Mostly about games.

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Something I’ve noticed of late and feel the need to vent out here because it’s incredibly frustrating. Battlefield fans are really, really neurotic and scared by CoD, to such an extent that whenever criticism is made against Battlefield, the first thing out of their mouths is: “BETTER THAN COD THOUGH.”

I was recently having a discussion about the campaign of Battlefield 3, where I said I’d gone on to give it another play to unwind and just shoot at some people, before realizing how bad it felt to play, with quick time events, awful checkpoints and scripted events all over the place. The person I was talking to, immediately said “Better than playing CoD.” - I had not mentioned CoD, compared Battlefield 3’s campaign to any of CoD’s campaigns, and yet, this was the first thought in this individuals mind. 

In a no-bullshit world, this is akin to having someone say your keys aren’t very shiny, for you to point at another set of keys hanging from the wall that may be slightly duller and going “THEY’RE WORSE THOUGH” before running off. It’s pathetic, weak, and in my opinion, rather common amongst Battlefield and CoD fans alike. 

CoD fans have plenty of problems of their own; they’re mostly 12-16 year olds hyped up on testosterone, sugar and stupid shit, screaming “Faggot” down the microphone and playing what is essentially the most dull, repetitive shooter I have ever seen. However, Battlefield fans are stupid on a much deeper level. They’re neurotic. Completely scared out of their minds that CoD might be perceived as better, so used to whenever someone says BF isn’t very good, saying that CoD is better, that it’s just become the default, go to response to get out of their mouths before anything else is uttered. 

It’s really sad in a way. The person I was talking to, when I pointed this out, tried to say that it’s because the games are rivals and so commonly mentioned within the same sentence. That doesn’t defeat my point, that actually reinforces my point that you’re afraid of your perceived “Rival” and want nothing more in the world than to be perceived as superior to people who play Call of Duty.

Just let me say this: Battlefield and CoD are pretty much interchangeable right now, in terms of their communities, campaigns. Multiplayer is where they differ in game design, but the end result is still the same. Whining, screaming and complaining but not about “Fags” or “Douchebag hackers” it’s usually “Fucking team doesn’t know how to play”, “Map is broken”, “Gun -X- is broken”. The end result is the same. The campaigns are the same, scripted melodramatic shite with a gigantic “FOLLOW” tracker above an NPC’s head. Ongoing terribly written characters, crappy voice acting, transparent villains. The list could go on. I’m ending this wall of text here, but I swear to the non-existent Deity in which I swear to, if I say I don’t like Battlefield and you say it’s better than CoD as your defense… 

>:C 

/K

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Recently, Alan Wake popped up in a sale on Steam, the GOTY edition for £3. As a particular friend had been telling me it was a good game over and over, I figured it was worth picking up for such a small fee. So I did! Also, hi, I know I haven’t written anything in a long, long time, but no game has really made an impact on me for that long, so I didn’t really see the purpose in writing something up that I had no passion for. Anyways, onto the main event!

Alan Wake is about a bestselling writer, Alan Wake, who currently is having a little trouble writing anything at all. His wife and he decide to go on HOLIDAY, NOT VACATION, to Bright Falls, in some random state that I don’t know about. The town seemed Southern in its culture, Deer hunts and large farms and stuff, but anyway.

Alan and his missus arrive in Bright Falls and are hiring a cabin near Cauldron Lake to stay in, so Alan can try and take a break and learn how to write crime thrillers again. (Seriously, it’s not hard, mate.) So an evil darkness takes his wife, who has a phobia of the dark for nothing except coincidence, it never has any effect on the game or anything at all. Alan wakes up a week later after a car crash and is trying to find his wife and avoid the Darkness that is trying to murder him.

So there’s your premise. The game is of the action-horror genre, similar to Resident Evil 4/5/6. There’s a lot more horror in this game than in the latest two Resident Evil outings combined however, which I will applaud the game on. Alan’s main adversaries in the game are “The Taken”, which are people abducted from Bright Falls and it’s surrounding areas by the Darkness. They are “Filled with darkness” as the game keeps pointing out every 15 feet, and have nothing left of their former selves bar a few vocal ticks. These enemies are really quite intimidating at the start of the game. Armed with only a revolver and a flashlight, large groups of Taken can appear at once, wielding all manner of weapons from axes to chainsaws, all out for a piece of Alan.

Alan must first illuminate the Taken with a light source, which can range from light sources in the environment itself, his flashlight, or flares. This burns away the darkness surrounding the Taken, making them vulnerable to gunfire. Whilst this combat is fun at the start and rather unique, the game squanders the potential tension from about the third chapter in. Giving up the tense encounters with very little ammo and preparation in favour of gigantic set pieces, with near endless amounts of Taken whilst Alan fires flares and shotgun shells into crowds. This lack of patience is really one of the games largest shortcomings, as the encounters where I was low on ammo and had to run away, dodging flying axes and scythes at every turn whilst desperately turning around every few metres to shine my light were fantastic! Some of the most intense moments I’ve had. The set-piece moments, in stark contrast, felt contrived, forced and shit.

I played the game from Hard at the start, which I didn’t actually realise until I beat the game and got an achievement for beating it on hard and normal. I was quite astounded. The game never got hard enough for me to think I was on hard difficulty, and I really only died to stupid set-pieces and the Poltergeists, which were infuriating beyond belief. The game is too damn easy, and is filled with combat arenas from Chapter 3 onwards. There are six chapters in the game. You’ll run into an area, become trapped and have to fight against seemingly endless Taken, either waiting for an AI partner to open a door, or a lift to come down or standard action-horror crap. The gameplay gets repetitive fast and if you play for longer than a chapter a play session, it becomes a grindfest which is not fun at all.

