Multiplayer games are in abundance every year, but the best one isn’t the most realistic, or allow the most players, but the most fun and quality content. There are a lot of those every year as well, but only one can be at the top.
Call of Duty, being the laughing stock of the game industry, has made full circle over 10 years later and has become the best multiplayer game this year. With gameplay that hearkens back to the first few games, revisited maps, and all of the addictive action that made Call of Duty the top is now back and better than ever.
The very first game I ever pre-ordered. I have never been more excited for a game in my life. Watching gameplay trailers on a PC from 1997 on a 19″ CRT monitor while I stash away allowance bit by bit to get the Premium Pack for PS2. 2004 was an exciting year for gaming and for Mortal Kombat. With Deadly Alliance receiving mostly positive reviews, but a lot of criticism from reviewers, Deception turned everything to 11 and added interactive arenas, more game modes, online fighting. Yes, the online part was the biggest selling point of Deception.
This is the direct sequel to Deadly Alliance. Quan Chi and Shang Tsung have failed to take over and Onaga The Dragon King has decided to rise from Outworld and claim everything as his. A man named Shujinko is now the game’s lead (the first of many to come in later games) who must stop the Dragon King and reverse the actions he made during the Konquest mode that helped give Onaga his power.
Let’s talk about Konquest mode first as most people will dive into it right away. It’s awful and should never have existed. It’s an expansion on Konquest from Deadly Alliance in which Raiden just walks along a path and each “level” is a training tutorial for all the characters. This is an adventure mode where you get quests, find the treasure for the Krypt, hidden secrets, and find out the back story to Deception, as well as meet many MK fighters and surprises. Sounds great on paper right? Well, it’s horribly executed as one of the worst attempts at a free-roaming RPG/adventure hybrid I’ve ever seen. Shujinko runs around in supersonic fast forward motion, the realms are void of any life, they are terribly laid out, and the worlds rely on a grid system to figure out where every secret and item is. The problem is that the map is useless with no actual grid on the map so you run around for 10 minutes trying to find D2 or H8 only to realize it’s locked away and you can’t go there until you complete the Konquest.
That’s the main downfall of Konquest. Quests aren’t logged and the entire game has to be played with a guide. It would take dozens and dozens of hours to figure everything out yourself as locations to solve quests and even chests are incredibly cryptic or specific. Some chests with Krypt keys only appear at certain days of the month and times and you would never know without a guide. You can meditate to make time move by faster, but this whole entire game mode is just frustrating, messy, and irritating. Doing the actual main quests are fine as there’s always a large green pillar of light pointing where to go, but talking to a random character and getting a one-sentence quest saying to find a gem is not how quests should be done.
On top of all this, the worlds are terribly laid out. They try to force a look onto each realm such as Chaosrealm having magic portals that project to you various little floating islands that are “chaotically” made up and don’t make sense. Orderrealm is just a giant circle floating in the sky with “order” to the layout and it looks nice and dystopian. It’s a little corny with the way the worlds are represented, but it’s kind of cool to finally explore these areas despite there being nothing to do in them. The visuals are also abysmal as this looks like an early PS2 game that launched, even a little worse than that. Horrendous textures and models, awful voice acting, and laughable animations. It looks like an amateur game developer made this in a weekend.
Outside of Konquest is when things are much better when you actually get to fighting. If any game were to use realistic martial arts it’s Mortal Kombat. This fighting system and this era of games aren’t most peoples’ favorite. The realism is nice with some good animations and each character having two martial arts and a weapon style. You can branch into these styles with long combo strings, but that’s where the issue lies. This realistic slower fighting style is in contrast to the fast-paced action of the 2D games. The characters look like stiff plastic dolls and the combat is all about memorized combos. It’s fun, and it works with Mortal Kombat, but it’s also not the best way to play these games. The slower fighting pace means more strategy is involved and a new Breaker system has been added to quickly get out of combos.
