You Are Browsing ' Activision ' Tag

By Jonathan Balofsky On 30 Mar, 2017 At 11:08 AM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarActivision and Bungie have released the debut trailer for Destiny 2. The trailer gives us the background on the story and look of the game, while holding off the gameplay for May 18th. The game itself will release on Sep 8th.

 

The game will release for PS4, Xbox One and PC.

The following purchase options are available for the game.
Collector’s Edition:

Destiny 2 Base Game

Destiny 2 Expansion Pass: Get access to both Expansion I and Expansion II, offering brand new story missions, cooperative activities, competitive multiplayer, and a wealth of new weapons, armor, and gear.

Destiny 2 – Frontier Bag
– Customizable bag that can be worn as a backpack or messenger bag
– 15” Laptop/Tablet Sleeve with protective pocket slip

Frontier Kit, featuring:
– Solar panel USB charger with built-in light
– Paracord
– Solar blanket

Limited Edition SteelBook® Case
– Booklet with secrets into the Cabal Empire
– Cabal Schematic
– Collectible Postcard Images
– Cabal Military Pawns

Premium digital content:
– Legendary Sword
– Legendary Player Emote
– Cabal Empire Themed Emblem

 

As well, preordering will give you access to the Beta

 

source

By Jonathan Balofsky On 28 Mar, 2017 At 01:11 PM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarBungie and Activision have released a teaser for Destiny 2. This is in advance of the full trailer which will drop on March 30th at 10 am PT

While we don’t have much to go on from this trailer, it is clear that the game has much more of an identity than the 1st Destiny did, which is a major improvement. Here is hoping that this is a much more successful sequel!

 

By Jonathan Balofsky On 15 Dec, 2015 At 04:55 AM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

9unq2fgH
I had the chance to speak with Eric Kozlowsky recently and ask him a few questions about his time at Retro Studios.
How did you come to work for Retro Studios?
I was working as a Lead Environment Artist at Square Enix. Unfortunately the project I was working on was canceled and the entire team laid off. This was in March of 2011. I spent some time putting feelers into the open and when an opportunity at Retro came up I sent my stuff in and got an interview.
 
What was the work environment like at Retro?
Retro is pretty laid back and easygoing. They respect their employees to manage their workload and get their work done. Out of all of the studios I’ve worked for I think Retro has one of the best cultures. I’ve never seen so much inter-department friendships before. Normally The artists are friends with Artists, Designers with Designers and Engineers with Engineers. But at Retro this wasn’t the case at all!
Retro’s games are typically overseen by Kensuke Tanabe, do you have any stories you can share about him? Any comments on how he interacted with everyone?
Tanabe-San was mostly focused with Design. So I didn’t have much professional contact with him as art was pretty much left to the stewardship of our Creative Director. Personally every time I talked with him he was super friendly and easy going. He even signed my Hyrule Historia book (Tanabe-San was scriptwriter on Link to the Past, and he headed up development on Link’s Awakening.)
 
e07ba0b2-aa16-11e3-8a70-12313b0ef1fc-large 
What was it like to work on the Donkey Kong series? Did the series legacy intimidate or excite you in any way?
I have to admit that DK has never been a favorite of mine when it comes to Nintendo characters and game. I was a fan of the original DKC. Yet I never played any subsequent releases save for DKCR to prepare for my interview. However as I the project went on I gained a whole new appreciation for the big guy! There game design in the games is really something else. The way the levels can be attempted in a speedrun is really mind blowing.
Then there is the legacy of the art! I mean when DKC released back on the SNES it was a trailblazer for the coming 3D generation of games (even if it was 2d gameplay). So trying to live up to that legacy, as well as the phenomenal art in Donkey Kong Country Returns was very intimidating. As it stands now out of all the games I have worked on (over 10 at this point) I am most proud of Donkey Kong Country:Tropical Freeze!
I can definitely say now Donkey Kong is one of my favorite Nintendo franchises!
 
What would you have liked to work on at Retro?
I would have LOVED to have worked on Star Fox. I even pitched a proposal before I knew that Miyamoto-San was working on Star Fox Zero. I think I have the document laying around somewhere 😛
 I can’t wait to play Star Fox Zero next year.
 
Can you share any funny workplace stories from your time there?
It’s tough to think of just one, after 4 years working there it starts to bleed together. Most shenanigans happened AFTER work! 🙂
What led to you deciding to leave Retro?
It’s tough being an artist in the game industry. It’s very easy to get comfortable and fall into habits that don’t push your skill. I felt I needed to try something new, to test my abilities and try to grow. Time will tell if that was a wise decision!
 
Are you personally excited for Retro’s next game, whatever it may be?
Of course! I can’t wait to see how it’s grown since I left.
Do you feel Retro can now do more than 1 game at a time or would they be best served the way they have been doing things so far…just your opinion.
Personally I think Retro will always do what is best for Nintendo. When I left it was one team, but I’m sure if Retro wanted to move to more teams they would produce the same stellar work they always have!
 
