I like games... and tattoos. Yes, those.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

WiiU. Actually this is more about ZombieU

So I was recently invited to the launch of the WiiU. I can't say that this is something that I thought would be amazing, not because the tech and press hasn't been great, but really, what else could they do that hasn't been thought of in one manner or another?

Boy was I wrong!

Whilst I'm probably not going to spend hours playing Animal Crossing or Luigi's Ghost Mansion (although it definitely was fun playing both at the launch) I want a WiiU for one game alone.


Yes, that's right. I want to play a zombie game on the WiiU.

I never thought those words would come out of my um... hands...

First up - ZombiU trailer with awesome version of God Save The Queen...

The control system is intuitive, and the WiiU screen is like having something akin to a datapad, where you can access your inventory and scan the environment, as well as use the controls to aim and shoot.

Contrary to what we've come to expect from the Wii, the graphics of ZombiU are slick and well rendered, although since Nintendo is a little late to the party with regards to HD, I'm interested to see how well they'll stand up to the next gen of Playstations and XBoxes that are sure to hit the market in the coming years.

I can't really comment much on the storyline as I didn't get to play it for hours on end, but one thing that needs to be discussed is the process of dying and respawning.

As would be expected in a real Zombie Apocalypse, if you get killed by a zombie, you become a zombie. Yup. That's right - game over. Or so I was told by the Nintendo peeps.

If you die, you respawn as a different character and must track down your old character to get any loot you had collected previously.

I'm not quite certain how this is going to function in the finished game, but it's certainly an exciting concept!

Anyway, here's a little gameplay demo...

Sunday, July 1, 2012


So, continuing in the vein of things that happened while I was getting a new job and hiding away from the people who follow my musings on various social networks...

I was recently invited to the media screening of Prometheus, which considering the masses of envy I received from people I shared this with, was definitely a good thing!

Although ultimately I found the movie itself somewhat predictable storywise (and not because it's the prequel to Alien - for those people who don't know anything about it... Wikipedia is your friend) and the setup for a sequel a bit annoying,(although that would still be a prequel to the Alien films, confusing I know) I thoroughly enjoyed it visually and as an event it was well organised and casual, which is definitely my kind of thing!

Anyway, myself and a bunch of other "important" people (yes, that is sarcasm) were interviewed regarding our thoughts on Prometheus, and that's the video above.

The Life and Times of... Me. Plus some Ghost Recon Future Soldier thrown into the pot

So I have been somewhat scarce over the last month, my apologies for that, but starting a new job will do that to you! I'm not going to get into too much detail but suffice it to say that it's BEHIND the camera (for those people who keep asking me), the schedules are hectic and it's been somewhat of an adjustment to get settled.

I am however, attempting to be somewhat more well adjusted and kick start my gaming habits once again, along with some exciting new things in the works.

On that note, here are (finally!) my thoughts on Ghost Recon: Future Soldier. Yes, perhaps a little late to the party, but figured I'd get it out there nonetheless.

Future Soldier is the fifth game in the Ghost Recon franchise, a third person shooter that departs somewhat from the tactical shooting of the previous Ghost Recon games in order to become more... in your face. "Bombastic" I've heard it called.

I'd go into the narrative, but it's somewhat predictable and a bit tired. After all, there's only so many times you can reinvent the story of the arms dealer in Bolivia.

Or the local warlord in Zambia.

Or the nuclear missile in Russia.

Or the... you get the idea.

If you're playing this game for it's amazing story, go be amazed somewhere else. I'd linger more on the narrative failings, but well... I just really don't want to.

Moving on to gameplay: the stealth section are pretty impressive, and the squad deployment makes ensures that missions are given extra dimension and depth. The cover system particularly is easy and quite satisfying. The adaptive camouflage in particular is very well implemented. The camouflage is only in effect when you're moving slowly, which to be honest makes sense. When you're running, firing or taking damage, it disappears, so don't think you're going to wander around all invisible like, taking out your enemies easily. This is not that kind of game!

What is also pretty cool is the fact that there is no one method to completing a mission. With the wealth of tools at your disposal, including the drone, marking targets is simple and intuitive, and you are offered multiple methods to solving a problem. It is here that Future Soldier really excels, as it attempts to intellectually challenge and engage the player.

It unfortunately falls flat in many other respects however. The inevitable comparisons with games like Battlefield and most obviously the Call of Duty games, mean that Future Soldier comes off second best in this contest. If I felt that that MW3 was lacklustre and merely a reinvented version of MW2, then Future Soldier is the not quite as sophisticated cousin. Which is a pity because it draws heavily not only on games like MW3, but also on the Splinter Cell franchise (also Ubisoft) particularly when it comes to the stealth aspect of this game. In fact, the stealth missions are where it excels, making the rest of the game appear formulaic and stale.

Visually the game isn't bad looking, but somehow I expected a bit more. Decidedly average with some clunky facial animation. Impressive looking moments are completely counteracted by terrible cutscenes and inordinately long, boring sections where nothing of worth happens.

There's also a new feature called Gunsmith, which I didn't overly take advantage of myself, mainly because I couldn't really be bothered to spend that much time on this. If you're someone who likes to customise their weapons however, Gunsmith allows extensive, and I do mean extensive, customisation of optics, triggers, magazines, barrels, muzzles, stocks... ok, sorry I've lost interest now. Anyway, all the parts of a gun you can think of, you can pretty much customise to your hearts content. Yay.

Conclusion? Ghost Recon: Future Soldier is not bad... in fact it has moments that are quite lovely, but it's just... meh. Forgettable.