Archive for April, 2012

If having a baby, a mortgage or an increasing addiction to wasn’t enough, game developers feel it necessary to dangle a list of games in front of us to the point that I may end up having to give blood to get hold of them. They’re doing a damn good job at making 2012 one of the greatest years that the gaming industry has ever seen.

To avoid donating any body parts for money, I’ve put together a small, affordable list of games that that I simply can’t pass up and shouldn’t make a dent in my bank balance big enough to cause my wife to beat me relentlessly. Here’s my top five anticipated games of 2012.


Halo 4

The chief's had one helluva lie in. Let's hope he's well rested.

Over the past week or so, a huge chunk of Chiefy goodness has emerged and has finally put Halo 4 on my radar. I have to admit, at first I was slightly sceptical about another Halo trilogy, especially seeing as Bungie were no longer the guys behind the wheel. But 343 industries are taking Halo in a direction that maybe Bungie should have gone with Halo Reach. This time, once again, it’s all about Master Chief. You won’t be some random Spartan on some random mission to save some random planet which you know will inevitably blow up. You won’t be an insignificant, puny, little guy stuck in the middle of a city wishing you were some place else. No, you are Master Chief. You are the guy that everyone else wants to be, and this is the way Halo should always be. “Wake me, when you need me”. Those were the last words we heard from the big green guy almost five years ago and since he’s been gone it seems the covenant are having a hard time letting go and still seem pretty teasy with him. Waking up from cryo sleep four years after the events of Halo 3, the Chief finds himself under attack by the covenant who have somehow managed to find him and seem to have forgotten about the ceasefire. Battling his way through the Forward Unto Dawn, Chief will once again put his skills to the test against the relentless forces of the covenant before somehow escaping what’s left of the damaged ship and finding himself on a strange new world. This world is know only as ‘Requiem’ and is some kind of artificial planet that is the home to a never before seen race. 343 describes them as “a new, more complex and intelligent enemy faction – founded, like the Covenant, on relations between unit types that players can exploit, but considerably more testing”. Expect to here more about Halo 4’s campaign over the coming months but for now, that’s enough to get my juices flowing.

Halo wouldn’t be the same without it’s legendary multiplayer which is set to be one of 2012 finest. So far, we know the whole multiplayer mode takes place aboard a starship called Infinity, inside the Infinity there is a holo deck which generates all the mutiplayer maps for the crew of red and blue Spartans to enjoy tearing each other apart in these ultra realistic simulations, kinda like Xmen’s danger room, I suppose. Firefight has been cut from Halo 4 but replaced with an intriguing version of Modern Warfare 3’s Spec Ops mode but known here as Spartan Ops. Not the most inventive name, I know. But wait, there’s more. Spartan ops is a separate co-op campaign and players will be given five new missions every week completely free! What’s that? £15 for new missions? No, you miss heard me. They’re 100% free! Each mission will progress the story onwards and keep players wanting more for months to come. I love it.

Halo 4 will be out in time for Crimbo and the more I hear about it, the more I simply can’t wait to get my grubby little mitts all over it.


Assassin’s Creed 3

Not just any Indian boy.

I for one love Assassin’s Creed but the the same repetitive recipe has grown rather stale if I’m being honest. Revelations was a really great game but it felt like Ubisoft just threw a load of pointless fillers in there just to make the game a bit longer. The bomb making, what the hell was that all about? The tower defence parts, what a massive waste of my life. The Desmond section, a useless, boring and not to mention frustrating first person version of Tetris. It’s things like this that just make me want to slap Gears back in and kill some Yanks. But fear not, there is yet hope and it goes by the name of Assassin’s Creed 3. I enjoyed my time with Ezio but that time has passed. The new Assassin who goes by the name of ‘Connor’ has been handed the torch and now it’s his time to shine. What we know so far is that Connor is a half Brit, half Native American who will be roaming around cities like New York, Boston and he’ll also be able to explore the snowy wilderness of The Frontier during the time of the American Revolution. Like all great sequels, AC3 has evolved in more ways than one. One of the biggest changes is the edition of guns. Although we’ve seen guns in other AC games, here it’s slightly more full on. While exploring the Frontier, you don’t have the luxury of taking cover down alleys or hiding behind buildings. You’ll have to be more strategic in planning your attacks, especially when facing a whole group of men armed with rifles. A great way to ambush chaps like these is by making your way through the trees, monkey style, attacking from above before they even new you were there. Awesome. After ambushing them and getting in close, this is where your new tomahawk comes into the equation and you can start slicing guys up util you’re the last man standing. Assassin’s Creed 3 looks to be as equally new and refreshing as AC2 was, and this is something I’m starting to get very excited about.