What was it like when you had the chance to meet some of the higher ups at Nintendo?
Meeting Miyamoto-San at E3-2013 is one of the highlights of my career. I got him to sign my gold NES cartridge of The Legend of Zelda, the very same one I had when I was 6! I even pushed my luck and asked him to sign my DK tie that we were wearing to promote DKC:TF and he not only signed it, he drew DK on it! MIND BLOWN! Easy to say that both Zelda and the tie are framed and hanged in my office.
My biggest regret was seeing Iwata-San at that same E3 but I was too shy to introduce myself to him. I was devastated by his passing.
Thank you for taking the time to do this.
By Wade Hinkle On 21 May, 2015 At 02:27 AM | Categorized As News, News, PC Games, PlayStation, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarSierra has released a new developer diary trailer today, featuring how The Odd Gentlemen is creating the re-imagined version of the adventure game King’s Quest.

The developer studio’s Art Director Evan Cagle and Producer Lindsey Rostal pull back the curtain to show us how the artwork of King’s Quest is transferred to digital media and brings the world to life.

In 1990 during the development of King’s Quest V, publisher Sierra created a way for their artists to draw, scan them to a PC and then create the King’s Quest world. Now a quarter of a century later, The Odd Gentlemen is now using a similar technique to bring King’s Quest to current platforms.

King’s Quest was created by Ken and Roberta Williams and was released in May 1984. The beginning of what would become a a thirst for adventure games, along with other titles like Space Quest, Police Quest and Leisure Suit Larry put Sierra on the forefront of PC adventure gaming. As many times within the industry, tastes changed and eventually Sierra clout faded. Fast forward thirty years, Activision purchased the company this past August and King’s Quest will be once again be Sierra’s flag-bearer.

The new King’s Quest will be release in a series of episodes and will begin where the series ended. King Graham, now aged is narrating his past adventures to his granddaughter Gwendolyn.

Earlier this month, the vocal cast was revealed and Christopher Lloyd (Back To The Future, Addams Family) will be voicing the elderly King Graham while Josh Keaton (The Spectacular Spider-Man) will be portraying the younger King Graham. Maggie Elizabeth Jones (Ben and Kate, We Bought A Zoo) will be voicing Gwendolyn. Though roles were not revealed, the game has many others joining the cast including Wallace Shawn (The Princess Bride, Toy Story), Tom Kenny (Adventure Time, SpongeBob SquarePants) and Zelda Williams (The Legend of Korra) along with Michael Benyaer, Loretta Devine, Gideon Emery, Jean Gilpin, Michael Gough, Andy Pessoa, Kevin Michael Richardson, Kath Soucie, Fred Tatasciore, Richard White and Michael-Leon Wooley. This cast can only enhance the game.

One piece of information that we are still missing is the release date. The first chapter of King’s Quest is currently on schedule to be released later this year. The game is under development for the PC, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Xbox One and Xbox 360.

No GravatarNow that you’ve seen which games I enjoyed in 2013, it’s time to let you know what I’m looking forward to most in 2014.  It’s a new year with new games!  In no particular order, here are my most anticipated games for 2014:

Titanfall

Titanfall – E3 definitely got me hyped for Titanfall.  This is the one game I’m most excited to try on the Xbox One (once I get one anyways – until then yay for having the consoles at my job!).  There’s nothing like having a good shooter with amazing graphics.  If multiplayer shooters are your thing, Titanfall is probably the game for you.  Titanfall is being developed by Respawn Entertainment and published by Electronic Arts.  It is coming out on March 11, 2014 for PC, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Yuna and Tidus

Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster – This is probably the one game I’m looking forward to MOST!  Final Fantasy X / X-2 HD Remaster is being developed by Square Enix and Virtuos Games.  The development was outsourced to Virtuos Games.  It is being published by Square Enix.  After ages of waiting, FFX/X-2 Remaster will be coming out in North America on March 18, 2014 for the PS3 and PS Vita.  This was one of my favorite games growing up and I’m happy to see a remastered version is coming soon (though it took longer to get remastered than I expected them to take).  If you didn’t get a chance to play either game on a PS2, now’s your chance to play them both in all their HD glory!  I will definitely be snatching up the collector’s edition.  If you are too, don’t foreget that it’s only available on Square Enix’s website.  If you’re not getting the collector’s edition, it will be available at your usual go to gaming retailers.

Watch Dogs

Watch_Dogs – I can’t say I wasn’t disappointed when I heard that this game was delayed last year.  It was one of the games I was most looking forward to with the launch of the new consoles.  Watch_Dogs is set in Chicago and involves you, as Aiden Pierce, hacking into the technology around you to succeed in your goals (whatever those are).  There is no set release date, but it is expected out this Spring.  Watch_Dogs is being developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft.  It will be coming out on on the Wii U, PC, PS3, PS4, and Xbox 360, Xbox One.

