Despite remaining one of gamings biggest franchises, and spreading its grasp into other areas such as movies and board games, the Resident Evil series has struggled to find its feet on the current generation of consoles. Resident Evil 5 and 6 both received generally positive reviews from the critics and journalists, however both games failed to strike a chord with the majority of gamers, who lambasted their more action oriented approach and called for a return to the survival horror roots of the series.
In the meantime, Resident Evil Revelations was released for the Nintendo 3DS handheld system to relatively little fanfare as the console was still trying to find its feet. Over time though people began to praise Revelations, and cries of it being better than Resident Evil 5 or 6 were obviously heard by Capcom, as they swiftly made a decision to port the game over to home consoles. Many figured this as a cheeky cash grab by the publisher, and thought the game would not stand up to the ‘triple A’ titles of the Xbox 360 and PS3. Thankfully, these fears can be allayed, as Revelations is a tense, taught survival horror that shows the consumer that the Resident Evil series is not dead quite yet.
Paul discusses Dishonored, an Action/Adventure title from Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks.
Will he shout it’s praises to high heaven, or dispatch it quietly in a back alley?
Watch to find out!
The first Call of Duty game was released in 2003, and at time of writing, there have been nine main instalments in the series. The first Assassin’s Creed game was released in 2007 and there have been five main instalments with a sixth one inevitably hurtling our way. The third in the series had barely been released for six months before avid anticipaton of another game began. It baffles me that this constant churning out of games from franchises is what people want, and in the following article I’m going to explain why.
My collection of games is pretty large; it’s big enough that I can’t even estimate the actual number of physical games I own, let alone the digital ones. As such, I’ve developed quite a backlog, since excellent games kept coming out faster than I could complete them. The fact that I spent a good chunk of the last six years playing World of Warcraft didn’t do anything to help the situation, either. As of today, I know that I have well over a hundred games – most of them brilliance waiting to be experienced – that I have yet to play. Up until a few weeks ago, I thought that this was something to be ashamed of, or at least a problem that needed to be solved. Then I came to the realisation that, perhaps without even knowing it, I’d been building myself an ark.
The gaming industry takes an awful lot of flak for the state of modern society. Parents, ignoring the fact that they have purchased something designed for someone aged in their twenties or thirties, are apparently surprised that the box with a masked man holding a pistol does not contain a story about a happy unicorn that loses his balloon. As a parent, it is your job to protect your children from the world until such times that their moral compass can steer them away from picking up an AK-47 and walking into an airport terminal. If you don’t want your child to play these games don’t buy it for them! This shouldn’t be news to you; your parents tried to steer you on the right path when they told you not to listen to rap music as it was all about shootin’ up pimps and rollin’ wit yo bitches, in the same way their parents told them not to listen to rock and roll, put down that guitar and get a haircut.
I agree that exposing children to content that is not age appropriate for them has a detrimental effect on their understanding of right and wrong and how to interact with the world around them. Of course it does; I saw Watership Down as a child and to this day I can’t walk past a rabbit without kicking it in the face before it has the chance to savagely attack me. I do however fully agree with the statement that being good at Call of Duty does not make you capable of shooting up a school in the same way being good at FIFA does not make you good enough to play for Man United. It is the person within you that determines that shooting the ho to get your money back is acceptable in Grand Theft Auto (it is, in case you were unsure) and that it most definitely is not in real life. Baring all this in mind, I am going to issue a warning in the unlikely event that any parents are reading this; do not, under any circumstances buy Payday 2 for your child. Even as an adult with a reasonable grasp on morality and physical limitation, I am now convinced that robbing a jewellers is a good idea.
So what have we got here then? Well, Overkill Software have walked in to an overcrowded FPS market and whopped out their shiny new sequel to 2011’s Payday: The Heist to really shake things up a bit. As its predecessors title may suggest, the point is not to stop terrorist plots, fight back alien hordes or rescue a sweet beautiful girl (I love you Elizabeth! Please call me I’m home all day!), it’s a good old fashioned jewellery store and bank heist game. Having never played the first, the claims being called from the rooftops that the bugs are fixed and the gameplay is better mean relatively little; I’m a ‘show me’ kind of guy,so show me what you’ve got and I’ll make my own mind up. Well it has, and boy does it look good.
Here’s an example of what you’re likely to expect. You and your partner are dropped into a street, and expected to get on with it. Scout out the building and get your bearings, check out where the guards are, try and find all the entry and exit routes. Done? Right, time to break in. On go the masks and you’re off, taking out guards and stashing their bodies, sneaking past doorways trying to remain unseen, and then shooting the place up when you’re inevitably spotted. Find the loot, hold off the police until the getaway driver gets there and get the hell outta there. A timelessly classic storyline I’m sure you’ll agree.
There are a few things that have struck me about what I’ve seen so far. Firstly, gameplay. What little actual gameplay footage there is in the public domain does have a rather interesting quality to it; the only way to describe it is that the game looks clever. The game seems to change and react around you, so it looks likely that there will be a lot of re-play value here. Guards watch different alleyways, the loot you’re after is hidden in different places, the police will try and out flank/sneak up on you/steal back your loot, even the getaway car will stop in a different place depending on where you’re standing. All very clever, and while it might not take years of planning like a real world bank job, the emphasis is really on putting some thought into what you’re doing.
Secondly, the cooperative element of this game looks very impressive. The AI looks very clever if you’ve got no friends; in the footage I’ve seen it’s hard to tell if it’s a real person or Skynet holding the other joypad. As you’d expect, you have a choice of attributes that you can use to transform your characters; skills like becoming a silver tongued debonair who can sweet talk his way past guards, or turning into a specky little computer nerd who could hack his way into the Pentagon and read all their emails about forwarding to five people and the luck fairy will send you a rainbow coloured puppy. Skills matter, and having the right ones can be the difference between escaping across the border to Mexico and standing in a prison shower clinging on to the soap like your life depends on it.
Whilst graphically it looks competent if not spectacular, you and I both know thatgraphics don’t make a game play well. What you’ll notice is that it actually looks like a sharpened up version of Left4Dead 2, and not just in terms of the buildings and scenery. An item you’ve interacted with, say a bag of money, safe or a dead guard will have a highlighted outline, acting as a useful point of reference in the heat of battle. For anyone who’s played Left4Dead 2 and been faced with a tank (or TAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANK!! To pronounce it properly), being able to easily see where the next gun is when yours runs out of ammo is a benefit you only notice when it isn’t there.
As you may have gathered, this game ticks a lot of my boxes. If you liked Hitman Absolution, Left4Dead 2 or Monaco: What’s Yours Is Mine (not heard of it? Shame on you! Click here), then you’re going to like Payday 2. It’s scheduled for August this year, and is expected on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC, so whatever your platform you can get in on the action. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to find an Olympic class gymnast, a French locksmith and a blonde woman with a Russian accent and a pun-laden surname. Then I might go to the bank.
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