The interactive environments are some of the coolest features of Deception as they are basically fatalities within a stage. There are yellow lines that indicate when a player can get knocked out and take damage to a new tier and red lines that will kill the player. The arenas are large enough to where a game of tug-of-war always ensues and it makes playing tenser, especially online. Do you just knock them into the trap or play with them so you can do a fatality? Speaking of fatalities, each character has two unique ones and some are great and some are lame. Li Mei, for example, has two fatalities that are just boring. Super punches to the chest and you explode? Yawn. Kick your head off? Seen it before. Some others are rather runny and unique, but there are also Hara Kiris that allow the loser to do a fatality on themselves taking the glory away from the opponent. Whoever inputs there code first gets to take the fun.
Outside of combat, you can play Puzzle Kombat which is just Street Fighter Puzzle with MK characters. At the end of each round there is a fatality unique to the player, but getting your power level up means you can perform a special move that each character has. It can be played online as well and is super addicting and can be a game on its own. The last mode is Chess Kombat which is one of the most unique modes to ever grace a fighting game. Just like a game of chess, you can pick which character is what piece and you play chess, but instead of just knocking a piece over you fight it out MK style. Each piece gets a certain amount of health so pawns of the least amount of health. It’s a great twist that adds more skill to the game and can also be played online. It’s a ton of fun and I hope this mode returns to future games.
Besides the Krypt where you can unlock various stuff for fans like promo videos, behind the scenes art, and various goodies, there’s not much else. Online play is incredibly smooth with a full lobby that you can talk to other players in, challenge players, and you have a win/loss ratio next to your name. I never had any connection drops and playing online extends the longevity of the game tenfold.
I also want to talk about the new characters. Since MK4, Midway has had trouble adding interesting new characters and that trend continues for the third time. Dairou and Havik are just boring awful characters that don’t have any personality or soul. They feel forced and I’d rather have a classic character put in than these two.
Overall, MK: Deception is a fantastic fighting game that is only hampered by slower combat, and a horrible Konquest mode that must be played to unlock half the game’s roster and extra costumes. Puzzle and Chess Kombat are excellent modes that add dozens of hours of fun, and online play is always welcome.
Note: As of May 31, 2014, you can no longer play Deception online due to GameSpy servers being shut down. Even then, not a single person played this online past 2006-2007. As Armageddon and other fighters came out Deception’s user base quickly fell after the first 18 months and never went back up. Get a buddy to play next to you instead.
A great multiplayer game makes you want to come back and engages all players. Communication, fun factor, and great modes are what make a multiplayer game great. We didn’t get too many multiplayer exclusive games like we did last year, that really stood out, but some had great multiplayer modes.
Destiny 2 isn’t just a fun shooter, but it’s fun with others. Seamlessly mixing the single player campaign and letting other players pop in and out and play the same missions is just awesome. The raids, crucible missions, and many other modes are challenging fun that requires every team mate to perform their best.
Am I 13 again? That’s the question I asked myself when I first loaded up WWII. World War II shooters dominated the gaming industry back in the late 90’s to early 2000’s with Medal of Honor and Call of Duty being at the frontline. With so many WWII games (check out my articles on nearly every WWII game ever made) everyone was done with them into the late 00’s. With Modern Warfare and Battlefieldand other games jumping into modern combat, we quickly got sick of those in about the same amount of time.
Here we are full circle. It’s rather funny that a WWII shooter feels fresh when just 10 years ago we were begging for it to end. Call of Duty was always my favorite of the bunch as it’s slower more cinematic take on the war was memorable, and the gunplay was more realistic. There was always an interesting connection between teammates rather than the war as a whole. In Call of Duty, you always followed one squad, or a small few (Finest Hour), but it never created anything groundbreaking.