Smash Bros 3DS

Super Smash Bros. for 3DS – Ah! This is yet another favorite from my younger years! (Well, at least, the previous Super Smash Bros. – Melee to be exact.)  There’s many, many new characters that we’ll be able to play as.  My go to has always been Zelda, but I’ll be excited to try out Rosalina & Luma, Mega Man, and Pikmin & Olimar.  Super Smash Bros. is being developed by Namco Bandai Games Inc. and Sora Ltd.  It is being published by Nintendo.  There will also be a Super Smash Bros. for the Wii U.

The Division

Tom Clancy’s The Division – This is another favorite of mine (at least from what I saw from E3).  It looks great, especially the multiplayer.  The game follows a group of agents, The Division, that are tasked with holding society together in a time when everything is falling apart as disease spreads like wildfire.  It’s an open world RPG where you team up with others to deal with the crisis on hand.  Tom Clancy’s The Division has yet to receive a release date, but it’s expected out this year on the PC, PS4, and Xbox One.  It is being developed by Ubisoft Massive and published by Ubisoft.

Destiny

Destiny – So far, this game looks absolutely beautiful and I expect nothing less from Bungie.  Bungie is known for the Halo games before 343 Industries took over with Halo 4.  It’ll be interesting to see Bungie take a leap into something new and hopefully knock it out of the park!  Destiny will be developed by Bungie and published by Activision.  Destiny will be coming out on September 9, 2014 on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.

Transistor

Transistor – This is an Action RPG that follows a young woman who comes to possess a sword, the Transistor.  There is no release date at the moment other than this game will be coming out this year.  If you haven’t heard of this game, it’s from the makers of Bastion, Supergiant Games (developer and publisher).  Bastion was an enjoyable, fun game, so I’m very much looking forward to Transistor.  I got a chance to take a peak at PAX East last year so I’m expecting nothing less than greatness.  Transistor will be playable on the PS4 and PC on Steam when it is first released and will eventually be playable on Linux and OS X.

By Akodo On 13 Jun, 2013 At 07:25 PM | Categorized As Featured, News, News, News, NINTENDO, PlayStation, ROG News, Television, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarJimmy, Reggie, Wii U‘LATE NIGHT WITH JIMMY FALLON’ TO HOST FOURTH ANNUAL VIDEO GAME WEEK JUNE 17 – 21
FEATURING A MASHUP OF GAMES, MUSIC AND COMEDY

New York, NY – June 12, 2013 – “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” will host its fourth annual video game week featuring a mashup of the latest games alongside special musical performances and comedy sketches for a week of tech-filled fun June 17 -21 (12:35am ET on NBC).

The week will include the following demo line-up: Monday, June 17 – “Forza Motorsport 5” on Microsoft’s Xbox One, Tuesday, June 18 – “Knack” on Sony PlayStation 4, Wednesday, June 19 – Ubisoft’s “Watch Dogs,” Thursday, June 20 – Activision’s “Call of Duty: Ghosts” and Friday, June 21 – “Game & Wario” and “Super Mario 3D World” on Nintendo Wii U.

Additionally, “Late Night” has scheduled a variety of musical guests to appear during the week with ties to the video gaming world. On Monday, Anamanaguchi will be taking the stage for their first live in-studio performance on American TV. The band is well-known for being at the forefront of the musical genre “chiptune,” which is often performed on and pays homage to sound chips from vintage video game consoles. Fallon will welcome Chvrches on Wednesday night to perform the single “Mother We Share” from their upcoming fall debut album. The group will have several songs in video games this year, including FIFA ’14. Lastly, Zedd and special guest Foxes will have a video game themed set on Friday performing “Clarity” with The Roots, which will transition into Zedd’s famed remix of “The Legend of Zelda” theme song.

There is another exciting component of the week — “Late Night” wants to connect directly with the fans at home. Fallon is asking fans to submit a video of themselves and their moms going head-to-head in a gaming session. The videos can be uploaded to YouTube with the title “Gaming With My Mom” and “Late Night” will select the best moments to premiere on the show the week of June 17. For more information on submitting a video, please visit: Jimmy Fallon: Gaming with my Mom.

The week will also include special video game themed comedy bits.

 

By Inactive or EX ROG Staffer On 10 Mar, 2013 At 07:28 PM | Categorized As Editorials, Featured, Otaku Music | With 1 Comment

No Gravatar

Guitar Hero promo wallpaper

Do you remember Guitar Hero? I sure do. If you’re reading this you probably do too because not a lot of five year old kids visit our website.

Guitar Hero broke new ground as one of the most successful game franchises of the 2000’s. When it came out in 2005 it became an instant hit and went on to release Guitar Hero II and Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock all with astounding sales, earning them $1.7 billion in 2008, the high point of success for the franchise. Then it all went to hell.

Afterwards official continuations to the main Guitar Hero video game that never made as much money as their first three games were released and a huge number of spin offs focusing on specific bands, and very successful ones like The Beatles and Areosmith as well as more obscure ones, came out and flooded the market. The sales kept decreasing until it became obvious this monster that had unleashed itself onto the world was dying and so Activision decided instead of seeing it suffer any longer to pull the plug on the operation and not release any more games.

