HITC's gaming authors share what they are playing this weekend.
Robert Granger - Battlefield 4
This weekend I will more than likely be jumping on one of my favourite First Person Shooter franchises. Battlefield 4.
I originally started playing the Battlefield series back in my more hardcore PC days. Then for some reason I transitioned back to consoles (I think it was just easier to load up after a hard days work) and that was where my break in the Battlefield series happened.
It wasn't until the release of Battlefield Bad Company, that I had managed to play a demo on my Xbox 360.Only to be really disappointed (In hindsight I probably didn't give it much of a chance). I had already made the fatal transition onto the Call Of Duty franchise.
After a couple of years of playing Call Of Duty and running to the centre of multiplayer maps, only to be quick sniped by a ten year old, time and time again. I felt the Call Of Duty franchise was just replicating what had come before it, slightly better graphics and a couple of extra game modes. To be fair, we (my friends and brothers) played Call Of The Dead on Black Ops more than any other game mode and it was the only mode that kept us hooked.
It wasn't until a good friend influenced me into picking up a pre-owned copy of Battlefield Bad Company 2, that I would change this Groundhog day of being killed again and again (now I know how Tom Cruise felt.)
"Finally" I thought. A game that really does put you on the Battlefield. A game that had finally brought my brothers in arms back together. A game that encourages team play and a more strategic approach to objectives.
The battle had changed and so did my choice in games. Battlefield killed Call Of Duty and I have stuck with the franchise ever since.
Beware Of Bad Language In Video Below:
Steve - Borderlands the Pre-Sequel
One of the driving forces when it comes down to choosing a MMO or a game like Borderlands with online co-op, is whether your gaming mates are all going to be getting it. It’s mainly for this reason that I didn’t go for Destiny straight away. The response from the beta was largely, ‘look’s nice, bit dull though’ and not to knock Destiny - it’s showing to be a big success - but compared to Borderlands the game is dryer than a hard tack biscuit. That’s the thing that’s always held up with Borderlands, it’s got some great writing with some genuinely funny moments. The characters have depth and personality with detailed back stories and motivations. As a result the game can afford to take a stab at more complex emotional scenes, such as when Jack’s daughter gets murdered. To be fair, this doesn’t always work but it’s a country mile away from bland Master Chief et al.
The Borderlands devs have always shown dedication to quality DLC, community suggestions, in game events and bug fixing that keep the game vibrant and the world of Pandora constantly expanding and evolving. I’ve checked a few reviews that knock The Pre-Sequel for not moving the formula along that much, and on face value the game comes across as a shiny, neon version of BL2, but a handful of mates and I are foaming at the mouth to have a go nonetheless. With the game being on 7th gen, I just hope the aforementioned dedication from the devs doesn’t wane too early as energies are focused onto the pursuit of next gen shininess, we shall see.
With the majority of PlayStation buddies I have still knocking around on PS3, there’s every chance I’ll be playing on the older console more often for the rest of this year. I’m not massively turned on by AC Unity, Far Cry 4 looks great, but I can get this on PS3 as well and enjoy the online play with the same pool of friends. (roll on next year and Bloodborne, Batman and the next Uncharted, these are all games seducing people into the upgrade)
Oh, and i forgot to mention, guns; stupid amounts of guns. An FPS with a totally over-the-top amount of guns is a winner in my eyes…
Ian - Ace Combat 6
This weekend I’m going to sit down (or more fittingly, fly around) and play an old favourite of mine which is Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation on the Xbox 360. This for me is the last of the old style Ace Combat games and whilst the later Assault Horizon may look shinier, slicker and more realistic it introduced elements that in my opinion detracted from what made the previous games so much fun including the sometimes hilarious voice acting when being briefed on an upcoming mission to the crazy super weapons that you have to take down in the fictional land of Gracemaria.
I am however not looking forward to the final mission as with all Ace Combat games is insanely hard and usually requires flying a huge fighter jet through smoky, narrow, protrusion filled tunnels to destroy the inner workings of the enemies huge headquarters or super weapon (I forget which as it’s been a while). This will inevitably result in lots of cursing, restarts and yep, you guessed it, more cursing . Wish me luck, I’m going to need it!
Matt - Rage
This weekend I will be playing Rage. Yes I know, it's another Bethesda game, this time in collaboration with id Software. So what happens when the creators of Fallout 3 team up with the creators of Doom and Quake? Well in 2011 we found out.
Rage is a First Person Shooter set in a post apocalyptic future, you play an Ark Survivor, newly awoken from stasis. The world has been ravaged by an asteroid that hit the Earth in 2029, the year is now 2135 and the world is run by The Authority, who for unknown reasons are rounding up Ark Survivors. Society has broken down into disparate tribes and is being plagued by mutants. So the normal then?
Now I only started playing this last week and I have been really surprised so far, in fact I can't understand why this game was so critically panned. The cinematics are stunning as is the game design,it even holds up to the latest games, for the Xbox 360 I should add, obviously not the next gen consoles.
The game so far has been pretty gripping, and surprisingly challenging. Having gotten used to games such as GTA V and Fallout 3, which both have "Aim" functions, it certainly is a challenge to go back to free shooting games.
Something that set's this game apart is the inclusion of vehicles which adds another element to the Fallout-esque landscape, something that Fallout fans have been predicting for Fallout 4.
This is a really well thought out game with great action, great visuals and really fun to boot. If you haven't played it I would highly recommend it, especially if you were a fan of games like Fallout 3, Doom or Quake as it has many of the signatures that made those games classics.
Adam - Company of Heroes 2
World War 2 games used to be everywhere. I felt at one time they seemed to dominate the industry, certainly the FPS market on console with the Medal of Honour games at least. One particular genre I’m a fan of is strategy games, with Company of Heroes being the WW2 themed game I’ve probably spent the most time with over the years. Thinking back, I’ve spent way more time playing it than I initially thought. Commanding troops and armour from a top-down view, with a strategic mind-set at all times, was great fun, and tough. So when I saw that Steam were letting people play 10 free games this weekend and that one of them was Company of Heroes 2, I thought, ‘I just have to give that a go.’ So that’s what I’ll be playing.
Last night I downloaded the game and fired it up. I haven’t played much of the it yet, maybe the first couple of missions in the campaign, but it’s definitely bringing back memories of the first CoH. I was a little worried I wouldn’t get into it, as I binged so heavily on the WW2 theme when it was at its height in gaming, I thought I still had to detox from it for another couple of years or so at least. I was wrong. The WW2 theme is as compelling as ever, and I think I’m looking at it with a much more heightened degree of maturity nowadays. The campaign centres around the Russians at the moment, and the horrific events that occurred in their defense of Stalingrad. I think this weekend it’s probably going to be a bit of a history lesson as well as a gaming session. Gameplay wise it still feels like the original, with a click of the mouse to select my troops as I order them to flank the enemy armour - moving two at a time, with the rest of their troop covering them - and box them into a kill-zone. Look, I’m already using the lingo… Graphics-wise it looks great, and zooming in all the way down to ground level reminds you that your men aren’t just ants on the ground.
Steam offering up all of these games for free is obviously a tactic to pull people in, with the hope that they’ll buy the games. And, seeing as they’re heavily discounted too, it’s safe to say that they’ve certainly already got my money. So, anyway, it’s time I jumped back in and end the Axis invasion. Commander Gell, out.