Now, for all the criticism I’ve given it so far, Alan Wake genuinely has some amazing moments, glowing sparks of brilliance in the writing and narrative as a whole, as well as some truly great moments in gameplay. Some of the twists and turns in the story are fantastic. However, these great pieces are often marred by the games other shortcomings. All the other character except for Alan, are incredibly shallow and one dimensional, often only exhibiting one character trait and one driving motive for being with Alan at all. Take Barry, for example, in the game he’s supposed to be Alan’s best friend and Agent, but the only character he exhibits at all is a drive for Alan to start writing again so he can make money off him. He’s an annoying, whiney little fuck who never shows any backbone and is exactly the same from start to finish. This is the same throughout the game, an all pervasive problem with every single character Alan encounters. The second you meet them in-game, judge them based on their first paragraph of dialogue they say, and you’ve got the entire breadth of their character. Awful.

There is a lot of lazy writing throughout Alan Wake, which makes me scratch my head. Surely the same people who wrote the amazing parts of this game couldn’t get this lazy? Apparently so. There’s always a stupid contrived reason for Alan to almost exclusively be outside at night, even going so far as it suddenly to change from midday to midnight after a flash of bright light, for no reason that is never, ever explained. The characters in the story always react like absolute idiots, not able to sense and solve the most basic of problems, always letting Alan, who I guess got the majority of the one brain cell everyone has to share, solve it for them.

The story that is shown through the collectible manuscript pages is fantastic, and I really enjoyed the tension it provided, often alluding to story that hadn’t happened, giving you enough information get an idea of what happened, but not enough to know for sure. Another thing I’ll comment on is Alan’s voice actor, no idea who he is, but he did a bang up job. Really liked all of his deliveries, and the live-action stuff they had in dispersed throughout the game was a really nice touch. The game does borrow a lot of it’s twists from other survival horror games, as well as novella. Mostly from Silent Hill 2, as every survival horror wants to be Silent Hill 2, but a lot of Stephen King references pop up throughout.

Warning, slight spoilers below.

The final thought I have on this game is it’s ending. The ending is crap. It basically lies to you from the beginning of the game and then adds something in right at the end for the sake of a cliff-hanger. The friend who recommended me justifies this with the fact that there are two extra DLCs that give you the “Real ending” which I vehemently object to. DLC for the real ending? Give me a fucking break. I don’t understand why they couldn’t just package it with the full game. It’s ridiculous, and it’s not like it’s free either! You have to BUY the real ending! Apparently the first DLC chapter was packaged with a lot of the initial releases of the game, which I guess is a point in their favour. The problem for me is imagine if you don’t have XBL or PSN, how are you going to get the “real” ending? Go buy the on-disc version of the DLC that may or may not be sold anywhere near you? The chances of you getting that version of the DLC now are slim to nil. I honestly think it’s a fucking sham, so I didn’t play the last two chapters, partly out of a stubborn attitude and partly because I didn’t give two fucks about the story anymore. I read up what happened at the end and it just seemed completely unnecessary and worthless. They could’ve just made the actual ending at the end of the game, and saved themselves all this criticism, and saved us money and effort. Completely stupid.

So, my final verdict on Alan Wake is that it’s a dull jewel. Brief flashes of brilliance try to convince you that the concept of the story is more intelligent than it actually is, when in actuality it’s a very simple storyline, albeit with some great twists. The gameplay, whilst quite unique, gets repetitive quickly and the game seems to love indulging itself in long combat arenas and gauntlets that feel like grindy messes. Not to mention the mess with the “ending” DLC.

6.5/10

- K

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Yes, Hi again. Been a while since I actually WROTE anything, instead of just re-blogging, correct? 

Yeah, well that’s mostly because I couldn’t be bothered to go in-depth with most of the games that sucked lately, because it was blindingly obvious why they sucked. Here’s your disclaimer: 

This review will contain spoilers for Mass Effect 1-2-3, will have strong opinions and IS NOT A RANT ON HOW TERRIBLE IT IS. Happy? 

Now, with that out of the way, let’s begin.

Mass Effect. A game series built entirely on choice and the reflection of those choices in your storyline and characters. Yes there was shooting, yes there was huge alien bad-asses you had to kill, but the main plot always boiled down to: What do you choose, Commander?

You are Commander Shepard, a male or female soldier in the Galactic Alliance. Pick where you were born, how you grew up, how you look, what you’ve undergone as you served in the military. Then get thrown into your first mission, after receiving a distress call from the planet. You’re introduced to your enemy, the Geth. By the end of this mission, Cmdr Shepard has seen a vision of impending doom, showing every race in the Galaxy being obliterated by a race known as The Reapers. He/she (mine was a she) rushes to go tell the Council they need to step the fuck up, or they’re all going to die. Council rejects this warning, citing the need for further proof and not wanting to stress out the populace. 

Shepard recruits some people for their mission to save the Galaxy, and go off in pursuit of the Geth and their leader, Saren. I won’t discuss the entire plot, but just the important parts from here. You, Shepard, have to fight lots of robots, make some tough decisions, and ultimately lead the Galaxy to victory. Go.

You have to choose who lives or dies in a factory that has to be destroyed with a nuclear bomb, one person having to stay behind to defend it and then detonate it. You can choose between two people. Both people have families, dreams and interests, you may like one, or both of them. The game will not advance till you have chosen who stays, and there is no way around it. That is what Mass Effect was about. 