I was contemplating the absurdity of how this franchise had gone from the video game essential that every household with kids around my age (I was in middle school around the time) was guaranteed to have to an essential bargain bin game. My mind went back to when I was reading this video game review magazine that had a special section on Guitar Hero discussing if it was here to stay or it would go down the tubes. The section claiming it would go on forever claimed Guitar Hero’s success was based on the fact it centered around something timeless, music, and it was a game that anyone of any age could get into. The more cynical side claimed Guitar Hero was only successful because it was the game of the moment and people would eventually get tired of it and move on to the next big thing. Both had valid points that are reasons for the game’s eventual failure, even the one with a positive outlook.

Rhythm matching and music based games have never been popular in America. Most of them are confined to the arcade because it’s pretty novel to perform in public, which ironically is where “Guitar Hero” ended up. Now Guitar Hero as a game work just fine but it never really gives the player much of an incentive to play by themselves. All the characters are pretty stock generic rock star characters, there is no story, and you never get attached to said characters because all they do is perform and voila. Hell, I remember playing as a specific character and then I get a cut scene with some random guy. Talk about laziness. And once they began releasing as many games as they could for the sake of profit the market became stale and there was really nothing new to look forward to.

Then what about the games with well known LEGENDS? That brings me to my second point. A very sad one. Rock had been dead for some time when Guitar Hero came out and even this franchise couldn’t bring it back in style. All in all despite its success it was doomed for failure solely because rock was dying and those who initially bought it would lose interest with all the mainstream garbage coming out as for the kids following them wouldn’t even think to look at it because they wouldn’t recognized the auto tuned talentless synthetic music they’ve grown up with. Which is why they couldn’t register the sheer awesomeness of some of these games.

Now the main reason this game failed is because, well, the average person can’t enjoy it unless they’re with their friends. I remember mostly pulling out the house’s copy of Guitar Hero when friends came over and the main objective of playing alone was to impress them with mad skills once they showed up (I preferred my Nintendo games). It was a great bonding experience. However there’s only so many times kids can do something before getting tired of it. It was something that inexplicably became popular and died out like Pokemon and Yu Gi Oh, and don’t hate me for making that comparison because I know many kids who used to play it are now the kind of people that make you lament the times you live in and you know it too.

Now that doesn’t undermine the importance and greatness of this game but it is a testimony of how the video game industry is vulnerable to sudden changes in consumer tastes. If Guitar Hero had been made as a niche game it probably would’ve survived to this day, but it was made to be larger than life and lucrative, and once it didn’t meet those needs it was abandoned because when it comes to large company the bottom line is profit. Guitar Hero was a great game, and I am thankful I was able to experience it at the peak of its popularity. I can say with confidence it is one of the best music based game of all times and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

No Gravatar5aa5523c828151b4_Sony-Playstation-4_1The Sony Conference event, started off light, and on time, with an cavalcade of the history of PlayStation brand through the years; from the PlayStation to the current generation, PlayStation 3. Everything was intermingled with the Dual Shock controller, being focused at some point and other PlayStation item as well. But within the first few seconds after the MC or main presenter, Andrew House began, he announced that Sony is indeed bringing the PlayStation 4, with the release window of Fall of this year. As he continued to speak, he talked about how the developer as well as the consumer is the focal point of the PS4. He additionally wanted it to be known, that the PS4 would be an central hub for all entertainment purposes for next generation.

LB_0440-1_large

The specs of the PS4 have definitely come back down to earth, from the cell processors and its raw power to a more easily programmable, but still power X86 CPU and an Advanced GPU, which easily allows 1st & 3rd party developers to get the most out of it. Sony is additionally giving, what all developers wanted, 8GB of unified memory and a supercharged architecture, again, which is catering to the developers, since Sony learned from previous PS3 development, and the grips most developers, that weren’t 1st party had to deal with. And from the out of the gate, a larger internal storage, which will come in handy with what will be explained next.


Sony has completed an massive infrastructure of involving mobile devices and primarily the Vita as the on the go version of the PS4, with turning your PS4 into a server of sorts. With the mention of the Vita, the games from your PS4 with the of Gaikai Cloud computing, which was acquired by Sony last year, is allowing for your catalogue to be on the go with you, mainly with the Vita but with other devices as well. With the Vita on the go, being more integral than before, it was shown by transferring, a new game for the PS4, called Knack, to the Vita as it was played, without missing a beat or any downgrade of graphics to the Vita’s clearly smaller screen. Also, Knack, slightly reminds me of the 360 launch game called Kameo, but that may just be me.

PS4

Next, is the new PS4 controller, which is simply called Dual Shock 4, its almost the same design as before, but with a touchpad where the Sony logo and Start & Select buttons were on the Dual 3. This gives the controller, a look of being a bit heavier, but it’s one of those things, people were saying the Dual 3 was too small, and cumbersome. With the touchpad comes, the integrated share button, right on the controller. It looks to be out of the way from accidental sharing, but convenient. Also, the light on the front of the controller, is continuously sending information to an almost Kinect like device, which is a stereo camera, which will track the controller as your playing.

