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Fallout 3: The Pitt DLC Review

welcome-500x3001The Pitt has finally arrived, taking you through the journey of a slave in the nuclear remains of Pittsburgh. Along the way you’ll encounter new characters, enemies, and acquire new weapons and armor.

To start off you’ll need to listen to the new distress signal that can be heard across the Wasteland, starting your journey to The Pitt. You’ll meet up with an escaped slave, Wernher, who tells you how to gain access to the Pittsburgh ruins. Once there you’ll almost immediately have to make some choices, most of them changing how things play out later on.

The new area is aptly named, since the place is essentially a hellhole. Crossing the bridge to get into The Pitt sets the tone for what’s to come ahead, as it’s covered with blown up cars, rubble, and frag mines, while corpses are dangling above you. Entering into the city, not only are you greeted by slave raiders, but there’s a disease that has plagued the city which catches up with everyone within a few years turning people into Trog’s – monsters who are ready to tear the flesh off of anyone. You’re set off to find a cure for Wernher’s friends, who no doubt probably already have the disease.

Aesthetically The Pitt isn’t very appealing as everything is in ruins, but graphically it’s impressive. The graphical style stays the same as it did in the Wasteland and won’t be as pretty or colorful as in Operation Anchorage, the previous expansion. The Pitt is a dark and gloomy place with haze and smoke filling the sky. You’ll see dead slaves around the city as well as chopped up corpses hanging from hooks or in bloody piles. You’ll talk to other slaves and raiders who have gross battle wounds and almost glowing eyes, likely due from the disease setting in. It makes for a very unsettling feeling as you’re forced to do some uncomfortable things to progress in the story.

The Pitt is finished once you complete three major quests, taking 2-4 hours max. You’d think since the setting is in Pittsburgh there would be a lot of areas to explore, but this is not the case. There is a very small Downtown area and an uneventful Uptown area. The biggest area to explore is the Steelyard, where you can access a few buildings and collect ingots which you can then trade-in for armor and weapons.

This expansion fits perfectly into Fallout 3, more so than Operation: Anchorage, and gives you some very interesting weapons and armor to try out like the auto axe – a chainsaw with four blades spinning at the end. It’s a little hard to justify the $10 purchase price with only the few hours of gameplay, but the content that is featured is well done and fits so well into Fallout 3 that it’s worth checking out.

March 26, 2009 Posted by | Review | , , , , , | Leave a comment

What The New Xbox Experience Could Have Been

While the New Xbox Experience works pretty well, it’s interesting to know that what we use wasn’t the only thing Microsoft had in mind. Design firm Grid/plane, who worked with Microsoft for early design ideas for the NXE, recently released some screenshots on what their vision for the new dashboard was.

The main focus with Grid/plane’s NXE would of been a new menu system, saying they “dreamt up an immersive 3D environment for users to explore the latest games, events and online activity within the XBOX Live community”.

This NXE looks quite similar to the old one, only a lot more white. You can check out more screen shots of what the NXE could have been here.

Via Kotaku

Originally posted on Endsights, January 30, 2009

March 5, 2009 Posted by | News | , | Leave a comment

Call of Duty: World At War Review

Every other year now Treyarch makes another Call of Duty. This year they rolled out World At War, taking the series back to World War II.

World At War has many similarities to Modern Warfare since both games are running on the same engine. World At War may not have the strongest story, but it definitely delivers some intense cinematic moments.

Ok, let’s get this out of the way. World At War is a World War II game. The majority of the gaming community is sick and tired of WWII. Video games have covered just about every interesting perspective and the idea is just burnt out by now. With World At War you’ll still get a bunch of dry history thrown at you, but you’re not playing the same scenes you have in past WWII shooters. WaW puts you into some really interesting perspectives and somehow manages to keep WWII just interesting enough to make this a good game.

Liked:

Cinematic: There are a lot of moments where you feel like you’re in a movie. There are plenty of intense moments where you’re not sure if you’ll make it. Definitely had my hands sweating a few times.