Your friend argues that this factory should not be destroyed, that it holds the future of his people within, and he won’t let you destroy it. Choose. Kill him? Have another of your friends kill him? Try to convince or intimidate him out of his choice? Up to you. 

Saren, arguably the main antagonist, has had the same vision as you, and is trying to find a way to synthesize the entire Galaxy together to become one race, with no difference, so that the Reapers will not kill them all. You, as Shepard, are against this. Sent after Saren, you are to stop him from turning everyone into a race of synthesised creatures, and stop him from opening a gate to bring back all the Reapers.

You see, gradually over time, Saren’s original goal of saving the Galaxy through his servitude to the Reaper he found, therefore proving that Organic life was worth sparing. They were twisted by a process called Indoctrination - His goals were supplanted by the goals of the Reaper, named Sovereign and unknowingly, he came to do his bidding.

I’ll get to the final point. At the end of Mass Effect 1, you either are able to convince Saren of his indoctrination, where upon he commits suicide, or you are unable to, and have to kill him. He is raised up by Sovereign (either way) and you have to kill him again. At the end of Mass Effect 1, Sovereign was destroyed, Saren was killed, and the Galactic Council (If you saved them) says the Reaper threat is over with, that Sovereign was the only one and you destroyed him. Done.

Mass Effect 2:

Mass Effect 2 is set within the Milky Way galaxy during the 22nd century, where interstellar travel is possible through the use of mass transit devices called Mass Relays. Central to the story is Commander Shepard, an elite human soldier who is the Executive Officer of the SSV Normandy, a starship piloted by flight Lieutenant Jeff “Joker” Moreau. While patrolling for a hostile race of networked artificial intelligences called geth,[17] the Normandy is attacked by an unknown starship, and many crew members die. During the evacuation, Shepard tosses Joker into the Normandy’s final escape pod before being blasted into space. After a suit breach, Shepard dies of asphyxiation and his/her body is pulled into the orbit of a nearby planet. Shepard’s body is retrieved and ultimately revived by Cerberus, a pro-human organization headed by the Illusive Man.[18]

The Illusive Man informs Shepard that entire populations of human colonies are disappearing all over the galaxy, and believes the Reapers, a highly advanced machine race of synthetic-organic starships encountered in the original game, are responsible.[19] Now working for Cerberus, Shepard is sent to investigate a recently-attacked colony, where he/she finds clues about the validity that the Reapers are working by proxy through an insect-like species called the Collectors.[20]The Illusive Man explains that Shepard must recruit a team in order to stop the Collectors, who reside beyound the Omega-4 Relay, from which no ship has ever returned. Shepard is also given command of a new starship, the Normandy SR-2, piloted again by Joker and equipped with an onboard AI named EDI. Shepard recruits four new squadmates before receiving intel from the Illusive Man that another human colony is under attack.[21] Shepard successfully stops the attack, but a large portion of the colony’s population was captured.[22]

Shepard continues to recruit squadmates, adding three more, until the Illusive Man contacts Shepard about a Collector ship supposedly disabled.[23] As Shepard and his/her squad board the ship, they surprisingly encounter no Collector resistance and learn that the Collectors were originally an extinct alien race that were turned into slaves of the Reapers. With EDI’s help, Shepard finds out how to bypass the Omega-4 Relay before being ambushed by the Collectors. Although Shepard and the Normandy manage to escape the Collector ship, relations between Shepard and the Illusive Man are strained, due to the latter’s knowledge of the Collector trap. After optionally earning the loyalty of his/her squadmates, Shepard visits a derelict Reaper and acquires an IFF transponder necessary for safe travel through the Omega-4 Relay, and later acquires an unconscious geth. If activated, the geth voluntarily joins the squad. The Normandy later integrates the IFF into her systems while Shepard and the squad leave the ship in a shuttle. During their absence, the Normandy is attacked and boarded by the Collectors; only Joker avoids capture. After Shepard’s squad returns to the Normandy, the team use the Omega-4 Relay to get to the Collector base.[24]

In the Collectors base, the team rescue any surviving members of the Normandy, and fight their way to the central chamber. Squadmates survive or perish along the way depending on their loyalty, upgrades to the Normandy, and selections of specific members to perform certain tasks. In the central chamber, Shepard discovers that the Collectors have been constructing a new Reaper made from the abducted humans, although EDI is unsure of its true purpose.[25] Shepard destroys the machine powering the human Reaper and prepares to destroy the Collector base. However, before doing so, the Illusive Man contacts Shepard and gives the order to sterilize the base with a radiation pulse so that its information can be used against the Reapers.[26] After choosing to destroy or sterilize the base, Shepard destroys the awakened human-reaper larva and, if enough squadmates survived, escapes the base before the bomb detonates. If none did, Shepard must be abandoned to death in the Collector Base. Back on the Normandy, Shepard speaks with the Illusive Man, who either praises or condemns Shepard’s decision. As Shepard meets in the Normandy’s cargo bay with the survivors of the mission, Joker gives the Commander schematics of a Reaper. Humanity now has the full attention of the Reapers, who awaken in dark space, and descend upon the galaxy, beginning the events of Mass Effect 3.

Now this comes with huge amounts of choice and repercussions for your choices, along with carrying on from your save game in Mass Effect 1, with the choices you made in that game carrying over to affect ME2 in adverse and positive ways. See the key here? It’s choice and reaction. Choice and consequence. The entire ME games are built on this premise, when you strip away everything.