The Share button takes me into the complete social integration as well other steps Sony is taking to further advance the PS4, with 5 words, each explaining the functionality of the PS4. First was Simple. Allowing for developers, be it, big companies or Indies to develop more easily for the PS4, and for the consumer to simply share and gain games for their PS4, more easily than ever before. Second, was Immediate. This was explained in the way of, a second chip, specifically, for background downloads, updates while playing a game either online or offline. Also, allowing for almost immediate, see what I did there, pick up and play from a suspended state of the game, even when its turned off. Third was Social. This is the heavy integration of the Share button.

PS4-1The PS4 will be partnered with Facebook and Ustream, to allow for a better PSN profile, almost Facebook like, but Sony tailored. Also, with the Ustream and Gaikai, you can stream gameplay or upload screenshots or bits of gameplay directly to Facebook and other social media, and allow for immediate access by your friends on the media site as well as, your PSN friends, all the while retaining your anonymity, if you want. With the ability to stream, you or your friends can sit in on one another, if the person allows it, to watch them play, or even “pass the controls onto them” for help if need be. Also you can leave comments while they’re playing, be it helpful or even trash talk. Fourth was Integrate, allowing for the consumer to continuously, regardless of location or device do almost anything with the PS4. Finally was Personalization. This feature, is like smart shopping where, over time collected data from your purchases, from the PlayStation Store, or actual disk, and give you games and content, already fully downloaded to your PS4, and you’ll have to do is hit the buy button.

Moving back to Gaikai, Dave Perry, mentioned that, over time, the PS4 will have the catalogues of the PS1, 2, and 3, able to play digitally on the PS4, with the use of its technology. Also, with the service, they are adding, the Free to Try ability, giving the consumer, the ability to play actual full games, not a shortened version or a downgraded version, and buy at any point and time during that trial, and all without hassle.

LB_0788_large_verge_medium_landscapeAfter the beginning, they began to show games, videos, and live demos, from both 1st party and 3rd party. First up was Guerilla Games, with live gameplay of Killzone: Shadow Fall. The game is brighter than previous versions, and looks amazing. Next was Evolution Games, game Drive Club, a team based driving game about challenging the World as a team or Club, with a heavy integration in mobile devices for the challenges. Next, was Sucker Punch, bringing us back to the world of Infamous, the game calling Infamous: Second Son, and I was giddy with joy over this announcement, and I can’t wait. After which, Braid developers, Jonathan Blow, with the next game for the PS4 at launch, with The Witness, this has 25hrs of unique puzzles, and the music amazing with a Celtic feel.

Quantic Dream, creators of amazing Heavy Rain, showcased its pushing of the PS4 with a live demo of rendering facial and eye design and emotions with amazing lighting and textures, and small nuances. Media Molecule, the creators of Little Big Planet, shows full use of the Move with an sculpting and allowing your dreams to be created. This gave way to a recorded live performance of a show featuring “puppeteers” of a musical performance. With that, House mentioned that it had full support from, almost, if not, every major 3rd party developer for the PS4.

watch-dogs-logo1Capcom, with Yoshinori Ono, showing a gaming engine code named Panta Rhel, built specifically for the PS4 and a game being developed in conjunction with Panta, called, Deep Down (Working Title), showing beautiful lighting, character models, and amazing action, that seemed to be what real time action will be. Square Enix, showed the tech demo running the Luminous Engine by Hashimoto Yoshihisa, and the other Hashimoto, Shinji saying a new Final Fantasy title is in opening stages of development and more information released at E3. Ubisoft Montreal, showing an live demo of Watch Dogs running on the PS4. And the game looks amazing, and can’t wait till I get my hands on it. Blizzard, with Chris Metzen, announced that Diablo 3 will be coming to both the PS3 & PS4. And finally, the last announcement was from Activision’s Eric Hershberg, bringing Bungie’s new IP Destiny, to the PS4 as well as, the PS3, with exclusive content to the Sony family. All gameplay trailers, demos and videos will be on our site as well.

Sony came out hard hitting in this press conference. Showcasing that they have learned from their previous mistakes in the current generation, and looking forward to showing why Sony’s PlayStation was always a bright star, and not a waning one, as they were saying Sony was. Sony, came out saying, contest us now Microsoft, we will see you on the field of battle come this console launch. And Sony certainly means business, this generation.Ps4Holiday2013-610

By Akodo On 6 Dec, 2012 At 07:12 PM | Categorized As Featured, PC Games, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe annual franchise, that will always undoubtedly, gross more than some B-rated, and flops at the box office, Call of Duty returns. And as developers switch off each year, its Treyarch’s turn with, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2. Many fans clambered over the course of MW3 year long reign to fix multiple things and Treyarch, seemed more than willing to make them. The game was hyped, most from the robust YouTube community that was used early on to secretly give gamers hints at what would be in the game. For example, a possible joint venture between FPS Russia and WoodysGamertag, with the former using the quad rotor, which would be called Dragon Fire, in game, in one of his videos, and the latter, talking about it being connected to Black Ops 2. But lets move along to what your really here for.