WWII follows this old trend again as you play as Private Daniels who follows his squad mates through theaters of war and discovers loses along the way. It’s enough to keep you moving forward, but never really amounts to anything. These are just generic soldiers that we have seen time and time again in these historical war shooters. What I was in for was the cinematic set pieces, weapons, and realism of WWII coming back with our current technology. Remember, these WWII shooters died in the middle of the last generation cycle.
I was very impressed with the storming of Normandy beach as the game opened up. It showed the visual prowess of the game with bullet shells flying everywhere, realistic and detailed characters and animations, and great water physics. What amazed me the most was when a soldier’s head was blown clean off and I said to myself, “Wow, so they finally took the hint from Brothers in Arms that there was gore in these wars”. It’s just a no-brainer. I don’t know if it was technical limitations, or just trying to get the Teen rating, but why was there no gore for all those years these shooters were out? Only Brothers in Arms did that I can remember.
As I played through the campaign I had a sense that I was the small man in the war, never really a true hero. There are “Heroic Moments” that allows you to pull someone to safety to save someone from a Nazi trying to kill them, but these felt like they were wasted and just got in the way. Same with trying to find hidden momentos everywhere. When you’re stuck in the middle to tank fire or being raided by bombs you aren’t going to go around hunting for stuff, it’s just plain silly.
That wasn’t the only silly thing in the campaign, some of the cinematic scripted events are too crazy and they feel like some sort of Indiana Jones thing like when Daniels is falling down a bell tower and the bell is chasing him. Don’t drag it out so long and make so many near misses that you start rolling your eyes. These things took me out of the experience. However, the game did change up the pace quite a bit by throwing in stealth missions, escort missions, one mission where you are flying a plane (which is horrible), and even some tank and driving sections. It’s all here and it feels like the culmination of Call of Duty from yesteryear, but in the end, it’s still missing something.
You can feel a bit of the Modern Warfare series in this game such as the hit counter, quick scoping, and grenade lobbing. I wanted this game to stand apart from those and have nothing familiar in it, but it gets even worse in multiplayer where it felt like Modern Warfare with a WWII skin attached.
After I finished the 8-hour campaign I was left wanting more which is always a good thing. I’m sure Activision will milk this again as will other developers, but let’s use this opportunity to create something unique and give us parts of the war we haven’t seen. How about through the eyes of the Jews or something a little more personable? It can happen, but WWII did what it was supposed to, for now.
I won’t get into multiplayer or Nazi Zombies much, but Zombies is completely evolved. The new story carries out and the map is much larger with little puzzles here and there. There are a lot of upgrades and Zombies is at its best yet, but you should probably already expect that. I never played Zombies much on CoD and probably won’t here either. Multiplayer is a little different and isn’t sure if it wants to be WWII, a Modern Warfare skin, or a Battlefield 1 clone. Multiplayer needs the most work in the next series, but I would love a larger campaign.
As it stands, WWII is a much-needed game in the series. Another Infinite Warfare and the series would have been done for good. A few more hours in the oven and Call of Duty could possibly cook up the best WWII shooter ever created next time around. With fantastic cinematic moments, a variety of gameplay, and a long campaign, amazing visuals, the added gore, and wholesome weapons, WWII is one of my favorite shooters to have come out in recent years.
Oh Halo, I have a love-hate relationship with you. Back when Halo was released I didn’t really think much of it. I saw the box in game stores, but I never actually heard much about it. It wasn’t until Halo 2 that the series really took off and was talked about by everyone who loved it and hated it. I just so happened to be someone who hated it even though I didn’t play it. It looked like a generic sci-fi shooter with boring guns and boring enemies. For years I refused to even accept Halo as a good game series. I finally sat down with the first game on PC back in 2007 and felt it was like a chore. The game was overly difficult, ugly, and I didn’t get the game at all. I washed my hands of it and was done.