Brutal: If you played Modern Warfare you’ll know it wasn’t very brutal. World At War fixes that by having limbs blow off. It’s extremely satisfying having grenades blow off arms and legs–it was gorgeous. Also, burning soldiers out of tall palm trees is wonderful.

Co-op: Being able to go through the story with your friends offline or online is a welcomed addition of the Call of Duty franchise. This is no doubt the best way to go through World At War.

Different Viewpoints: Granted we’ve all seen a lot of same historic WWII scenes in games. In World At War you’ll play as the Americans fighting the Japanese. As with Modern Warfare, you’ll switch between another country. Alternatively you’ll play as the Russians fighting the Germans – which is the side I found to be the most interesting. As the Americans you’ll get ambushed by Japanese soldiers a whole bunch from underground and in trees, they’re literally everywhere. As the Russians you’ll be running through burning and broken down houses while fending off Nazi’s. It becomes very compelling.

Multiplayer: The multiplayer is still as strong as it was in Modern Warfare. Some of the modes return as well as some new ones. You’ll still gain experience, ranks, eventually reach prestige mode, and unlock new weapons and perks. Nazi Zombie mode is cool.

Disliked:

Grenades Are Everywhere: No matter which difficulty level you’re on, grenades will always be a threat. On normal grenades will deal a massive amount of damage, and in some cases kill you instantly. Later in the game grenades are being tossed like candy at a parade.

Back In WWII: I can’t count how many World War II games there are. While most of them are pretty bad and bland, World At War makes an effort to make it interesting. While it’s somewhat successful, we’ve seen and heard most of what World War II has to offer in video game form by now.

Ugly: Though World At War is running on the same engine as Modern Warfare, the graphics do seem to look a little worse. A lot of the textures are kind of blurry and rough. Not a whole lot of detail can be found in the environments. The guns you use never look very impressive and some of them look quite similar.

Some Maps Are Too Big: The multiplayer maps directed towords larger parties seem too big. I found myself running around a lot with nobody to find for minutes.

Originally posted on Endsights, January 2, 2009

March 5, 2009 Posted by | Review | , , , | Leave a comment

Prince of Persia Review

The latest Prince of Persia is the most unique entry in the series to date. This installment starts a whole new story and doesn’t star the usual Prince. Throughout the game you’ll be leading a Princess though darkened lands to heal them and trap an evil God once again.

While the new Prince is a good addition to the series, the new Princess Elika becomes the real star of the game as you’ll be more interested in her past than the Princes’ – which is barely explored. The dialog which the Prince presents isn’t the most charming, but does provide witty humor.

The adventure isn’t the most lengthy and somewhat flawed, it does provide a very good experience.

Liked:

Art Style: It’s sometimes hard not to stare at the game’s beautiful graphics. The cel-shaded look perfectly compliments the art style.

Fluid Gameplay: Platforming is tricky to get right. Prince of Persia has definitely got it right. Getting around the world is made simple. Walls that you can run on have scratches on them- clearly indicating that you can run on that wall. The same goes for just about everything else. Areas are clearly marked so you know where to go.

Combat: The combat is significantly different than in other Prince of Persia games in the sense that it’s more cinematic and you’ll only be fighting one enemy at a time. Camera angles are always switching to the best angle. There’s plenty of combo’s to find and use with your sword attack, gauntlet, and Elika’s magic.

Easy: Many people say that the game’s lack of difficulty is its biggest downfall. I don’t think it drags the game down much. Elika saves you if you fall off a cliff or about to be killed by an enemy. This helps the game become more fluid and enjoyable.

Elika: No doubt she is the best character in the game. Her side of the story is the most interesting to learn more about and it’s hard not to have an emotional connection with her. What she has to say is often smart, interesting and worth listening to.

Open World: While still somewhat linear, you can choose which paths to take and decide which areas to cleanse first. You won’t find too much just wondering around other than light seeds or pretty views, but it’s worth checking out every bit of it just to see what’s there.

