Why I love Call of duty: Blackops 3 (For the First time)

Call of Duty has been around for a while. It is a series that is constantly expanding, although the base mechanics have changed very little over, the course of its lifetime it is still going strong and has a rabid fan base. The beauty of the newest installment is not the solid gameplay, which makes good use of its verticality and speed, but the sheer amount of “stuff”. BLOPS3 is a fun twin stick shooter with a staggering amount of content:

-Robust 4-player single-player

-Vast selection of multiplayer modes

-Aesthetically unique Zombies mode

-Freerun (a fun little race mode)

-Custom matches (with bots)

-Nightmare campaign (orecycled levels from the campaign with zombies)

The sheer amount of content in this game should be the level of content that other triple A games include. This amount of content makes it well worth the price tag and I strongly recommend it.

Have a nice day.
Sincerely,

Earlegrey

Rise of the Tomb Raider PC: A Review

Rise of the tomb raider is the sequel to 2013’s reboot of the classic series. The game has just released on PC after its release on Xbox one a little while ago. The game does not do a lot to differentiate itself from the reboot in base mechanics but what they have added adds so much to make it a unique action game that blends genres to create a wonderful twist on classic action adventure tropes. With inspirations from the last of us and uncharted it flaunts crafting and logic puzzles giving it some big boots to fill.

Sound and voice

The sound of ROTTR is confined to grunts of exertion and gunshots both of which sound great and pack the appropriate amount of punch. However some of the voice acting is very uninspired and lacks some emotion.

Graphics

ROTTR is a pretty game. Fire and animations are smooth and tend to add to the immersion of the game. The landscapes are glorious, from the long deserted Russian gulags to the tombs themselves it is all designed deliberately and looks wonderful. Lighting is also used to great effect to make up for some of the more primitive textures on display. However their are a couple of small foibles with the way the game runs and looks. Their are major problems with optimization. Some areas cause FPS to drop below 30 and rest between 30-45 witch is surprising seeing as most of the game runs at a solid 60 FPS. their are also some vistas were the sea and the distant pines are quite obviously very ugly which is surprising due to the fact that most everything else doesn’t.

Narrative

The story of ROTTR is not anything you haven’t heard before. The characters fall into basic archetypes and it is not until the end were it really picks up speed and the drama amps up. Its passable but not anything to write home about.

Gameplay

The beauty of ROTTR’s gameplay is that it is a very diverse and multi-faceted machine. Its climbing is really enjoyable and packs in multiple mechanics to make it engaging and fast paced. Their are also these survival-esque mechanics in the game which really adds to the idea of being a scavenger in a unexplored world. These survival mechanics manifest themselves in scavenging all sorts of supplies to craft arrows, healing items, pouches and weapon upgrades. After every couple main missions the game lets you loose in small but detailed open environments packed with side missions, rare animals to hunt and weapon parts to collect. This contrasts well with the heavily scripted main missions, in fact these are so enjoyable that I can see these being a much bigger part of further entries. There are also challenge tombs which deiver a steady drip of aha moments and are rewarding but not unbeatable. Combat in ROTTR is awesome. Engagement starts in stealth were you can quietly pick off enemies, booby trap corpses and take people out with your trusty bow. Eventually you will get spotted which lets the game show its teeth with brutal close range combat that mixes almost all the other systems in the game to create a tense and unique combat environment. In open combat you dash about scrambling up walls and across platforms, jockeying for a better line of sight all the while crafting Molotov cocktails Continue reading “Rise of the Tomb Raider PC: A Review”

Cities Skylines: an Editor Review

Cities: Skylines is a pretty neat game to fill the SimCity void after SimCity 4 (2003), which was just over a decade long. Skylines, like any city simulator before it, is a management of electricity, water, and happiness. As well, the player also has to balance zoning for residential, industry, and commercial properties. It boasts an active community and developers who interact with players. Skylines is also single-player only unlike recent SimCity(2013) games.

Graphics 

Cities: Skylines graphics are beautiful and realistic, especially in night mode. Watching your city grow looks quite nice from afar. Although if you happen to zoom in the game can look a bit displeasing. While things are not very detailed the main problem resides in strange clipping in building parts usually occurring with slopes or jagged land as well as very blurry textures.

Sound/Voice

Skylines contains no voice acting, only sound effects. From afar your city may be peaceful and quiet with birds chirping and cheery music. Zoomed in you hear a busy street with train, bus, and car noises. Also, that damn chirping bird at the top of the screen is pretty annoying, but can be disabled in the settings. Sound is very average and not too important to the quality of this game.

Narrative

Like almost all city builders Cities: Skylines has no real story, but you could make your own.

Gameplay

Cities: Skylines is entirely based on three factors and a few subcategories to focus on later. These three being mentions earlier as water, electricity, and happiness. These are all influenced by some subcategories. Included in this are traffic, transportation, police, fire, and medical services. Additionally, districts can be set allowing for specific regulations according to where you assign them. Different districts also can have different specializations. These include farming, oil, and ore for industry’s as well as tourism for commercialization. Transportation and traffic are keys to help all of your services. If traffic is a problem then firetrucks can’t reach fires, garbage piles up, and industry cannot get the recourse they need. Transportation can fix this, by using public transportation you can limit traffic increase, especially when you avoid using taxis and buses. That said, traffic is by far the hardest thing to manage in this game. Speaking of difficulty, this game really lacks it. Even after the Hard Mode, which simply isn’t enough to satisfy the audience for this game, this audience being the ‘hardcore city builder crowd’ for games like SimCity 2000(1993) and SimCity 4. This makes Skylines have more of a relaxed environment and lets you focus on beautification and making your city pretty. Again this unfortunately, does not cater to the crowd this game was meant for, making out Skylines to be a casual game for beginners and intermediates. While not making up for the difficulty this game’s community is extremely active. Not limited to the steam workshop which has over 70,000 assets and mods, the community also shines in the developers interactions with players. Most player requests have been or are being patched in as well as included in DLCs.

Verdict

Cities: Skylines, while not catering to its mass audience, is overall a great city builder. Even though it is not the best looker it shows potential in community mods, assets and a developer willing to listen to players. All in all I found myself sinking almost two hundred hours into Skylines within the last six months

8/ 10: Great