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Star Wars: Battlefield.. er, Battlefront
I don't play as many shooters as I used to. Nowadays, I play a lot more story-based gaming. A lot more solo campaigns. It's something I enjoy - the building of a narrative, the participation in the narrative. It's not that shooters don't have narratives, it's just that they're mostly aimed for online competitive play these days. That being said, when I recently purchased my PS4, I bought the Battlefront bundle, so I got Star Wars: Battlefront along with the console. Which I'm actually really happy about. I love Star Wars. Like, way too much. I'd been paying some attention to this game in the months leading up to it's release, and I was pretty sold on it early. I loved the original Battlefront. I played a s#itload of it on my PSP back in the day. So seeing a new one being made, with the option of first or third person shooting, got me stoked. Seeing the graphic updates and the scope of the matchups brought out that good ol' nostalgia. Really most of my initial draw to this reboot is fueled by nostalgia. As things go when you're running on nostalgia, the feeling fades fairly quickly when you have the opportunity to re-experience the old nostalgic fun. When I sat down to play some good ol Battlefront (taking a break from the eternal time-suck that is Fallout 4) I was immediately prompted to make an EA account to even play the game. Cool. But I made the account, immediately forgetting all the details for it because fuck you, Electronic Arts. I was then prompted to play through the 'Missions' option of the game before jumping online into real-life action. But I ain't no chump. So I decided I didn't need no damn 'Missions' and I jumped right into the online competitive play scene. And died. Promptly. Because the way that Battlefront is set up, as far as I can see, is that players of varying different levels are all shoved into the same match as one another. This means that plenty of players are outfitted way better than you are, armed with just your teeny blaster and one grenade. So I died a lot. Probably more than regular people would, because I'm particularly shit at these large-scale gun battles. I get turned around a lot and I have a hard time finding where the fight is happening in a lot of games. I really couldn't find a picture that captures what I want to say here adequately. You see how that AT-ST is currently experiencing some explosive action? Well that doesn't begin to cover how it pans out in actual live games. In the games I've played so far, there are approximately a million explosions per square foot of map space. Grenades - everywhere. Orbital Strikes - often. THERMAL IMPLODERS. ROCKET LAUNCHERS. EXPLOSIVE LASER ROUNDS FROM AT-ATs and AT-STs. It's hard to get yourself oriented to the game as a newbie because you're constantly screaming at your TV, because there are A MILLION EXPLOSIONS HAPPENING ALL THE TIME. Thankfully, there isn't friendly fire in the game modes I've played so far. You can accidentally kill yourself, but your teammates explosives shouldn't be a problem for you. So once you get adjusted to the constant explosions, you'll start figuring out the clear similarities between Battlefront and Battlefield. It's in more than just the same. It's in the way the maps are set up, and the feel of the weapons. The grander scale of some of the 20 vs 20 maps scream Battlefield, especially when you look skyward and see TIE Fighters and X-Wings tearing across the sky. (I don't honestly know, but I'd like to think those same starfighters screaming across the ceiling in the ground force games are other players playing a fighter squadron match on the same map as you in live time.) There are about 9 different game types, ranging from your regular Team Deathmatch to Hero Hunt, where 7 players hunt down the 8th, a Hero character. Killing the hero grants the player the next turn as one of the icons of the film franchise. I feel like I always wind up getting Leia. So the gameplay on the ground isn't really all that special or unique except for the Star Wars varnish. It's still a competent shooter with a lot of action and sprawling maps to get turned around on. Where I lose my mind is in the Fighter Squadron matches. Piloting a TIE Fighter feels all kinds of correct in Battlefront. I try to play most games in the first-person perspective, for some kind of realer connection to the whole shebang, but I am too green. I haven't quite found my wings yet and so I lose track of the player I'm chasing in the madness of aerial combat. Still, in either first person or third, fighting these battles in these starships is such a rewarding feeling. I'm pretty bad at them, but I enjoy it the whole time. I love feeling like a kid shooting lasers at other kids. Plus, with the fast pace of it all, I don't get too bummed when I inevitably bite it. Which I do. A lot. Ultimately I think Battlefront functions as a competent Battlefield clone. It's really not changing up the game for online FPS titles and it's really not even making the existing model look perfect. It's just a fun shooting romp dressed up in the most popular franchise in history. That being said, it feels so good to have a good Star Wars game again. It's been a long time since KOTOR.