Later that year I borrowed an Xbox from a cousin (the original) and rented Halo 2 from the video store (back when that was still a thing) and actually started to like it. The game felt more balanced, more cohesive, and had a more interesting story. However, I still hadn’t even touched the multiplayer as I didn’t have Xbox LIVE. I later wouldn’t experience Halo multiplayer until Halo 3. After playing through every Halo game since I started to feel fatigued by the series. ODST and Reach were extremely boring and didn’t do much outside of the story and presentation. However, I still would go back to playing Halo 2 and 3, but swore never to touch Halo 1 again. Now, 8 years later, I’ve played through Halo 1 and like it a little more, however it still feels like a chore.
You play as Master Chief, a Spartan in the Earth Defense Corps who just so happens to get stuck as being the savior of Earth. You fight some Covenant, an alien race hellbent on capturing Halo, and then some Flood, a super weapon species designed to wipe out all life in the galaxy. You spend almost the entire game on the Halo ring which is a giant ring-shaped artificial planet that looks like Earth. Later you run into an AI called The Librarian who’s function is to destroy all life in the galaxy to wipe out The Flood so they starve to death. Of course, Master Chief and his AI partner Cortana must not have that. The story is quite interesting however, it doesn’t really explore much of the Halo universe and I wanted more.
Halo’s famous for it’s balanced gun play and enemy AI. While there are only about 10 different enemy types in the game, Halo was one of the only FPS games at the time to force you to change up your tactics, weapons you use, and how you approach each fire fight. Despite popular belief, Halo is not a run-and-gun type of game at all. If you run out into the open you will die almost immediately. Halo is also the father of the regenerating shield which is a core gameplay element to the game. Without it, the number of enemies you have to kill and scenarios would not be possible as you would die and never make it through the game. Despite the shield recharging so slowly, it makes you stop and think before you step out again and lose your health.
The guns are also very memorable and iconic in Halo. The Needler is a weapon that fires pink shards at the enemy and they home-in. After a few seconds, the shards explode causing damage. The assault rifle is probably the most iconic weapon as it’s the standard and most basic weapon in the game. Aside from the plasma and standard weapons, you can also drive vehicles. This is actually where I had a huge issue and still do, the vehicles control like garbage. The Ghost, Banshee, and Warthog are floaty, not very responsive, and counter-intuitive to what the game wants these vehicles to do. I also don’t like how you can’t drive and shoot the Warthog at the same time, it makes you too vulnerable.
The one thing has Halo has always had a problem with is the repetitive hallways and the extreme linearity. Nearly every level had you backtrack back to the beginning once you got all the way through and this got frustrating and tiresome toward the end of the game. The core game is also just repetition, but that’s expected in any shooter. Shooting the same enemies over and over in different variations just gets old and some people may not be able to tolerate it. Despite this, and like I mentioned earlier, Halo combats this by making you think before you run out into the open.
Outside of the shooting the game just feels strange as a whole. It feels dated still despite the update, however, it does help tremendously and makes the game more enjoyable. The new graphical update is more than an update. It completely redone, switching from remastered to classic graphics on the fly makes you realize just how old this game is. We’re talking Quake 3/Source Engine graphics here. After playing the updated version I could never go back. The game just looks way too ugly compared and makes the game much less enjoyable. In fact, the updated graphics actually help make the game easier to play with better lighting and more detailed environments. I found the original Halo way too dark in most areas and it was always hard to see.
When it comes to multiplayer, it also suffers from feeling aged. While the maps are remastered the gameplay just feels a little old and not as fast or deep as the newer games, however, there is a charm to the age. The game is very simple and there’s not much to the multiplayer and the maps are also not as complicated as newer ones. Fans of the original game will love being able to finally play the original online like it was intended to be.
Overall, Halo: CE Anniversary is a fantastic update and probably about as good as the original game can get without changes any major gameplay elements. On the Xbox One, the game runs at 1080p and 60 FPS which looks fantastic and also has the menus of The Master Chief Collections which is an upgrade over the Xbox 360 version. If anyone couldn’t stand the original, they may find it more appealing now, but expect the gameplay overall all design of the game to not have changed.
