to run through a post-apocalyptic New York City and you have another game that I must have on day one.

And I haven’t even mentioned TitanfallDestiny or Ryse, all of which look amazing. I will save those for another post. You know what we really need? Borderlands 3. Do I really have to wait until 2015?

Posted on August 22, 2013, in Gaming and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I like your blog is awesome as always. I agree with almost everything you say.

    The character customization is HUGE to me being a girl. I love when they include girl characters for me to play as, so I don’t have play as some rough and gruff man. Hopefully they will not all be huge chested as I do resent that.

    Battlefield has never engaged my attention. The maps are too big, there is too much going on, with all the people mapping out their strategy, and there are entirely too many snipers. If you are not an excellent player whatever team you join will not be pleased with you. This game has always been too much of a chore to play. And has too much stress associated with it for me. I like the quick simple kill and short games of COD, for the first 4-5 months after its release.

    I too love driving games, but they are not as much fun to play with friends as other games. Forza has always been fun, but I tire of it easily. There is only so many times I can drive the same course, and once I win a race I generally will not do it again.

    But most importantly you forgot to mention Minecraft. The MOST AMAZING game on the planet. I have spent more hours playing this game than any other over the last year. This is the most wonderful, relaxing and exhilarating game I have ever played. Because for once instead of hunting, killing or destroying you get to create. Beautiful parks, homes, villages, castles, anything your imagination can think of. A friend and I even built an Ewok village in the trees once. I am truly looking forward to this game, I just hope that Microsoft doesn’t ruin its simplicity.

  2. Thanks for the support and for your input. It is too long coming that all games should allow for players to choose their gender and race, although I would include breast size as well. 😉

    I can sympathize with your take on Battlefield and Forza. Everyone has their own favorites for their own reasons. Minecraft is a perfect example. In the right mod, I can get very into building huge projects, but Minecraft is an activity, not a game in my book. Yes there are game modes, but for me the best part of Minecraft is the unlimited and unfettered creative mode. I could care less about survival mode.

    I will write about Minecraft in the future and welcome all input.

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