Ghost Recon Wildlands: Still can’t upload, here’s Project Cars for you

Not sure why YouTube is not letting me upload Ghost Recon Wildlands clips, but it’s really frustrating. Been wanting to share some gameplay but I guess it’d have to wait till whenever.  At any rate, here’s some awesome footage of Project Cars. If you have the right settings (“real”) and tone down the maniacal A.I. to reasonable levels, you can have a satisfying experience.


Was using a controller, by the way, not some fancy wheel. I hope you enjoyed the video. Mass Effect Andromeda comes out in just a few days, I hope I’ll be able to upload videos for that!

Ghost Recon Wildlands: Six things you must absolutely know before you buy

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I’ve only played around 2 hours of Ghost Recon Wildlands  (GRW) and while I may not be the most qualified to review it at this point, I can still say that I’m loving it so far.  I’d upload some videos except YouTube is not playing nice with my PS4 right now and won’t let me upload any GRW video.  It just sends me on a sign in loop, it did the same thing when I first got Mafia III and I’m not sure if it’s some sort of protocol so that only the super big wigs can upload the latest videos.  At any rate below are 6 things that you should know about one of the best military shooters of all time.

  1. You can play the campaign (solo) offline.  This was never really in question but if you had your doubts, it’s understandable in light of Ubisoft’s 180 on For Honor, an always-online game, which was originally announced as playable offline.  Have no fear, in spite of Ubisoft’s communist agenda, you can play GRW offline and you actually own it when you buy it.
  2. You can absolutely aim in 3rd person (over-the-shoulder).  Every official gameplay video released by Ubisoft featured first person aiming (iron sights).  This was almost a deal breaker for me and countless others.  Although in rare gameplay footages many have pointed out that you can toggle between 3rd person and first person aiming by clicking the right stick, there was always the question of whether or not Ubisoft will remove that feature.  You can now rest assured that 3rd person aiming is there.  You can even set it as the default aiming for all weapons without ever having to toggle.
  3. There is a snap-on cover system.  Another feature that Ubisoft never gave a straight answer for is the cover system.  The general consensus prior to release was that there was no cover system, only a lean mechanic.  Well now it’s official, there is a snap-on cover system very similar to most 3rd person shooters.  Biggest difference is it’s contextual, meaning there’s no button for it.  You get close enough to a wall or any barrier and you will press up against it and assume a “behind cover” position.  You can pop out to shoot and pop back into cover.  What the cover system does NOT have is the ability move from cover to cover the way you can in The Division.
  4. Open firefights are solid.  Ubisoft never released footage of an actual firefight prior to launch.  We’ve seen tons of footage on stealth kills and sneaking around but it almost seemed as though Ubisoft was deliberately not showing any footage involving gunfights.  The important thing to know is that they are fun and as intense as we could hope for.  The enemies are not Mafia III brain-dead.  They will flank, get behind cover and rush you, sometimes simultaneously.  Gun battles are very involved.
  5. Missions are replayable.  Ability to replay my favorite missions is a huge faktor for me (see what I did there?), and some games that don’t have this feature honestly bum me out.  GRW lets you replay any story mission so you can relieve your best moments or try different approaches or paths.
  6. Bodies disappear too quickly.  This so far is the ONLY complaint I have.  Enemy corpses vanish in seconds, literally the moment you look the other way.  When I’m going full-on Rambo I’d like to see a trail of bodies in my wake, but GRW has denied me this pleasure, instead only leaving a blood stain and a weapon.  Disappearing bodies ruin immersion more than anything else.  You’d think that this console generation would be powerful enough to keep the bodies from disappearing, at least until you leave the general vicinity

So these are my early impressions.  Ubisoft has been emphasizing freedom and player choice for Wildlands and I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I won’t run into to any forced stealth missions where detection will result in an instant fail.  I also wonder how the big bosses will  get killed.  Every enemy I’ve killed only took one or two short trigger squeezes.  I’m hoping that the game won’t break its own rules by making the big bosses huge bullet sponges that would require dozens of clips to put down, or arbitrarily handicap my character to make it artificially challenging.  What about you?  Have you played some Wildlands yet?

Ghost Recon Wildlands real review: Coming soon

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Some reviews are beginning to trickle in for Ghost Recon Wildlands, but if you’re in it for the single player experience, you can be sure to find no useful information from any other website. Seems like all reviewers care about these days are the multiplayer and co-op features of any game, which in my opinion are the main cause for games just sucking more and more over the years. Morons who review games based on multiplayer are morons, plain and simple. They are easily fooled as well. Once the servers go live and they start shooting each other in the face, if the reviewers do well and feel like they “dominated” the battlefield, they will give a game the highest of praises. If their get their butts handed to them then they will throw the game under the bus. Devs and publishers are smart enough to monitor the reviewers’ gamer tags so that they get the edge during multiplayer matches online, through whatever means necessary, whether that involves grouping the reviewers with other players who were paid to “take a dive,” or perhaps secretly messing up everyone else’s aiming or what have you. This is a well-known industry secret.  Another thing you’ll be reading about is the stealth, which to me is another cause for games sucking as of late. When my copy comes in tomorrow and I start playing, you can be sure I will go in guns blazing and shooting everyone up like Rambo. Stealth is an insult to my intelligence, as the kind of stealth portrayed in games is nowhere realistic and no bad guy is as stupid as anyone depicted in any stealth-themed game. This is supposed to be a shooter, and I will play it like a shooter. I will let you know the real important features when it comes to the shooting mechanics, A.I. behavior during firefights, etc. Stay tuned!