The PS Vita has been really struggling with great games lately and with the dual analog sticks, everyone has been chomping at the bit for a good FPS. Resistance: Burning Skies was decent, but nowhere near the quality of the console games. Along came Black Ops II which could have been an amazing experience, but instead was a literally unfinished game and has been deemed the worst Vita game ever made. Now that Killzone has come along we finally have the great portable FPS experience we have all been wanting. While it’s not exactly up to par with the PS3 Killzone games, it’s still a great game.
Killzone has never been famous for its story, but the whole universe of Killzone is interesting itself. You play a mercenary working for both the ISA and Helghast — you basically want the war to go on longer for more money. The story picks up right after Killzone 3, but this isn’t a direct sequel to the events between the warring nations. The game also plays a little differently from other Killzone games. It feels a bit faster, yet still has the heavy feeling weapons and gunplay fans have grown to love. The game is definitely optimized for portable play and for the Vita. You switch weapons with the touch screen (one secondary and primary) as well as using grenades and your drone. The controls are actually cleverly laid out utilizing the entire system without compromising comfort.
Weapons aren’t picked up via enemies this time around — you get access to a black market where you buy them and equip them. You earn cash by picking up ammo, stealth kills, melee kills, multiple kills, or any other way you can think of. This is a brand new feature to the series and it works well. The only thing about the weapons that I was disappointed about was that they are the same ones we’ve seen through the entire series and there aren’t that many of them. Even so, the campaign levels are very linear and mostly in enclosed areas so you will stick with a shotgun and a sub-machine gun most of the time. Speaking of the campaign, there are only 9 short levels. While they are fun, they aren’t anything special and lack the epic set pieces of the console games. However, most people are going to pick this game up for the multiplayer suite.
Mercenary has a brand new Valor system that uses decks of cards. You rank up and earn new cards by doing things in the game — most will be earned in multiplayer. This is to extend the longevity of the game and to keep you coming back. The online play is a bit more fast-paced than the PS3 games and is a lot of fun. This really feels like a console game in your hands. It’s so satisfying to sneak up behind someone and execute a brutal melee kill or start getting a kill streak going. Be warned — there is a lack of modes and maps here. I hope more are introduced through DLC, but what’s here is fun for quick bursts of online shooting action. Another new system introduced are drones. These are weapons that can launch missiles down on enemies, put up shields, make you invisible, or even be used as a mobile auto-turret. This adds a whole new level to the series and is a lot of fun.
The graphics in Mercenary are phenomenal. The best portable graphics to ever grace a handheld device. They look nearly as good as the PS3 games. There is so much detail everywhere it’s nearly impossible to imagine how the Vita can render this or have this much power. Thankfully the frame rate keeps up with the action which could have seriously hampered the game. As it stands, Killzone is the best portable FPS game out there but isn’t the best Killzone game. It could have been a lot more with more time, but what we get is a decent package with an entertaining, yet short, campaign and a fun multiplayer mode.
This is the fighting game all Nintendo fanboys live and die by. There’s nothing wrong with that, Brawl is one of the most competitive fighters I have ever played. There’s a huge lovable roster, tons of stages, and a lot of power-ups to turn the tide of the battle. With the addition of online play, this is any Wii owners dream come true.
Once you select your character, a choice of many, you can select the color, and also various stages from Melee and different Nintendo franchises. You can choose which power-ups to disable as well, but I just couldn’t get the huge roster. Link, Peach, Mario, Luigi, Bowser, Kirby, Fox McCloud, Ganondorf, Sonic, Solid Snake, Samus Aran, Ness, Jigglypuff, Wolf, Captain Falcon, and a ton of others. This is a huge roster and nearly every character is recognizable. Once you get into the battle, that’s where the fun begins.