Just as Treyarch is more known for having a story in their Call of Duty games, Black Ops 2 is no stranger to that. The story continues with Alex Mason, and him being thrust back into the duty after the events of Black Ops, and the rise of the main villain, Raul Menendez in the past. Additionally, it throws in Mason’s son, David, codename Section and him dealing with the angry Raul and his plans for domination of the World Powers, in the current times. The story is well done for a military epic, dealing with both the past and the present. Also, it explains quickly, how Woods survived his explosive encounter from the climax of Black Ops. The game throws tons of gunfire and enemies at you, at any given moment, which will frustrate anybody playing on the highest difficulty.

Each mission has a set of 10 challenges, which will throw a monkey wrench for those who love to platinum games. Some of the challenges range from what you’d normally do during the mission to, specifically using a certain weapon during a certain moment, or maximum effectiveness. As you progress, you’ll come across at least three missions, that’ll give you a commander’s seat to battles that will determine the path of the story. Also, during these missions, you can take charge, in the classic sense of Call of Duty by controlling one of the squads or one of the many mechanical units you have at your disposal. As those have bearing on the story as do choices throughout, that will determine, for the first time, multiple endings in the game. A different pace and storytelling for a Call of Duty game, but it’s nice, that Treyarch cares about their story mode, when most FPS just have gathered weird elements together for single player experience. 
Multiplayer is the main reason, why any and everybody will buy BLOPS 2, and the reason it grossed $500 million in just 24hrs. Treyarch has a tendency to listen to the community and fix what the masses has a gripe with from the previous game (Modern Warfare 3) and its own, Black Ops. Well… In my honest opinion, Treyarch did some things well, and the rest, well just fell flat. This could have been due to Activision, the publisher, rushing the product, and that may have been the cause of multiple systems, both PlayStation and Xbox, to crash or force restarts when the game freezes. Also, the graphics and textures are rather bland, and just blah. Treyarch did add more color schemes and are far from the bland and earthy tone of every level in Black Ops. Additionally, as you play, you’ll greatly and slowly realize, every level is huge, compared to both MW3 and BLOPS, and the small ones are just a cluster f*** of grenades, shock charges, bouncing betties, SMGs, and scorestreaks. Last gripe about BLOPS 2 multiplayer, every person favors the guns with higher rate of fire, so bring in the SMGs, and even if you get the drop on the person, lag compensation comes into play and you’ll be dropped, and they’ll get the kill.

But minus all that I have picked at, it does provide a great time when you play with friend or solo. Scorestreaks are the replacement of Kill Streaks, which, you get your extra fighting power by killing, capping, defending, and collecting tags. You get points, for everything, for instance, you kill a player you get 50pts, but if you get the tag, you get 100pts, so Treyarch, is making people play objectives. Treyarch has made some leaps on the field of fixing spawns that allow people to spawn trap or spawn kill. Although, domination is trap the other team first, but that’s understandable. Multiplayer rarely has any frame hiccups, when so much can be going on in either a 6-on-6 or even a ground war, team deathmatch game. I’m not going to say the game is completely balanced, but I will say, even for it being unbalanced, it’s still a great play. With intense firefights and close quarter, depending on the level, fighting. O, and before I forget, those who were lucky enough to preordered, anywhere, Nuketown is back, in its kill your K/D completely, with a few game modes attached to it besides, TDM, Kill Confirmed, and Search & Destroy.

The most evenly dispersed, you and your crew against the zombie horde moved to the 21st century, and it’s fun from start to finish. Zombie mode returns to bite you at every round, and the hidden story reveals continue from the previous games. It smooth, promotes cooperation between all players, awareness of your surroundings, and steady aim for smooth headshots. As you play in three modes, Tranzit, the story mode of Zombies; Survival, stay in one place, and fight to your heart’s content; and newly created, Grief, think, your group, against another group of human players, and the zombies, last team standing wins. The primary focus of Zombies is Tranzit, the story, finding clues and assembling the new play mechanic pieces ala Dead Island, to help counter the growing masses of zombies, as you travel via bus or foot, if you’re bold enough, run, from five different locations. The other two are self-explanatory from what I’ve told above. It’s still fun to play and find out if your friends would help you in dire straits. But Zombies isn’t perfect, the player characters constantly comment on various situational points, for example, running low on ammo. This’ll get annoying by round 7 or maybe round 1 if you’re doing the story elements. My last little thing about Zombies is be aware of the annoying, “O I took that zombies head off.” Only to be downed by a headless Zombie that’s still moving for only a few more seconds.