Mass Effect 3:

Mass Effect 3 begins on Earth with Commander Shepard having been detained following the events in Arrival.[24] Out of the blue, the Reapers attack and the planet is overwhelmed. Shepard escapes to the Normandy with the help of Admiral Anderson and leaves to gather help from other species while Anderson coordinates human resistance on Earth. Before leaving the Sol System, Shepard is ordered to Mars by Admiral Hackett who claims that researchers have uncovered something that may give humanity a chance against the Reapers. There, Shepard battles Cerberus forces and encounters former squad-mate Liara T’Soni, who has discovered plans for a Prothean superweapon that may be capable of defeating the Reapers. Before leaving the facility, Shepard speaks with the Illusive Man, who claims he wants to use the Prothean weapon to take control of the Reapers.

Next, Shepard heads for the Citadel. Once there, Shepard pleads for help from the Council, but they are reluctant to oblige due to their own preoccupations. Shepard realizes that the only way to gain other species’ assistance will be to help them with their problems and garner favors, while at the same time gathering war assets to be used against the Reapers in battle. Eventually, Hackett begins construction on the Prothean weapon and dubs it “The Crucible”.

Shepard’s crew’s first objective is tackling the krogan-salarian-turian conflict centered around the genophage. Afterward, they intervene in the geth-quarian war and defeat a Reaper. Finally, they attempt to defend the asari home world Thessia from the Reapers while simultaneously gathering information on “The Catalyst”, an essential tool for the Crucible’s effectiveness. At a Thessian temple, Shepard encounters a VI called Vendetta. As it is about to reveal information regarding the Catalyst, Cerberus intervenes and steals it. Shepard then attacks their headquarters, killing their second-in-command Kai Leng but failing to capture the Illusive Man. After regaining control of Vendetta, Shepard learns that the Citadel is the Catalyst and that the Illusive Man has been indoctrinated. Because of his indoctrination, the Illusive Man has told the Reapers of the Citadel’s true identity and they have moved it to a defensive position in Earth’s orbit.

Under Hackett’s leadership, the galaxy’s forces attack the Reapers on Earth in an attempt to retake the Citadel and use it as the Catalyst for the Crucible. Shepard helps an assault on London, the focal connection point from the planet to the Citadel. Reunited with Anderson, Shepard eventually begins the final push to the Citadel but is attacked by Harbinger. While charging toward the conduit that sends humans to the Citadel, Shepard’s squadmates are injured and evacuated. Shepard continues the charge but is wounded. He barely makes it and meets up with Anderson and together they encounter an indoctrinated Illusive Man. They stop him, but Anderson is mortally wounded in the process. Shepard is then transported to the pinnacle of the Citadel where a childlike AI appears. The AI declares itself as the Catalyst and the Reapers’ creator. It reveals that the Reaper cycle is an attempt to prevent organic life from wiping itself out by creating synthetic life; creators, the Catalyst argues, are always doomed to be destroyed by the created. The Catalyst characterizes the harvest as an ascendance, wherein advanced organic races are preserved in Reaper form and space is left for more primitive species to rise, evolve, and advance.

The Catalyst says that it has lost faith in the Reapers’ ability to achieve their purpose and gives Shepard three options of defeating them: control the Reapers, destroy the Reapers and all synthetic life, or synthesize all organic and synthetic life together. Each choice results in Shepard’s apparent death and the destruction of the entire mass relay network. London suffers varying degrees of damage and the Normandy crash lands on an alien planet. If the player’s Effective Military Strength is high enough and Shepard chooses to destroy the Reapers, the game ends with a cutscene of Shepard taking a deep breath in a pile of rubble, hinting at survival. In a post-credits cutscene, an old man known as the “Stargazer” tells Shepard’s story to a young boy, implying that Shepard’s legend lives on.

Here’s the biggie. I’m going to cut straight to the chase. The game has so many cracks in it, it’s unbelievable. Some art plot holes, some are story-telling and immersion fractures. Now, I’m not going to say the entire game was bad, I’ll leave that for you to judge, I found several parts throughout Mass Effect 3 hugely enjoyable, rewarding and precious to me. The mission on Tuchanka, for example. My god, what a fantastic mission. It had everything Mass Effect was about encapsulated neatly within an hour and a half of gameplay.

I’m going to discuss the ending, but first, here’s the Extended Cut’s additions to it. (Yes, from fan outrage, Bioware decided to retcon several parts of the ending and try to fix it with this free DLC.)

The Extended Cut reveals that the mass relays are only heavily damaged by the Crucible’s firing instead of being destroyed as per the original ending, but most aspects of the plot remain the same. Additional scenes and dialogue have been added to clarify events and resolve perceived plot holes.

The three original ending choices have been modified to include a varying narration provided by Hackett (Destroy), Shepard (Control), or EDI (Synthesis) along with slides showing the impact the player’s choices have had upon the galaxy, as well as the fate of surviving characters. If the player has a sufficiently high EMS score, the surviving crew of the Normandy is shown holding a memorial service for Shepard before repairing the damage from the crash and launching into space.

The Extended Cut also provides a fourth ending, triggered by either refusing the Catalyst’s choices, or attempting to kill it when the player resumes control of Shepard. Consequently, the Crucible is not fired and the war ends with the systematic destruction of all space-faring civilizations, and the continuation of the Reaper cycle. The scene then shifts to an unknown garden world in the future where one of Liara’s beacons has been discovered. Dialogue in the post-credits scene reveals that the knowledge gained from the beacon ultimately led to the next cycle’s victory over the Reapers.

The ending is bad. It’s really bad. It takes everything Mass Effect was built on: Player choice, consequences, The Galaxy, relationships, friends, unity, victory through difference and screws them into a ball. I’m taking into account you’ve read the above plot summary of the original ending and the Extended Cut. 