Brawl was confusing at first. It doesn’t play out like normal fighters. There’s no health meter, instead, there’s a percentage meter and your job is to keep yours down and get your opponent’s up. You can reduce yours by eating food that falls, but the ultimate goal is to get the most KOs in one round. The controls are fairly simple, but take getting used to on the Wiimote. the best way to play is with a Nunchuk. Using the C stick to move around, A and B are your main attacks. B is your projectile/special and A is your normal attack. You vary the attacks but using different directions combined with these attacks. C allows you to jump and Z is your shield. This may seem way too simple compared to standard fighters, but it’s kind of a breath of fresh air. The attacks look awesome, and the fighting is fast paced.
Various power-ups fall on the battlefield like melee weapons, projectiles, and the one super finisher which is always fun. Hit this orb three times and you can unleash a deadly power attack. Just stand still and hit B. Some characters need to be close, some far away, and some hit the entire area and can’t be avoided. These tend to be deal breakers for hardcore players, but they can be turned off. Honestly, the worst part about the game was how many bad stages there were. The ones where the levels constantly move up and down or to the right make the game feel like a platformer rather than a fighter. I hated these moving stages. It distracted from the core of the game. Some arenas were just way too small and there was no room to move around. There is a large enough variety though so everyone will have favorites.
Some characters are also unbalanced and overpowered, while others are underpowered. I felt Kirby, Samus, and Ness were overpowered. On the flip side, Zelda was underpowered and felt boring to fight with, same goes with Wario. This may vary between players, but me and my partner both felt the same way. There is such a large variety that everyone will find their main character to fight with. I also found there was a lack of modes, with just Battle and online. The game is complete garbage with the AI, this game is only fun with another person.
Overall, Brawl is a solid fighter that’s fast-paced and breaks away from the normal fighting formula. There are too many bad stages, over or underpowered characters, and the game gets boring really quick due to the simple fighting system. The many power-ups will keep you busy and there are a lot of customization options, but in the end, the game has limited appeal unless you are a hardcore Smash Bros. fan.
Here we go again, another Call of Duty. When will it ever end? Before you start the hate mongering, just know this, Call of Duty still has some of the best online multiplayer you can get. At least Black Ops tried to change the series a bit with new modes and experimented with what Modern Warfare established, it also had a much more interesting storyline and had decent characters. Black Ops II is the same way, but it’s too late to really matter.
The game picks up from where the first left off if you haven’t played it, good luck figuring it out. Alex Mason is searching for a man named Raul Menendez. This is one sick puppy. This guy is a terrorist and more evil than you can imagine. The story jumps around from Mason’s son, Alex, to David Mason back in the cold war. If you notice something, this game is more futuristic. It’s set in 2025 so there is some cool tech that’s just out of reach for today. Things like cloaking devices, VTOLs, and various other guns. The game just jumps between the first cold war and the second. During the first one you are trying to figure out what made Menendez crack, you later jump to the second one with Mason and Harper using the info you got from a guy who was in the cold war with Mason. It’s a bit confusing and seems pretty boring at first. Later on, the story really picks up and gets really interesting, I actually liked it. It’s not fantastic and it’s no Assassin’s Creed, but it’s pretty good for an FPS.
The campaign is still a shooting gallery, but it doesn’t seem that way thanks to great level design, and a lot of cinematic one-off moments. Moments like jumping on turrets, driving various vehicles and aircraft, among others. It’s all fun and not a single level feels the same, but the underlying core is still there: shoot everything that moves. The AI is still pretty dumb, but I like how you can customize your loadout before a mission. There are many unique and fun guns, unlike the Modern Warfare series. Later on, you will be able to play through special side missions called Strike Force Missions, that is pretty much just a capture-and-hold mode or siege. Those side missions all feel the same and are pretty repetitive. It’s not as fun as online because of the dumb AI, you have to do everything yourself.