All in all, Black Ops 2, isn’t a horrible game. Or a game that should be thrown to the backseat of a car and driven off a cliff. It’s just a little broken, and there is no doubt in my mind, that Treyarch will slowly, but surely fix all the problems with the game, over the course of its life time. Which should top out around 3 years. The story mode for a FPS, well done, multiplayer, hell of a lot of fun, and action, but will make you rage, at least once or twice an hour. With Zombies being a shambling good time! I’m sorry I had to have a zombie joke, somewhere. If you’re a fan, go get it, you’re not, seriously keep your thoughts to yourself, unless someone asks, and if you’re indifferent, just play what you want. Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, is a must have for those who love the game and know what they’re going to get out of it.

By OtakuDante On 27 Nov, 2012 At 06:43 AM | Categorized As Featured, PlayStation, Reviews, Reviews, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

No Gravatar

Before I get into this review I want to make something absolutely clear. I am not a HALO 4 fanboy, or a fanboy of any kind. My opinions, and facts are not biased in an shape, form, or fashion. When I pay $60 of my hard earned cash on a game that is sworn to be better than the previous titles in the series, and it turns out to be flawed in more ways than one you can bet your bottom dollar I will complain no matter what the game is. In fact I’ll go so far as to rant on all the social media sites if I deem it necessary. That’s just the way I roll, so you can get over it. with that being said though I will stick to mostly facts (less opinion), and not tell lies concerning the game even if I think it sucks. In the following review I hope to stay truthful while displaying some brutal honesty as this game definitely warrants it. What you as a reader can expect from the following review is a sectional description of the pros & cons I found during my partial playthrough of the game. I’ll also include some details on what the game offers the player. I’m not going to give any gun breakdowns, or hints on what the best class setup is. You can go to Youtube for that info. This review is simply to inform you (my reader) on what you’re getting yourself into if you choose to buy ‘Black Ops 2’, and nothing more. With all of that out of the way I do hope you enjoy the following review, and that it helps you better understand the latest addition to the ‘Call of Duty’ series.

Months before Treyarch released ‘Black Ops 2’ the internet was ablaze with all sorts of hype concerning the game. Some of this hype was passed on by individuals who were merely guessing as to what we could expect, and other hype was thrown out there by Treyarch themselves. As usual mindless morons such as myself fell for the hype head over heels. I was reluctant at first to even consider buying the game, because deep down I knew it would probably be just like the other screwed up ‘Call of Duty’ games. Unfortunately curiosity got the best of me, and I ended up pre-ordering the game. Being stuck with it I figured I’d best get my money’s worth out of it, and hopefully this review will help me make up for my loss in some small way.

CAMPAIGN

The ‘Campaign’ mode in ‘Black Ops 2’ is likely the best one to ever grace a ‘Call of Duty’ game. It obviously picks up where the other one left off, but it doesn’t linger to long in the past. When you start up ‘Campaign’ you will be greeted by the usual difficulty setting choices. There’s difficulty settings for every type of gamer ranging from easy to hardcore. Being the tried & true gamer that I am I opted to go for the ‘NORMAL’ difficulty setting. Aside from difficulty options this CoD campaign also allows the gamer to customize their loadout before facing the current mission. I noticed that there were some weapons unique to this mode that were not included in the ‘MULTIPLAYER’ portion of the game. This could possibly mean that gun dlc is on the way, or that Treyarch simply wanted the two modes to be different from one another. What ever the case may be there’s definitely a difference there.

Visually Black Ops 2’s ‘Campaign’ is leagues better than it’s multiplayer counterpart. There’s plenty of grisly war torn scenes that play out with high quality detail. Whether your trying to save Frank Woods from a torturous death in an enemy jungle, or para-gliding down a canyon in the rain you will experience visuals that are nothing short of breathtaking. The audio soundtrack that accompanies this larger than life tale of global war only enhances the experience even further. I have an HDtv, and after seeing the story play out before my own eyes I can honestly say that this is one of the best looking games this year. The bloody details on Frank Woods, and his life-like gasps for air only made the impending danger that much more realistic. The intensity is definitely more severe this time around as the soldiers interactions are more realistic than I’ve witnessed in past CoD titles. I should also mention that some well known, and well recognizable Hollywood actors make cameo appearances within ‘Campaign’. In fact one of the main support characters is such an actor.

ZOMBIES

Treyarch once again raises their fan favorite ‘Zombie’ mode from it’s resting place giving it revamped visuals, new locales, and even a new mode of gameplay. You’ll find your guilty pleasure comes in both offline, and online modes this time around. At the heart of either mode you’ll find that there are three locations available for group oriented zombie survival. The “Green Run Tranzit” features the infamous bus that was shown in the preview trailer. You’ll also find a rustic/rundown farm that looks oddly inspired by certain events in “The Walking Dead” video game. The “Green Run Town” on the other hand looks as if it were a locale that fell victim to more than just the zombie outbreak. Like other maps you’ll find that the ground is buckled up, and cracked beneath your feet, and that lava/flames are spouting out of the cracks. The attention to detail is notable, but the special effects (vision blurs, flame effects …) are overly applied making the tasks at hand more annoying than fun.