Bioshock: Infinite

If you're afraid of heights, Columbia's no place for you.

I still own my limited edition version of Bioshock and quite frankly, I’d rather part with my left testicle. Bioshock told a story to me like no game ever had before it. It introduced me to the wonderful world of Rapture and the amazing, twisted characters that called it ‘home’. I became so lost down at the sea bed and I never wanted to come back to the surface. Bioshock 2 was still a great experience but ultimately failed to live up to it’s outstanding predecessor. As Far as I’m aware, Infinite has no connection to the previous games other than it’s a FPS with RPG and survival horror elements. Rather than spending your time at the bottom of the ocean exploring the lost city of Rapture, players will find themselves high above the clouds in the city know as ‘Columbia’ witch is held up by massive balloons and blimps. The city was once the pride of America and set off around the world to show people that anything can be achieved through innovation and dedication. Columbia, however, turned out to be more than meets eye and was in fact some kind of weapon used for mass destruction. America denied any knowledge of this and the city became lost to the world. But the city is still there, floating around the skies, above the clouds and out of sight from the people below. You play the roll of Booker DeWitt, a disgraced former agent of Pinkerton National Detective Agency, who gets himself a new case where he must fly to this lost city and rescue a girl named Elizabeth. How someone manages to find a lost city I don’t know, but anyway. On arrival it’s clear that things are a lot worse than he was told, with two factions at war over control of Columbia, and Elizabeth is somehow caught right in the middle. The game-play seems similar to the previous games but a welcome edition is the fact that once you hook up with Lizzy she can aid your escape with her own set of unique abilities. Rest assured though, in no way is this an escort style game-play element. She’s there to help, not hinder Booker. The thing that has me most excited is your means of transportation around the city. Booker is equipped with a ‘Sky-hook’ which is kinda like a hand-held grappling hook that can be used to connect to ‘Sky-lines’. These babies are Bioshock Infinite’s selling point for me, they’re roller-coaster type rails that cover the whole city and you can hop on and off whenever you please. You will even be able to continue fighting whilst travelling around all over the place at break-neck speeds. It looks amazing. Also, a new edition to the Bioshock series are ‘The Heavy Hitters’. They’re not quite ‘Big Daddies’ but they’re a lot more hardcore then any splicer you’ve seen, that’s for damn sure. These guys are somewhere in-between Splicers and Big Daddies which begs the question, who’s replacing the Big Daddies? There’s a whole bunch of Heavy Hitter videos on Youtube that are well worth a peek. Bioshock: Infinite is set to be released in October so I’m sure we’ll be flooded with a whole wealth of new information before then. But in the meantime, keep your eye on the sky. Um….yeah.


Far Cry 3

Did I ever tell you the definition of 'insanity'?

