In 2009, developer From Software released Demon’s Souls for the Playstation 3, a critically acclaimed action RPG that became notorious for its brutal difficulty and unconventional online multiplayer. Even though the game easily won over tons of hardcore gamers, the announcement of a sequel came as a bit of a shock. Fast forward to present day where From Software has just released Dark Souls, the spiritual successor to Demon’s Souls available on both the Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360. Is this newest game in the series the game you’ve been dying to play? Or is it a painful experience? Read on to find out.*
The Gears of War 3 beta has officially begun this week for gamers who bought Bulletstorm. The first week of the beta gives players team death match on 3 different maps, but more importantly we get our first real look at the revamped multiplayer experience. Has Epic finally fixed a lot of the issues that plagued the first two titles?
Gears of War has always been one of my favorite titles but it was never because if the multiplayer. Horde, like many other gamers was the reason you played Gears of War 2. There was something about the multiplayer that always seemed a little off. Weapon balancing seemed to have issues, and from my experience almost all players used the same weapons. Movement speed never felt right, and I always felt like I couldn’t get away from a bad situation fast enough. Even when I was behind cover. The whole experience wasn’t bad, but it just wasn’t anything I kept coming back to week after week.
Gears of War 3 fixes a lot of issues, and even by just playing the first week of the beta, I am extremely excited for the full retail release this September. I have played over 50 matches alone in the first few days, which is more matches then I’ve played in my entire Gears 2 career.
Movement speed seems to be different to me, and the game is a lot more fluid then I remember. Moving into cover and more importantly moving out of cover is extremely easy. The easier movement allows for faster and more precise gameplay. I no longer feel like I’m not in control of my character. Being able to move much faster I can keep an eye on my team mates, and provide support if needed. Covering my own skin can be executed with ease, and now if somebody sneaks up on with a shotgun it’s my own fault.
Weapons have received a facelift in some ways as well. There are now 5 starting weapons to choose from instead of the 3. The Lancer and shotgun make a return, and haven’t changed too much. Added to the mix are the new extremely powerful sawed off shotgun, and the Retro Lancer. The sawed off shotgun requires good accuracy, but if you miss your shot prepare to die in most cases. The Retro Lancer features a charge attack instead of the mounted chainsaw, and is more powerful than the regular lancer, but has less accuracy. The Hammerburst actually has a reason to be used now with the added first person scope mode. The new aiming style allows for precise shooting and can really do damage if you have a steady hand.
The addition of new weapons allows for new strategies besides the usual shotgun shoot fest that happened way to often in Gears 2. With the charge attack of the Retro Lancer you constantly have to watch your back or you will get killed before you know it. The sawed off shotgun can be your best friend if you are sneaky, but if you miss your shot the long reload time puts you in a situation that will most likely get you killed. Sometimes you will run into people having shotgun wars, but it happens a lot less often.
Weapons that can be picked up haven’t changed too much, but they are some new additions like the Digg Launcher that will keep you on your toes. This weapon features a shot that goes underground, then comes above ground and explodes with a deadly blast radius. It extremely useful and can kill pesky campers that refuse to move, or can take out a whole group of enemies with a single shot.
Unreal Engine 3 got a nice facelift, and Bulletstorm was the first game that really showed off what the updated engine can do. The new version allowed for a larger color pallet, and it really made the world of Bulletstorm come alive. It has the same effect in Gears 3. Seeing a different color besides brown everywhere is extremely refreshing. Even with the better looking textures and objects the game runs at a solid frame rate and never stutters.
The changes that have been made to Gears, in my opinion, have been for the positive in every way. Next week players will get their hands on King of the Hill. Hopefully the improvements will continue through every mode. Keep an eye out for my impressions next week.