After you finish the entertaining story it’s multiplayer time! The old Black Ops modes return like One in the Chamber and Last Man Standing. Of course, all the others from the entire series are here. Honestly, the biggest change is that killstreaks have been replaced with Scorestreaks which I prefer. It was so hard to get more than 3-4 kills in a row for most players. Now you get streaks based on your score which lets you be able to use the cooler more powerful ones more often. However, I found the maps to be pretty mediocre. I learned to like a few, but they are lacking a bit in some way.
Zombies returns and is as fun as ever, there are more modes, and 8 player co-op, it also has the full-on online component, unlike the previous game. There’s quite a bit of content here and you will be coming back for hours to come. I just don’t understand why Treyarch couldn’t break the mold a bit more. I like the multiple endings and how choices in the story can change the ending. But there are things here like Jimmy Kimmel’s likeness in one end and Avenged Sevenfold at the end of one. I mean really? Are 14-year-olds really going to buy this because Avenged Sevenfold is in it? I really hate how developers do this and can’t just use their own ideas. It’s a cop-out/sell-out whatever you want to call it. I also don’t understand why the campaign can’t be a bit more intelligent gameplay wise like Battlefield 3. I blame the young gamer’s instant gratification issue on that, but who knows.
What’s here is a solid game, and hopefully the last of the Black Ops series. The Wii U version looks a bit better than consoles and you can play the whole game on the gamepad which is nice, no shoehorned gimmicks for it. I did notice that the gamepad’s analog sticks are a bit sensitive and I had some trouble adjusting.
Have you upgraded your graphics card? Need a new CPU? How about some more RAM? You’re going to need it with the revolutionary CryEngine 3 that powers Crysis 3. Graphics are the first thing that people think of when a new Crysis game comes out and will their rig run it. Note to console gamers: The PS3 and 360 versions don’t even come close to the maxed out DirectX 11 version on PC. It looks great on consoles, pushes them to the max, but looks like crap compared.
You are Prophet or Lawrence Barnes. The story picks up right after Crysis 2 where the Alpha Ceph is trying to harvest and annihilate all of mankind. It’s up to your and the ex-nano suit wearing Psycho to stop them. You have the help of rag-tag rebel resistance who are all but helpless without you. The first thing that Crysis 3 fixes are the linearity and confinement of the city. It’s a mix of both here. It’s not as open as Crysis 1, but you have large open areas where you can decide if you want to go stealth or shoot everyone up. You can use your visor to tag enemies which is one of the best tactical elements you have in the game. This time around you can upgrade your nano suit by giving yourself longer cloaking time, dampen bullets, increase stealth kill damage and various other things. You can still customize your weapons and there are quite a few of them.
The best addition to Crysis 3 is the tech bow. This thing is just awesome and lets you kill people without reducing your energy for cloaking. You can choose your draw strength and ammo type. Each arrow is an instant kill and feels satisfying. You can also hack this time around so an enemy turret can wipe out a small force for you while you hide. These small things make Crysis much more enjoyable than the near bore-fest of Crysis 2. The game was solid but was lacking in gameplay elements. The hacking, tech bow, and upgraded tactical visor really make the game more intense and fun. The AI is also improved and the game is much harder. Towards the end of the game, I was dying left and right. The new Ceph enemies are tough as nails, but by the end, you get to feel the ultimate power of the nano suit. By the end of the game, you can supercharge your nano suit and become invincible for short periods of time. Don’t think this is cheating, it feels great after sneaking around and feeling vulnerable all the time.
When it comes to the story you will be completely lost if you haven’t been following along, even people who have will be a bit lost. The story doesn’t really add anything or make it more interesting. Honestly, I had no idea what was happening half the time and I played all the games. The story has a lot of potentials but just isn’t fleshed out like it could have been. At least there are some more scripted cinematic events which are part of why Crysis 2 was boring. There still isn’t enough though. After a while, you feel you are just trudging through wave after wave of Ceph and Cell troops.