Despite the repetitive structure of Far Cry 2, I had an amazing time with that game. The graphics were beautiful, the fire-fights were intense and it’s just one of those games I’ll always remember. However, despite how much I enjoyed it there was plenty of room for improvement. Far cry 3 is set to be one of Ubisoft’s biggest and most ambitious games, ever. Far cry 3 is an open world, FPS set on a tropical island found somewhere at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. You are Jason Brody, a tourist who somehow finds himself stranded on the island and who has seem to have misplaced his missus. In order to be reunited with his loved one, Jason needs the help of some of the people who have also been stranded on the island, only one of which has been reviled so far. Not a great deal more is know about the story apart from this time the game will focus on one story as opposed to Far cry 2’s many. One of my greatest fears in real life is also a new edition to the Far cry series, sharks. These bad boys will be dominating the waters all around the island so if you think hiding in the drink from gun-fire is a good idea, think again. I love this idea because the last game I played with sharks in it was Tomb Raider 2 and the feeling of being stalked under water by a man-eating monster was absolutely terrifying. It turned me into what Jonathan Ross would describe as “a wibbly-wobbly mess”. It’ll make some interesting situations throughout the game, if you have an army of goons chasing you and the only means of escape is through water. once you’re under there things go quiet for a moment, you think you’re safe, you turn to swim off and these huge, wide-open jaws are coming towards you.The chase continues. Epic.

The island and all it’s surroundings look amazing, Ubisoft have really put a lot of effort into making it a believable world and one that you’ll want to come back to. There’s a night and day cycle like in most open world games but in Far cry 3 it changes the game-play. You’ll see different animals depending on the time of day or night, ones you can hunt or ones that want to hunt you. Plus it will change activities that the enemies preform. There will be an entire arsenal of weapons to choose from, all of which are fully customizable and stealth game-play is back better than ever. There’ll be no re-spawning enemy checkpoints, places you secure will stay safe, which is a relief. If all that wasn’t enough, the machete is back with more ass kicking, artery slicing abilities than ever.

We haven’t been given an awful lot of information about Far Cry 3 but I’m positive we’ll hear plenty more before the game’s released this September.


Max Payne 3

Bring on the Payne.

The man with the coolest name in video games is back fourteen years after he first started shooting thugs in the face and he’s still really pissed off. Let’s face it, Max is always pissed off. But come on, the guy’s had a rough life. His wife and child were brutally murdered in his own home, then he fell in love again, she was killed, he’s always being shot at. The guy’s got it hard. So he’s moved away from his dark and dreary life in New York and started fresh in good ol’ Brazil. Oh, wait, nope he’s stll being shot at there too.

No longer a cop working for the NYPD, Max has found himself a new job working in executive protection for Rodrigo Branco, a man with wealth and power in the city of Sao Paulo. Trying to forget his troubled past things go from bad to worse when Branco’s wife is kidnapped. Max is then thrown back into the chaos he is so desperately trying to escape when he sets out to rescue her and put her kidnappers down for good.

Game-play wise it’s still very much a ‘Max Payne’ game, a third person, action packed, thrill ride of a shooter, only now Max has become more realistic and believable than ever. Max has well over a thousand different animations all merging together to make each movement flow to the next. Bullet-time is Max’s ability to slow time around him making it easier to take down multiple goons whilst at the same time creating an astonishing cinematic effect. Bullet-time returns to Max Payne 3 and can even be used in multiplayer. Speaking of the Max Payne 3 multiplayer, that reminds me, Max Payne 3 has multiplayer! Thats right, folks. So far two modes have been announced with more to come. One mode is called ‘Gang wars’ which is basically your team death match, the other is called ‘Payne killer’. This mode has one player as our boy Max and another player as his partner, everyone else must work together to take them down. However, these two are aremed to the teeth with guns, ammo and painkillers so taking them down won’t be a stroll in the park. Not enough for you? Ok, try this on for size. Whoever kills Max becomes him, the guy who was Max becomes Max’s new partner so the two are forced to work together even though one of them just stopped the other from racking up the points. This should be enough to rival any Eastenders Christmas special.

With it’s action rammed story and it’s multiplayer that is looking like it could compete with the best, Max Payne 3 is a game I’ll be keeping a very close eye on and one that I simply can’t wait to sink my teeth into when it’s released upon the world on May 18th.

What games are you looking forward to this year? Please feel free to let me know.

Thanks for reading.