7 Reasons Why Call of Duty: World at War is the Best COD Game
Just today I saw that @paulisadroid, the animatronic stuffed mouse that is the Video Games community moderator wrote a card about why Call of Duty is terrible and no one should play it. I don't disagree with the points he made there, but it also made me think. I don't really enjoy the Call of Duty franchise all that much, but there was one of them that I did enjoy a bunch. That game was World at War, and it was a jump back into WWII after Modern Warfare... modernized the series. The Setting Yes, it was WWII yet again, but this time it was in the Pacific Theatre. It meant that instead of yet another game where you're shootin' Nazis for the sake of prtecting the world from Nazi evil, you're fighting on the other side, a side that video games often seem to forget happened. It's a different kind of fight here entirely. The Attack Dogs An airstrike is cool, yeah, but it doesn't strike the same fear as a pack of attack dogs does. Like, a plane you can't win against. Maybe you can kill dogs, right? No. You suck, you can't, you die. But you died with hope of living, which is, in my opinion, worse. The M1 Garand. I don't think you'll ever find a weapon so weirdly satisfying to wield in a video game than the M1 Garand. This plinky rifle will be your best friend, protector, and maybe lover for the time you'll spend in Pacific forests. The timing will always be perfect as you pick off the heads of the enemy o The Co-Op What Modern Warfare lacked and that World at War granted us was competitive online co-op play, for up to 4 players. Playing through Call of Duty campaigns are all more or less the same anyway, but adding your friends into it to make it more competitive, earning points over one another, gave it that extra spin. Viktor Reznov "Our grip tightens around the black heart of Berlin. The Führer demands all to shed their last drop of blood in it's defense. The old, the young, the weak. If they stand for Germany, they die for Germany. Building by building. Room by room. One rat at a time." The most badass Russian in existence, voiced by Gary Oldman. Could you ask for better? The Vehicles I know, I know, the vehicles sucked ass in this game. But for me, the fact that they tried something new, tried bringing tanks and things like that into the game, that should be reflected upon as a good thing. Call of Duty is too eager to have the 'new' features just be prettier guns or new killstreaks. World at War tried something better. Nazi Zombies. I don't think I need to explain this one.
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It's Here, It's Happening: MGSV
Fans can release their held breath; as of today, September 1, Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain has been released, and you can pick it up immediately. You might not be able to get your hands on the cover above, because the day one edition will fly off the shelves faster than you could imagine. Only fitting, for the end of such a storied franchise. Few other games achieve the reverant status afforded to the Metal Gear series. They simply don't make fans like the fans of Metal Gear. The series has spanned almost 20 different games, across over a half dozen different platforms. Now, with this game, the series has reached even newer heights, and the fans are clamoring. So what do we know about MGSV already? Well, kind of a lot. Nowhere near all of it yet, but certainly a lot. We know that it's set in Afghanistan in 1984 - nine years after MGSV: Ground Zeroes, and 11 years or so before the first Metal Gear, which was set in 1995. We know that in this game, Snake's code name is Punished "Venom" Snake. We know that he loses an arm and has it replaced by a robotic transplant - hence the subtitle. We also know that there is a man (who may or may not be a figment of Snake's disturbed psyche, going by trailers) called Skull Face. Why is that? It's because his face was heavily damaged in a bombing of his home as a child. From a gameplay perspective, we also know that this game emphasizes the actual gaming far more than any other installation has. With the exception of the prologue, the cutscenes are much shorter than one might expect from a Metal Gear game, and there is a much larger emphasis placed on the player's decision making and game playing. Phantom Pain features a free, open world for the player to conduct their mercenary business in. The player is dropped into missions with only an objective; the manner in which you accomplish this objective is entirely up to you. Taking away a little from their stealth game roots, players have the ability to go balls-to-the-wall with it, loading out with heavy weapons and giving the possibility for airstrikes and the like. However, you can of course go about things in a stealthy way, accomplishing the objective without raising any alarms and with barely a guard's hair rustled. You are rewarded for either approach, though series fans will likely stick to the stealth side of things. Don't fix what ain't broke, right? Also new in this game is the things you can do with Mother Base, Snake's center of operations floating near the Seychelles of the eastern coast of Africa. In Phantom Pain, you have the ability to recruit and hold mercenary troops whom you can use then to send out on different side missions that can earn you rewards. These rewards can be things like money or metal goods, which can in turn be used to upgrade your gear or the base itself. It's kind of a game within a game, and it carries its own risks. Your troops are given ranks, and if they wake on a mission that's above their ability, all you will get out of it is dead units. So you have to spend some time training your people to be the best they can be, all so you can make your equipment and base the best that it could be. All in all, everything that has gone into this game is the finest work of videogame's favorite crazy person, Hideo Kojima. He has said in interviews before that this game is the game he's been ideally trying to make since the very beginning. It's only now that the technology is where it needs to be for it to have been a possibility. With The Phantom Pain, we close the book on the legacy of Metal Gear Solid, and it is a decisive, astounding finale.
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