Disliked:

Collect More To Progress: In order to continue on you’ll have to collect light seeds in order to earn more powers through the four power plates. The amount you need to collect is often rather high so you’ll frequently be revisiting previous areas to find more light seeds.

Who Is The Prince?: You won’t learn much about the Prince, at all. In fact, you won’t even hear why he’s a Prince in the first place. He remains a complete mystery throughout the whole story.

Originally posted on Endsights, December 29, 2009

March 5, 2009 Posted by | Review | , , | Leave a comment

Tomb Raider Underworld Review (360)

The current generation of Tomb Raider games have been a massive step in the right direction for the series. Legend was the first to come to the new consoles with great looking graphics and had the control scheme it should of had from the very beginning. Underworld, now the third Tomb Raider release on the current generation of consoles, seems to have taken a step back.

In Tomb Raider: Underworld, Lara is after the Hammer of Thor to stop an evil. The story has a lot to do with Norse mythology, mainly revolving around Thor. After Lara’s mansion is burned down, she sets off for revenge to finish her father’s unfinished business. The adventure will take you all over the world to explore some beautiful looking locations.

Underworld brings in some new gameplay mechanics but fails to deliver quality. As nice as it is to see improvements made to the series, it’s just too hard to look past all of the technical flaws. This is easily the worst Tomb Raider to be released this generation.

Liked:

New Moves: The new moves that have been added feel like that they should of been there all along. Lara now has the ability sprint with a press of a button. The “chimney jump” is a neat way to get around. Jumping off of walls to reach a pole or to a high ledge looks and feels good when executed.

An adrenaline head shot can now be done when your adrenaline meter is full. When this happens the game goes into slow motion, Lara back flips away from the enemy, and if you execute the on-screen command correctly, she shoots them in the head kill them instantly.

Nice Animations: If there’s anything visually different from the previous Tomb Raider’s it would be the updated animations. Simple things like Lara running and sprinting look really nice–dare I even say it looks like how a real person would run? They even added motion blur to some of her fast movements which also look impressive.

Great Sound Design: Tomb Raider wouldn’t be my first pick for great sound design, but I couldn’t help but be impressed by what I heard. Whether it be in the jungle, underwater, or standing in the rain, the atmospheric sounds are something to behold.

Disliked:

Technically Flawed: The graphics have seen better days. Visual clipping still frequently occurs and the textures on characters and objects look outdated. Lara will sometimes jump through objects, such as poles, and she often seems to jump in a direction in which you did not intend. I’ve even had a checkpoint disappear, making me restart an entire section of a level.

Bad Camera: I couldn’t begin to count how many times I had to re-adjust the camera. At some points, it seems the camera should swivel to show you where to jump or show the next location, but you’re just left guessing which often lead to missed jumps and death. The camera also seems to be a little too tight on the player. When Lara moves, the camera stays right behind her, resulting in jumpy movements.

Bad Voice Acting and Dialog: Tomb Raider has yet to impress with its dialog or voice acting. The game is full of simple lines and non-enthusiastic voices, making the story even more uninteresting.

Puzzles, Puzzles, Puzzles: It seems in almost every area there is a new puzzle for you to solve. The puzzles quickly get monotonous, tiresome, and boring. There are a few smart puzzles to figure out but the majority of them are figuring out how to hold down pressure switches or find missing pieces for a switch.

Cliche Story: An evil monster is made, killing loved ones. You set off the stop this evil. The creator ends up destroying said monster to help you out. Haven’t heard that story before! (No real spoilers there, honestly.)

Motorcycle Levels: The motorcycle levels have been around for a very long time. They’ve never been good or very exciting. It’s either time to dump the motorcycle all together or make the bike somewhat rideable and fun.



Originally posted on Endsights, December 29, 2008

March 5, 2009 Posted by | Review | , , , , | Leave a comment