Destroy: Destroy is my favourite of the endings, personally. You destroy the Reapers, (Yours and the majority of the Galaxy’s goals for the entire series.) and claim victory. The only thing the destroy ending lacks for me now (Post Extended Cut) is a scene showing Shepard reuniting with her crew and love interest. It would’ve tipped it from being an ‘okay’ ending to a ‘great’ ending. Still, it has it’s problems, just like all of them, it shares one fundamental flaw, which I will discuss at the end.

Control: Control pisses me off as an ending. Yes, it’s good to have player choice there, but it’s a choice that was shared by the Illusive Man, whom you’ve been clashing with since MASS EFFECT 1 (Yes, Cerberus were in ME1.) and you pick HIS choice? No, no nonono. Shepard wouldn’t do that, in my head, and having it being one of the only four choices here is pathetic.

Synthesis: You read the start of this entire long post, did you not? This is what Saren wanted to do! My god, didn’t the writers read that? We KILLED Saren because he was Indoctrinated and wanted this to happen. It forces this change on everybody whether they wanted to or not, merely to pacify the Reapers. You, Shepard, make the choice for billions of people in the Galaxy. Some may say that is the “Ultimate” Mass Effect-esque choice. But I say nay, it is not. One of the key-themes from Mass Effect is victory through individuality. I point to the fact that in the first game, you gather all varying species of people from the Galaxy to aid you in your plight against Saren. One of the characters from ME1 (or 3, if she lived.) had xenophobic views at the start. She did not like the fact that there were so many alien races on the Normandy, a Human Alliance vessel, taking part in their mission. But, had it been the Alliance, and nothing but the Alliance, they would have almost certainly failed. I hate this entire option, it’s stupid and ruins one of the greatest themes of Mass Effect.

Refusal: This comes so, so fucking close to being the choice I and so many other fans wanted that it fucking hurts. In this ending, you refuse to choose from the choices given to you by the Catalyst, telling him to figuratively go fuck himself, and that you’ll fight together with the forces you’ve amassed, and if that means dying, then you’ll die, but you will die free! SO GOOD. This is EXACTLY what Commander Shepard would’ve said. To rely on the unity of the Galaxy to defeat the threat, not a Deus Ex Machina-3000 to conveniently end the threat for you.

Here is my final point on Mass Effect 3:

War Assets. What was their point? Really? There wasn’t one, it was just a number. That’s all. The number was meant to represent the forces of the Galaxy uniting to take down the threat of the Reapers, and that’s what drove us to do all the extra missions, and help random people on the Citadel. We felt that the races would do better if all their other problems were taken care of and they could focus on this one task of defeating the single greatest threat to life in the Galaxy. But ultimately, they don’t matter at all. Nothing you do in any of the Mass Effect games makes the slightest bit of difference. I could go on for days about the huge array of (seemingly) important choices from Mass Effect 1-2 are not touched upon, or do not modify anything in any particular way. The unification of the Galaxy doesn’t mean shit. All you needed was your huge black ball to end the threat for you. 

Because in the Refusal ending, regardless of your War Asset rating, you die. Everyone dies, and you lose to the Reapers. Fuck off. What was the point of gathering anyone? We could’ve just built the ball and then parked it on the Citadel, same shit would’ve happened. Yes you can say “The other races helped build the Crucible!” and I’ll say no, about three squads of engineers with people from every race built the crucible. The majority of the War Asset rating was military personnel. Completely stupid, and takes away any of the drive to do any of the, frankly, shit side quests in ME3, or even play Mass Effect at all anymore. Commander Shepard wasn’t even needed in ME3, just some moron who found the designs to the Crucible. Same thing.

And that’s that. Mass Effect, done and ended. What a depressing end to such a fantastic franchise.

- K

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gemmalouisestuff:

Thoughts on the ME3 endings and the terrible way the ME2 romances were treated, posted here since I can’t add my thoughts to the feedback thread without registering a copy of ME3 first.

Under the cut, for massive huge spoilers.

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Source: teamheadcanon-deactivated

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Terrible At Games: Day Z, Great on paper.

terribleatgames:

So, Day 1 of Day Z is over.

It genuinely has left me downheartened. This is a game which could have had it so right. Zombies, Massive map, MMORPG levels of multiplayer, No respawns, Vehicles and A huge community.

Who knows, maybe it will have it right in the future. Right now though, the game…

Source: terribleatgames

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Kansas Abortion Bill: Lawmakers Pass Sweeping Measure

wilwheaton:

laughterkey:

rachelinbrooklyn:

The bill contains provisions to prohibit tax deductions for abortion insurance coverage and abortion services; to provide for a sales tax on abortion; to establish a personhood stance for when life begins; to limit late-term abortions; to prohibit state employees from performing abortions during the workday; and to mandate that doctors tell women that abortion cause breast cancer along with other state-approved health issues.

The bill also allows doctors to withhold medical information from a woman if it might lead her to have an abortion. It prevents medical professionals from facing a medical malpractice suit in the event that withholding the information adversely affects the health of the mother or child. A wrongful death suit could be filed in the event of the mother’s death. (via Huff Post)

What the ACTUAL fuck?

Think about this for a second: the state of Kansas — a legislature that is not made up of medical professionals — just passed a law — a law! — forcing medical professionals to lie to their patients, even if that lie will lead to serious injury or death.

Doctors help people. Doctors go to school for years to learn how to best care for their patients. Doctors swear an oath to do just that… and these politicians have decided to pass a law forcing doctors to do exactly the opposite.

