Video Games

Ready For More (You Think??)

“If you want to go fast, go ALONE. If you want to go far, go TOGETHER” ~ Unknown

Very wise words whether you are debating life choices or finding your zone during TDM on Gears of War 4: Strength in numbers, be an ocean not a puddle & lead, follow or get the hell outta the way are the only philosophies that truly matter. Especially if you want to come out on top.

Gears of War 4, the latest installment in the series is fast, brutal and highly entertaining. As someone who has been a fan of the series & Epic Games from the get-go, I was hesitant to delve into this morphed, newly developed version of my first and greatest love in the video game arena. Cliff Bleszinski, Rod Ferguson along with Epic Games created and developed the original masterpiece that stole my heart back in 2006 with the release of Gears of War. When Gears of War 2 hit the streets in 2008, I was completely and totally forever smitten. Gears of War 3 released in 2011 after much anticipation and while it was truly bigger, better, faster and a total success for all concerned, as a fan I felt there was something lacking. By the time Gears of War: Judgement released in 2013 my fears were confirmed. The heart & the hook were both lack-lustered and a little forced. Even though I put in many hours in on Judgement, the pull of a great story and stir of emotions that greatly written characters can magically make you feel was just not quite there and left me feeling empty. Missing ingredients: Ferguson & Cliffy B. So, of course, I was a little hesitant to pop GoW4 into my tray knowing that the not only were the “Master & the Mage” not involved in the project but also that Epic Games was no longer the owner or the developer. Microsoft & Coalition, a Canadian studio, has taken over both of those rolls. With that in mind, hat in hand & hope in my open heart, I began the journey of the newest generation of Sera’s inhabitants. I pushed the button.

Speaking strictly in generalities so as not to spoil the storyline for anyone who may not have finished this part of the game, here are my first impressions:

I have just completed my first run through of the campaign, a solo or co-op endeavor. First…this game is fast. I mean really fast. Unreal Engine is spot on when it come to movement and flow. The mechanics and motion of this game is breathtaking. I have always thought that frag tagging was the most awesome thing ever but with the addition of the ability  to grab and stab (or snatch and stick ) an opponent out of cover is both exhilarating & mega cool. Great job on that one, guys and gals!!

The storyline is as it should be I suppose. The journey is one of battle, humor, bonding and tragedy. The monsters are different yet familiar with new yet similar names to the Locust &  Lambent true GearsHeads are used to & are intensely dangerous. The characters, JD Fenix, his Outlander girlfriend, Kait Diaz, fellow Gear, Del Walker & JD’s father, Marcus round out the squad. You also meet a couple of new badass characters along the way that are definitely a breath of fresh air as well as run into some of your old favs.

At first I found JD’s character to be a bit whiny, especially considering he is the offspring of the infamous Marcus Fenix, the biggest badass COG of them all, ever. He eventually began to grow on me though. Perhaps his character grew as the story progressed. At any rate I became a fan. (Although Marcus still rules my world!) The other personalities in this game are endearing, each in their on way. I enjoyed spending the time with them. As someone who values co-op, I was a bit disappointed that the campaign is 2 player and not four. Maybe that is something that will change in the future. That and the fact that the campaign seemed a little short and created more questions than answers are the only two nehhh’s I can give this portion of gameplay. I realize that the trend in video games these days is to leave the consumer wanting more. Obviously. But it has been taken so far in the industry that it has gotten to the point where I feel as though I didn’t get the full game or that the game was marketed before completion. Even though I have paid full price. GoW4 had that quality to me. Maybe the DLC to come in the near future will help repair my feelings in that department.

The Versus Modes are ridiculous! And I mean that in a good way! A fantastic way! Whether it’s KOTH, TDM, Escalation, Arms Race, Dodgeball or Horde, you are in for a great time. Gather your friends and grab your game fuel! Your going to be playing for awhile….Honestly, I have always thought Gears provided the best online versus experience and trust me you won’t be disappointed. Gears4 allows you to play with randoms from around the globe or call your pals and battle each other. There is something extremely fun and fantastically entertaining about shooting you bff in the face or having them frag tag you for kicks and giggles. (Virtually, of course) Good times!

There it is. My first impressions of the next gen GoW. I’m sure I will be talking about it a lot in the future and will definitely be playing often. So push tha button, people! Spin the disc! And if you haven’t picked the game up yet, do so immediately! I promise you won’t be disappointed. In fact, you may find yourself falling in love with all things Gears. Just as I have.

Until next time….Peace

 

 

 

 

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Destiny, Far Cry 4, Gaming, Gears of War, Kinect, Xbox, XBox One

Pop Goes the Weasel

Old Saint Nick was a sweetheart this year. He left a shiny new Xbox One under my tree, so I am guessing I have been an extremely good girl this year. 🙂  The holiday season was a busy one, as usual, so while the XBOne and I haven’t been properly introduced as of yet, we have fooled around a bit. The console itself is bigger than the 360. It reminds me a little of the original Xbox. Just more sleek. The dashboard is similar enough to what I’m used to that I had no problems navigating it and neither will anyone who may have purchased Xbox One as their first gaming system. It did come with a Kinect which I have not tried out yet. I’m sure I will not be disappointed when the time comes. I am told by others that the Kinect will allow for voice control over the system as well as hand comands, Skype and of course, one is necessary for the truly interactive physicality of Kinect games, such as Just Dance, Xbox Fitness or The Fighter Within.

The first game that I plugged into my new console was Far Cry 4. I was a huge player of its predecessor so my expectations were high and I am happy to say that I am not disappointed. Ubisoft has once again delivered a beautiful game with colorful characters, an interesting storyline and loads & loads of stuff to do. Straight from the opening scene, the excitement and adventure is rich and intriguing. I know that this game will be in my tray for quite a while and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys shooters.

The next game that I tried on the XBOne was Destiny  I know, I know, you have heard me bitch about this game and as I have explained, I’m still spinning it on 360. Mostly for the multiplayer value. Just so happens, my cousin also moved on to the next-gen console at Christmas and he made sure to provide me with a copy of Destiny so we could take this journey together. Games for the XBOne must be installed and this does take a little time. Next I had trouble connecting to Destiny servers but who doesn’t these days? Even Dinklebot looses signal in the Ocean of Storms story mission. Between Bungie’s Zoo (baboon, elk, rabbit, kingfisher, sheep, weasel, Marion Berry, etc.) & asshole hackers, I had a difficult time getting this version of Destiny to load. When I finally did get to play…wow! The graphics “pop” and are much more pristine than in the 360 version. All of my Destiny 360 content moved over to the new console effortlessly and even the DLC, The Dark Below downloaded without me having to repurchase the season pass. This I was thrilled about! It saves me money and it makes it easy to bounce between platforms depending on my mood and who I’m playing with. That being said, I would not mind spending more time on the XBOne version, if I could ever get to the servers. Eight out of ten times when I try to play Destiny on  XBOne, I can’t, even though I have done an uninstall/reinstall. Thank my lucky stars I have Far Cry to fall back on during these times.

Even though I have plenty of new “shinys” to explore, examine and experience (all of which you will be hearing about in the near future), tonight, my friends and are going old school. We are spinning my first love, Gears of War 2 as well as a little Gears 3, just to get the party star-ted. 🙂 Yes! It’s officially game night ’round here and I for one cannot wait to be back in the arms of Marcus Fenix as his frag-taggin’, two-piecing, cog-lovin’, death-defying, killing machine, femme fatale!! It’s going to be a BLAST!

See ya’ll on the box! Stay warm & stay real!

Peace

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