BioShock Rapture Vs BioShock Infinite, Which Game Will Win?

Just finished a re-play of BioShock Infinite the other day. There are so many reviews and gamers calling BioShock Infinite one of the best PS3 games ever made. I’ve been so excited to actually have time to re-play this masterpiece “It's hard-to-make time with kids” Lol... I have played the first two games in the series so; I have truly enjoyed the underwater world of rapture. Uncertainty came over me, when I heard about the game being played in the clouds It didn’t sound much like a BioShock game. The story of the game is pretty in depth, with the whole Elizabeth character and all the missions to have to complete in order to finally reach Comstock. My question I had to answer; would this game be as creepy (scary) as the previous two games. It’s going to be hard to beat the gameplay, and the story, not to mention the element of...

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The Reasons XCOM'S Story Works Perfectly in Video Games

Partway through XCOM: Enemy Within (the expanded version of XCOM: Enemy Unknown), I realized that its video game story would never work in a movie.  It wasn’t that the premise wouldn’t work – alien invasions are hardly confined to video games—it was the way the story was being told. There was absolutely no attention being paid to characters’ personal lives. What you learned about the main characters Central Officer Bradford (whose name I had to look up just now), Dr. Shen in Engineering, and Dr. Vahlen in Research—is confined to how they do their jobs. The tension in the narrative comes not from a love story, a personal trauma overcome, or a motley crew of misfits learning to work together despite all odds, but from the choices that the player makes as Commanding Officer. Will you prioritize the right research and engineering projects to keep from being overrun by the technologically superior alien...

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Grand Theft Auto V Storyline is a Brilliant Achievement - GTA

I recently finished a fifty-five-hour playthrough of Grand Theft Auto V. It’s a ridiculously fun game. It’s also can be a very disappointing game.  Unlike Grand Theft Auto IV, Grand Theft Auto V is a flawed masterpiece worth playing, thinking, and talking about whose good will never erase its bad and whose bad doesn’t, for me, overwhelm its good—it just cheapens it. About ten hours into my Grand Theft Auto V playthrough My wife said to me, “I don’t think I’ve ever heard you giggle as much as since you started playing this game.” And she was right. So many of the things that Grand Theft Auto IV almost got right were beautifully executed in Grand Theft Auto V. Driving (and piloting) was fun in its own right, and the different handling based on vehicle and terrain kept it exciting and strategically interesting. The quantity and quality of random things to...

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What is Interconnected Game Play? And does it Work?

In the last couple of years, interconnected games in which player actions in one game affect options or situations in another have started to pop up more frequently than usual. Mass Effect: Infiltrator launched for mobile platforms simultaneously with the console and PC release of Mass Effect 3, and the Intel collected in the mobile shooter could be used to increase a player’s Galactic Readiness score in ME3 (which helped open new ending options), rewarding players who checked out the spin-off title. Mass Effect: Datapad was also released as a free iOS app, which let players/users read up on various elements of their Mass Effect 3 situation and the ME universe, get messages from characters, and play mini-games that also improved their ME3 Galactic Readiness score. Cloud Gaming & Interconnection How Cool is This These interconnected cross-platform experiences allow players to take Mass Effect with them and engage that world on...

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Rarer than Unicorns: Escort Missions That Deserve Saving

As I discuss in a related post, I discussed how escort missions are usually terrible, bringing otherwise fun games to a screeching halt with shoddy mechanics, annoying characters, and terrible AI. So when escort missions go right It’s about as close as most of us will ever get to winning the lottery. But it shouldn't be! Both, you know, because I’d be happy for you if you won the lottery, but also because with so many talented game designers out there making great games, they should be getting better by now at making escort missions less of an ordeal.  To begin with I should point out that many excellent recent games have, on the surface, been really long escort missions: The Last of Us, Bioshock Infinite, and Telltale’s The Walking Dead: Season One. Each of these narratively compelling games involves caring about the survival of a weaker NPC, so why don’t...

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How Great Game Play, Can Strengthen Halos In Game Narratives

I never owned an Xbox system until I bought a 360. I was almost exactly ten years late to the Halo party when I fired up a hand-me-down copy of Halo 2 that fall. Halo 2 was showing its age by that point, of course, but it still made an impression in a couple of ways. First, it was clear that this was a shooter with an unusually elaborate universe and backstory. Second, I was surprised by the large investment seemingly required to get much out of that story. As I continued on to Halo 3, Halo 4, and then (backtracking). I was struck at each point by How difficult and nearly irrelevant it was to figure out what was going on. Should Halo Expanded it's giant Universe going forward? Or Not? I played most of these campaigns local co-op Is Local Multiplayer on Its Way Out—or Its Way Up? (on Legendary)...

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Balancing the Old and the New in Video Game Sequels

I started playing Fire Emblem: The Sacred Stones for GBA yesterday, and while on the Fire Emblem Wiki I glanced over the summary of the game’s reception, which went something like this: “This game isn’t different enough from the previous Fire Emblem game on the Game Boy Advance, but it’s still good overall because the first one was good.” This got me thinking about the weird task game developers have when making sequels. Because audiences for sequels largely want them to be different, yet the same, right? So, you know, that’s all you have to do, game developers – make it different but the same. Playing through The Sacred Stones, I can see exactly what they mean – I basically needed no refresher whatsoever after having played the previous game, Fire Emblem, last December – the combat system is pretty similar. There’s a World Map that gives you a little freedom...

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Grand Theft Auto IV Review: A great game...but with a catch

I recently finished a play through of the amazing (if flawed) Grand Theft Auto V. It got me thinking about why my experience of it was so, so far away from my disappointment with Grand Theft Auto IV. This post is about why, despite my desire to like it, Grand Theft Auto IV finally drove me away. A follow-up post will explain why Grand Theft Auto V won me over as an amazing, if still sometimes maddening game. For Some Reason, I’ve never been a huge fan of Grand Theft Auto. I remember watching someone playing one of the early top-down entries years and years ago and thinking it looked alright, but not particularly exciting. Then I remember watching my 14-year-old cousin playing Grand Theft Auto III at my grandma’s house over Christmas of 2001. Within three minutes of my watching, he was showing me that open world’s most infamous allowance...

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Do You Like Playing Video Games w/ Karma & Morality Systems?

Is there a revenge element to the plot?, so there aren’t any direct plot spoilers here. You only need to avoid reading the post if you don’t want to know whether a character or game’s situation is morally ambiguous or complicated. In the early days of games, when narrative wasn’t much of a concern for most games Plot structures were generally like Super Mario Bros or Doom – you play the good guy (usually male, then as now), the game points you at the bad guy, and off you go. No one plays Pokémon and wonders if they’re the bad guy.  As games and game narratives got more complex, we began to see some anti-heroes, player-character protagonists whose values and actions are morally problematic. Max Payne is after criminals for justified revenge but, in classic noir fashion, doesn’t concern himself too much with keeping his hands clean. Kratos in God of...

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