The modes in the online/offline portions of ‘Zombies’ contains the usual co-op, survival, and even a new mode called “Grief”. Fans of the original Black Ops zombies mode will be familiar with the co-op, and survival modes. They are exactly as the name/title suggests. In co-op you can join in a party of up to 4 players as you try to survive wave after wave of zombie attacks. Boarding up windows, and collecting new guns/weapons is a must if you hope to survive for the long haul. When it comes to the ‘Survival’ mode there’s little difference to co-op. The goal is fairly much the same, but if I remember correctly the player limit is different. Grief is a different story all together though. In ‘Grief’ you take on the role of either the FBI, CIA or CDC. Both teams are split up accordingly, and the goal is to outlast the other team as a relentless wave of zombies attacks everyone. In this mode you cannot kill opposing players directly, but can (“supposedly”) find meat that you can throw at the opposing players in order to attract zombies to them. The key to long term survival in ‘Grief’ is staying in close groups. Reviving downed comrades is also a must if you hope to outlast your opponents.

My opinion of ‘Zombies’ is somewhat pessimistic. I found that the maps were really small for the most part, and that they paled in comparison to what the original game type offered. As for the graphics are concerned they’re alright. I wouldn’t go so far as to say they looked as good as they did in the original Black Ops though. Some of the things that really bothered me when it cme to the graphic presentation were the massive amount of flames applied to the Town level in ‘Grief’, or other levels in ‘Zombie’. The flames really obstructed your view of the level, and figuring out who was a friend or foe was unnecessarily made difficult as a result. The constantly blurred vision caused by the flames really made things worse. I would have loved to have seen the level in it’s entirety without being plagued by constantly impaired character vision. As far as the modes in ‘Zombies’ go ‘Grief’ was definitely an awesome addition to the series. I actually liked the competitive aspect of it. I only wish that direct player to player killing was allowed, as it would have made for a more fun experience.

MULTIPLAYER

Multiplayer has always been the core reason as to why CoD fans flock to the series. The arcade style gameplay definitely gives it a feel that no other FPS game developer has really been able to duplicate. I myself have often times been mesmerized by the game series’ online multiplayer offerings. In Black Ops 2 the arcade style gameplay continues on, but in a somewhat altered state. What you’ll find in Black Ops 2 multiplayer is the usual array of modes, an emblem editor, and a slew of new weapons that have yet to be seen in the CoD franchise. The class setup this time around has also been altered significantly allowing players to have only 10 items per class. This means you will have to sacrifice some things in order to achieve a setup that works best for your playing style. This time around perks, attachments, lethal, tactical, and wildcards play a huge role in making the perfect class. The wildcards in particular are a new set of class add-ons that act somewhat like perks giving the player the opportunity to add things like more slots to their perks, or even their weapons. Balancing your needs, and wants in the class setup will definitely take some thinking this time.

When it comes to online gameplay the quality that ‘Black Ops 2’ offers is severely lacking. I found that a lot of the maps are small in size, and that the attention to detail is less than it has been in previous CoD titles. Often times when peering through one of your gun scopes you’ll notice that outlines are pixelated giving the game a more unpolished appearance. The gameplay itself is also flawed. I recall someone stating before the game’s release that there would be no lag compensation involved in ‘Black Ops 2’, but I quickly found out otherwise when playing online against random players. The infamous “Wanted (Movie Reference)” bullets have returned in their full glory making for some really cheap deaths/kills. I have found myself dying many times by gun shots after I was around a corner, and seemingly out of harm’s way. Another thing that plagues the game is hacking, and ragequitting. Yesterday while playing ‘Black Ops 2’ someone actually fooled with my character controls via a hack. It was like me trying to take control of my own controls. I also encountered a player who was forcing host migration in order to end up on the winning team. As far as ragequitting is concerned it is an all-out epidemic, and happens frequently during online gaming sessions. I blame spoiled a** brats for this tomfoolery, but that of course is my opinion. Whichever way you look at it though this latest addition to the CoD franchise is by far worse than any of the previous releases. There is no doubt in my mind that things will only get worse as time goes on.

VERDICT

How can I say this, and be polite about it? Stay the hell away from this game folks!!! It’s a waste of money, and is just another example of greed by video game developers. As long as Treyarch, or Infinity Ward believe they can make money off of people with a poorly executed products they will do so. It would only take one failed game release to make them realize that they have to produce something of quality to make the profits they have made in the past. Believe me when I tell you that the game developers behind the CoD franchise have more than enough money to make a noteworthy game. I’m just wondering what their excuse is!? HALO 4 for example was released without any notable issues. The game is still going strong, and is most definitely worth the $60 asking price. In fact I’d recommend ‘HALO 4’ over ‘Black Ops 2’ any day, and that is not a fanboy remark my friends. In closing, “Please do not fall for the promises of another CoD game, I beg you!!!”. As for me I will definitely not be buying another Call of Duty game.

– Brad (OtakuDante) –