The multiplayer is a little more fun, but not something you will come back to a year from now. Multiplayer is solid, but it isn’t much different from the second game. Honestly, after Crytek pretty much abandoned Crysis 2 shortly after release I really don’t want to devote much time to multiplayer. At least the game only had a few bugs and has more graphics settings, unlike the second game. The graphics are freaking amazing with water tessellation, ambient occlusion, SSAA, and various other DX11 effects. Even with everything set to low it still looks pretty damn good. There is no DX9 mode though, it is strictly DX11 on PC so make sure you have a GPU that supports it.
Overall, Crysis 3 adds just enough to make it feel really solid and go out with a bang. There are a few fun scripted moments, the tech bow is awesome, and the graphics will blow you away, but in the end, it doesn’t do a whole lot different from Crysis 2.
Everyone knows that Nintendo usually offers some sort of software to get you used to and familiar with their new console. The Wii had Wii Sports, the DS has Brain Training, and the Wii U has the very beefy Nintendo Land. This is a game that features a hub that interacts with the Miiverse and has doors to mini-games. Like Mario Party, this game is best played with other people. The AI is pretty dumb and unfair and is just completely boring by yourself.
There are mini-games that feature pretty much every Nintendo franchise. One is an Animal Crossing game that is very competitive and fun. One person controls two dogs on the gamepad while the other players run around using Wiimotes collecting candy. If you play with one other person they must put 15 pieces in dishes, if it’s two or more other people they must collectively get candy and keep it with them. They have to work together because the more you have and slower you run. This game seems unfair at first for the gamepad player because you run slower and your tackles don’t go very far. It takes practice and skill to tactically corner the Wiimote players and get them. Some of these mini-games have a face cam feature because you can’t look up at the TV, it’s cheating. When you look up the Wiimote players will know and can pummel you accordingly.
The best mini-game is the Zelda Battle Quest. This one is the biggest and has ten full levels. The gamepad player is an archer and the Wiimote players are swordsmen. You must get through the on-rails levels without dying, but you all share a pool of health. It’s really fun and the Wii Motion Plus makes Link’s sword motion 1:1 so it feels responsive and fluid. Another mini-game, probably the second biggest, is the Metroid one. The gamepad player is a spaceship while the Wiimote players are Samus. It’s pretty much a deathmatch game and is really fun. The controls are great and it can get really intense.
There are a lot of unbalanced and unfair mini-games here…too many. The Luigi’s Mansion one has the gamepad player as a ghost and the Wiimote players as the catchers. The problem is that the levels are way too small. There’s not enough room to run around in and can be unfair to too many people. My least favorite is the Mario Chase. The gamepad player is way too fast, it’s nearly impossible to catch them, it’s also really boring with uninspired and lame levels. The second most unfair is the Pikmin game. The arenas are way too small and the gamepad player has an unfair advantage by being able to throw their Pikmin at the Wiimote player, so the Wiimote player has no distance attacks.
There are also some single player mini-games but one person can assist with the Wiimote making things easier. My favorite is the DK Crash Course. You look at the gamepad and have to tilt your car through an obstacle course. the Wiimote player can press A and a bubble will form around you slowing you down. Another one is the Fruit Cart game. You must draw a line on your gamepad to the fruit that appears on the screen. The Wiimote player can get one fruit for you automatically.
As you can see there’s a lot here, but there really aren’t any rewards. You get coins which are used on a Plinko type mini-game that spits out prizes, but these just clutter your theme park and are pointless. My favorite feature of all is the train. It’s basically a championship mode that gives everyone a try at the gamepad and that user can challenge other Wiimote players, or the gamepad gets passed around. It’s really fun and exciting and brings everyone together. I just wish these games could be played online. Why Nintendo, are you so stuck in the past? The Wii U has online capabilities, and yet their games aren’t online, except for the Miiverse.
The game looks really good, but overall it’s lacking online play and rewards. There are too many unfair and unbalanced mini-games that just aren’t any fun. For a packed-in game with the Wii U, it’s pretty beefy and very fun, but I wouldn’t go out and throw $60 down on this game.