This is criminal. Every single one of those lawmakers should be immediately removed from office, and when the first woman or child dies because of this law, they should all be tried for murder.

What. The. Fuck. Is. Wrong. With. These. People.

Source: rachelinbrooklyn

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(Disclaimer: I know this is a fucking Beta, but it’s not really. This game is right up next to release, and I really doubt they have time to polish this all up before the game is shipped VERY. SOON.)

So! The people at Ubisoft have finally got around to releasing this damn game after nearly 6 years waiting for a new Ghost Recon title. This game has been subject to huge delays, setbacks and worries throughout the entire design and production process. I mean, there was a Beta code in the box of Splinter Cell Conviction, and now it’s ONLY just came out. Oh well, delays happen, usually for the better.

I got a code from a friend who very kindly gave me one of his guest-passes so I could try it out. After launching, I was provided with a “Press Start” screen. I pressed start, it instantly crashed my entire Xbox, forcing a hard reset. Super, great start. But “Beta is Beta” I said to myself.

Now after finally getting into the game, we’re presented with the main menu which is really very grey and bland, with only Multiplayer, options, extras and characters selectable. I select multiplayer, then click quick match, as I’m loading up my first game, it freezes again. Reset. Get back to the same stage. Struggle with the game as it refuses to let me into a game for 10 minutes, telling me “Server Disconnected” over and over again. (See: Beta is Beta) 

Then once I finally started playing, the first thing I thought, the VERY first thing. “This game looks like shit!” It really does. I have no idea whether this is because it’s a Beta and they didn’t want there to be huge texture packs for people to have to download or whatever, but it looks like 480p upscaled. Lines don’t look anti-aliased at all, textures are shaky and low-res, with a LOT. OF. BROWN. Anyways, continuing.

I’m running around in some desert town/factory area THING, and I click in the left stick to sprint, and it switches the camera perspective to the other side. Ugh. This is very annoying in combat, fyi. Sometimes you will clench the controller a bit hard when you shoot or get startled by an enemy, and you definitely don’t want the game switching entire perspectives, fucking up your aim entirely. So, it turns out holding A is sprint. So, I go about that and run towards a wall, pressing A to take cover again. So now I’m looking about in cover and I just want to softly move a little to left. I press left on the stick slightly, my character jumps 3 paces down the cover and peeks his head around the corner. WHAT?! Very quickly pushing the stick in the opposite direction, I got my character back to the middle and tried to go to the right. Same thing. Ugh, annoying bad cover system, check. 

As I’m looking around, I’m seeing this blue ring on the floor wherever I’m looking, with a huge prompt saying “Cover swap hold (A)” at the bottom of the screen. So I do that. My solider sprints quickly, keeping his head to the ground and gets into the cover I was pointing at. Cool. That’s cool. So I see my first enemy and push up on the stick, aiming up over the cover and trying to get a shot on him. I do kill him,  cool. Immediately after, I’m shot in the side by someone flanking me. Fair enough.

Respawning and pressing a few buttons in my spawn zone yielded a few results. X is reload, LB throws grenades, if you click in the right stick, you go into an ADS/First person perspective for more accurate aiming. Cool. So, heading back into the combat area I try to head for one of the objectives, and it seems like nobody has bothered to start capturing it. I start capturing and look around for my team to be helping me. They’re all camping for kills. Sigh. I just want to state, this game will never fucking work without a group of friends willing to talk to each other on the mic. You have team-mates who are entirely disinterested in capturing the objective, and instead lie down behind a crate sniping. (Kills don’t contribute to the score in this game-mode). So, I’m capturing and suddenly I see a grenade indicator appear on my screen. I don’t even get the time to utter the words “Oh shit!” before I’m dead. 

Watching the kill-cam, this player throws the grenade halfway across the map, with outstanding accuracy only usually possible through weeks of practice on that map, it exploding just as it lands at my feet. No cooking. Apparently, these grenades explode when they hit the ground or a person, they don’t seem to have fuses. Fucking lame free kills. Respawning and returning to the objective, I move into the area and am greeted with lots of gunfire and a big “DETECTED” in the middle of my screen. This is caused by an engineer throwing a grenade like sensor that has a huge radius and immediately reveals your position indefinitely whilst you are in the area. This is overpowered. There is no counter to this, and no way to stop it. It’s ridiculous. Fix it, make it give detection in waves, or give us a counter that doesn’t require 30 level ups to attain.

A guy decides to come rushing at me, guns blazing, so I want to back up quickly, and the cover system hinders me again, keeping me stuck to the wall, as I finally un-stick myself, I move back at a crawling pace, unable to roll backwards or do any sort of evasion technique. Am gunned down by somebody holding RT and forwards on the stick because of awful cover mechanics and no evasion. 

I respawn, walk outside, am shot. 

I respawn, return to the objective, am killed by a grenade that was (Shown by the killcam) to be at least 20 meters away.

I respawn, am instantly detected and gunned down by a US Soldier using an ACR.

I rage quit, because fuck this game.

I’m going to list the things that are wrong with this game now, and if you don’t agree with me, you’re either blinded by fanboyism, meaning there’s nothing I can do to save your stupid ass, or two, think that they can fix this shit before release.

Detection Grenades: Radius, effectiveness, un-counterable.

Grenades: Radius, effectiveness, undodgeable.

Cover system: Clunky, hard to operate, not fluid (Gears of War), far too sticky.

Gun Balance: ACR to AK47 (Ghost rifleman starting gun to Russian Starting gun.): The most ridiculous imbalance ever. The ACR shits on the AK47, and the AK cannot respond to the rate of fire, accuracy and range of the ACR.

Close quarters combat: Doesn’t work with the guns, turning into a spray and pray cunt fest, Melee kills are too autonomous, basically a free kill quicktime event.

Snipers: Get half invisibility when they remain still for 2 seconds?! THE FUCK?

Shotguns: Have the range of a carbine, and the damage of a sniper rifle, as well as the effectiveness at close range.

Graphics: Game looks like shit.

UI: Messy as fuck, Tried to be Dead Space with the “Artificial Reality” crap, but it just looks really messy.

Movement: Feels slow and hindered all the time, character turns way too slowly, no effective evasion/quick roll techniques.

Damage: Seemingly completely random, movement unhindered when shot in the legs. 

First person view/ADS: Firing completely obscures aiming, creating a spray and pray situation, or the other player must not be aware.

All in all, for a game that’s been in development for so long, this game seems unpolished and scarily close to release. I’ll be giving it a rental for Co-op campaign and such, but I don’t expect to buy this, it looks awful.

- K

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Yes, will hopefully be doing a review on this soon. Obviously, as it just came out yesterday, I’m not very close to finishing it, but when I do and I think I can come with a review of it, I will.

Also, it’s just started snowing. Quite happy.

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Kindly remove yourself from my presence. Thank you. Gears of War 3 is so goddamn awful, I could cry. I probably will cry. Y’know, Epic, some of the blame isn’t on you. It’s on CoD. CoD has made players SO dumb that they’re unable to work as a team in anything now, and unable to think of any tactics other than: “Stand perfectly still and shoot at peoplez hruuurrduududrr..” 

If you didn’t know, Gears of War is a third person shooter. Story is meh, couldn’t really care less, so I won’t explain it. The Multiplayer is where the game is supposed to shine! But seriously, I don’t think it ever has.

Now before all you Gears of War fans come out of the ground like the fucking undead and try to murder me for bashing on your game, think about it. Gears of War 1 had game breaking glitches that still haven’t been fixed, had completely ridiculous Host Advantage with shotgun damage, etc. Other than that, the game was OK. Gears of War 2 had a completely broken netcode that made the game unplayable, as well as more glitches that hadn’t been fixed, horrible maps, balance issues. In fact, Gears of War 2 was the worst game Epic have ever released.

Gears of War 3 Beta comes around, and I play it. Wow, the game is alright, apart from a few balance problems. But, as this is the first Public Beta Epic had ever done for Gears of War, I was confident that they’d fix most, if not all of the balance problems. Wrrrrrrrooooooooonnnnnnnggggggggg.

Sawed off Shotgun: Broken as hell. Is a free kill within up to a metre of your opponent, and then you just run away while you’re reloading. 
Retro Lancer: Just lol. Epic thought that making an Assault Rifle with ridiculous damage could be balanced by it having absolutely ridiculous recoil. Negatory, as any good player will just burst fire it, and then that gun is effectively a 2 hit sniper rifle with a 40 bullet clip.

Other than that, the game was OK, for an amount of time. Still induced horrible amounts of rage with people with less brain than a Starfish (lol) killing you with a Sawed Off and saying that they were “Skilled”. Now, they’ve been releasing DLC like crazy. I don’t have a problem with this, in fact, it’s great. Keep your game updated all the time, and it’ll flourish. 

So, you recall me saying that Gears of War 1 had horrible Host Advantage problems? Well, they fixed that in Gears of War 3! They made Dedicated Servers, which was 80% of my reason for buying the damn game. Now, guess what they’ve done. If you don’t have all the DLC, you can’t play on Dedicated Servers anymore. Which means back to one player being Host, with host advantage, and then the game having a heart-attack when that player leaves. Thank you, Epic. Just when I thought I couldn’t dislike your game anymore, you went and made it even worse. Here’s a gold star.

Couple this with all the balance problems, and the guns are just laughable now. You know what my main problem with this game is? 

None of my friends play it. Not one. Which means I always have to random queue. I am good at Gears of War. This may sound big-headed, but I don’t give a fuck. I’m GOOD at that game. 3.9 Kill Death Ratio? Lol? So, what does the game matchmake me with? People who have a 0.5 K/D Ratio and have no idea how to play the game. The playlists that have all the good players and original Gears of War 1 weapons in? Have to have DLC to play. So, I’m stuck with Host advantage, unbalanced guns, and teammates who are so retarded they will see a guy with a chainsaw and instead of shooting him, will try to melee him to death. It’s unbelievable.

Fuck this game.


- K <3

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Okay, here’s an opening statement for this game that will hopefully set the mood.

Fuck you, you disgraceful fucking imbalanced piece of fucking shit! 

There we go, off to a flying start. Now I’m really going to get stuck into this fucking cunt of a game. It’s disgraceful. In every-single-fucking way. Every conceivable way they could fuck this up, they did. It’s a fucking mess. The story is a mix of Black Ops and MW2 with a dashing of crap and conspiracy. It’s just shit, such such such such such such SHIT. Because we haven’t played enough fucking desert storm fucking games, have we? God, do something different for once. I’m so sick of the FUCKING FPS’s that come up with the same FUCKING storyline YEAR IN YEAR FUCKING OUT. It’s OBSCENE. If any other form of entertainment (owait) did this every year, they’d be ripped limb from fucking limb. Every single fucking year, the single player is just fucking unnecessary and shit. So, this time around, as with every fucking FPS since 9/11 (Fucking get over it already.) has had the spinner of Villian-Plot device land on Arabs and Nukes. Oh but wait, it’s always the Russians behind the Arabs, I -fucking- forgot. It’s shit, ignore the single player if you can, though every aspect of this game is as shit as they come, the single player is especially ass.

Multiplayer

So, here we are. The meat and potatoes of Battlefield games.  Or so they say. These games haven’t had a good multiplayer since Battlefield 2. So fuck off. This game is just…just…horrible to play. It’s fucking horrible! Every fucking chance they get to shove a Lens Flare in your face, they take. Wait, I thought I was looking through a humans eyes, not a fucking camera on legs? DAAAMN, I forgot. Again. So, Dice made a new engine. Yes, it’s rather pretty on PC. (Not Consoles, god no.) But, as with Motorstorm, it suffers from Battlefield Syndr- OH WAIT. THIS *IS* BATTLEFIELD. Well silly me! I couldn’t see through ALL THE FUCKING DUST AND LENS FLARES. Not to mention the fucking tactical lights!!! Since when are we blinded by someone shining a fucking light in our face in the middle of the day in the Middle East? Jesus fucking christ. 

The guns, honestly, you could just interchange. They all shoot the same. All of them. The only difference is some of them shoot 3 bullets at a time, and some have smaller clips than others. I have yet to find a single gun that I can distinguish from another gun other than saying it has another goddamn model. They feel crap, and the bullet drop and all other assorted fun “realistic” additions just piss me off rather than adding something to the game. Sure, it’s better than Modern Crapfare’s Hitscan bullshit, but it’s just as frustrating when you can’t fire back at a Sniper ever because your bullets sink faster than your mum trying to swim. 

Frankly, the game is just -IMBALANCED-

Here’s a scenario I’ve seen a TON of times. You get in a Jet (WOW, probably going to happen like 5 times in your entire fucking life-time.) and you fly up. This is possibly one of the most boring things ever until you get Air to Ground missiles, which you can only attain by getting enough points whilst in the Jet. To do this, you’ll have to -attempt- to shoot down other Jets and -attempt- to shoot down Helicopters. Now, this sounds simple enough, except for the fact that all you’re given when you start off in the Jet is a Minigun. Now, this would’ve been fine at the very start of the game when all anybody in a Jet had was this Minigun. Would’ve been quite a dogfight too, I imagine. What happens now is you fly up in your Jet, try to shoot down another Jet, and he has the Stealth upgrade, as well as homing Air to Air missiles. You die -INSTANTLY- without so much as a “OH well, if I can just—” So Dice expect you to be able to kill these people when they have at least 3 upgrades that make them impossible to kill with your shitty Minigun to get the better stuff? Throw me a fucking bone, you dumb Swedish cunts.

Now, the infantry to infantry stuff, that’s gotta be good, right? Yes, it actually can be pretty fun sometimes. Getting into intense fire fights in urban environments(Thanks to the new Expansion Pack that I got free.) is great, and the engine shines there. What tends to happen in reality is you’ll get Corner camper vs Corner camper, or Sniper vs Sniper. If you ever actually get into a good infantry fight, it’s ALWAYS ruined by the vehicles. They’re OP as fuck, and completely broken. For example, the APC that rolls along at quite a handy speed shooting Grenades at you? That’s unfair. Completely unfair. Tanks take 5 or 6 rockets to even kill, and even then, most of them just have an engineer that hops out, and sits behind it holding down the repair tool. So now you have an invincible tank, congrats, Dice.

Couple this with the Engine making this the most hectic thing on the face of the Earth, (Which yeah, I imagine war is like, but then again, we don’t get lens flares in our eyes, do we, Dice?) So you can’t see where you’re going, who you’re shooting at, who’s shooting at you, blah blah blah. The Matchmaking is awful, and always seems to put me with the retarded Team. Always. Another thing that I really have no right to complain about, but I will anyway because fuck this fucking game. Is Organised Squads vs Random Squads. You will lose horribly every. Single. Game. Now, some people are saying,  ”But Kai, that makes sense, you’re supposed to lose against a well organized team!” and normally I would agree with you. But this game just doesn’t allow for you to even get any footing as a solo player. At least in some games if you have a god awful team, you can sometimes pull it out of your ass and still win the game, and that’s such a rush. In this game, because everything is objective based (Don’t even try to play TDM, rofl.) you NEED a good team to win, at anything. 9/10 this isn’t the case, with every console player being CoD-ified, which means they’re used to shitty shit shit noob fuck gameplay. This is a huge shock that Snipers aren’t hitscan infinite range God cannons, and that you aren’t some fucking Messiah who can lift a 40 pound gun to his eye, scope and hit the target accurately in 2.7 seconds.

So of course, what do they all do? They get the Recon class, and sit on a Ridge and snipe. This does NOTHING for the team. Not a FUCKING thing. It’s incredibly rare to get a kill as a Sniper, at all. But these people do not push on any objective, assist the team, or anything, in ANYWAY. Because they’re so used to lone-wolfing it with a fucking Sniper in Modern Warfail 1-2-3.

So, the multiplayer is trashed with imbalanced, fucking idiot children who shouldn’t be playing the game, and 0 COMMUNICATION. AT. ALL. Xbox Live games are completely silent, 100% of the time. Know why that is? Yup, CoD again. Everyone so used to getting trashed on in CoD, that nobody speaks anymore. It’s a shame. 

So yeah, this game is ruined by several god-awful design choices, and a community that will never, ever mesh with this game. What you end up with is a half assed shooter with messy visuals, horrible pop-in on textures, too much dust, and imbalance.

2/10

- K

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