So Berserk and the Band of the Hawk is all about the bosses after all

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Well I’d say “mostly.” After playing through over 30 missions monotony has begun to set in just a bit. Don’t get me wrong, the combat is still fun as heck and keeps me playing for just one more mission every time, but playing only as Guts for the entire campaign (I’m guessing) makes the already repetitive nature of the game a little worse. At least in other Warriors titles the game lets you play as different heroes during the campaign at regular intervals. Berserk does let you play as other characters but only on Free Mode for missions you’ve already completed, and I believe there are only 8 total playable characters as opposed to the 70+ from Dynasty Warriors 8. Berserk leaves it to the boss fights to cleanse your palate, and they do a surprisingly good job.


Boss fights have become the highlights of this game. There’s been one pretty awful one so far but most of them have been entertaining and provide just the right amount of challenge for a game like this. I think I may have died only twice in boss fights (once against the said awful boss), but although I beat most boss fights in one attempt, almost each one pushed me to the brink and exhausted both my consumables and myself. So far none of the bosses have had one-hit-kill capabilities, but they are ridiculously tough, only ever taking significant damage when you hit them during your rage mode.

Though the bosses aren’t particularly clever, their designs are pretty interesting and I can’t wait to beat the rest of them. At any rate, my plate is more than full at this point. I’m still working on Nioh (probably around halfway done)and Ghost Recon Wildlands is only a couple of days way, with Mass Effect Andromeda only around two weeks away. Now is a definitely a good time to be a gamer!

For Honor single player impressions: Worth the price of admission

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The buzz about For Honor is how it’s more akin to a fighting game than the hack and slash game it appears to be. I can sorta see that but I’m in it for the single player experience. The campaign plays like any other action adventure game out there. It is divided into three short chapters, one per faction–knights, vikings and samurai. The game puts you in control of different warrior types during each chapter to give you a taste of each class’s unique strengths and abilities. They all share the same basic moves but have specific traits that cater to particular play styles or tactics.

As one would imagine, For Honor’s story mode is just an excuse to go on a medieval murder spree, and that is fine. The focus of the game is combat, which is extremely satisfying. It’s more than a simple button masher, demanding that you pay close attention to your enemy’s weapon stance (high, left, right) in order to exploit openings or defend against his attacks. Dubbed “Art of Battle,” combat consists of matching the onscreen directional prompts with your analog stick to deflect incoming strikes and to hit the enemy where he’s not defending. The system has been praised for being remarkably nuanced, especially when combined with guard breaks, parries and throws, which can make for intensely cerebral battles. There’s a system of checks and balances here that I don’t think one can fully appreciate unless playing against a human opponent, but the battles I’ve had against the A.I. during the campaign has nonetheless been truly engaging (pun half-intended), even if at times it seems like I’m only randomly swinging my weapon.

For Honor’s combat feels real, at least in the same sense as Lord of the Rings or Gladiator. I like to refer to it as “Hollywood realism.” You’re aware that the action is a bit over-choreographed and probably much more graceful than what real life melee battles would’ve looked like, but you don’t care because it’s convincing enough and entertaining. One thing that in my opinion doesn’t get enough credit are the “minions,” which are the low-level soldiers that serve as fodder for your axe. For Honor’s bread and butter are the one-on-one duels against the officers or bosses, which are typically back and forth affairs that put your sword skills to the test. In contrast, minions pose very little threat as they can’t block (even if they have shields) and go down in literally one hit. However, they round out the experience and add drama to the battlefield. We’ve all seen it in countless films where the hero cuts through hordes of nameless enemies as he makes his way to the the main bad guy for the real showdown. We’ve watched Aragorn and King Arthur do it, now we get to as well, thanks to the minions.

Though the campaign is pretty short, as in Call of Duty short, I find it highly repayable due to how fun the combat is, and I look forward to replaying my favorite sections at higher difficulty levels. Also, if you want to taste the multiplayer modes but don’t feel like dealing with cheesing, cheating players online, you’d be glad to know that For Honor’s multiplayer suite can be played with bots. Most reviews say that For Honor is first and foremost a multiplayer game, which I won’t deny, but there’s still plenty to love for single player gamers.

Berserk and the Band of the Hawk’s best boss fight so far

The boss is Wyald.  He’s this abominable snowman-looking guy, only a lot uglier (he has eyeballs on his shoulders!).  I actually died once in this fight.  Kinda underestimated him but got him on my next try.


I was really impressed by this boss battle because it was so refined for a Musou game. I feel that it could pass as some sort of boss for other dedicated hack and slash titles, even if a mediocre one. I found it enjoyable and it actually demanded some quick reactions and considerably more strategy than what you might be accustomed to from past Warriors games. Even more remarkable are the game’s mechanics, which hold up quite well during this focused battle. It felt skillful. There wasn’t any of the typical awkwardness you’d expect from a Warriors game. The boss fights in this game truly round out the experience and I can’t wait to fight the next one.
 

Berserk and the Band of the Hawk: ‘Almost review’ impressions

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After completing a dozen missions or so, I can confirm what I always believed this game was going to be:  awesome.  The caveat of course is if you’re a Warriors fan.  It’s every bit as repetitive as any Dynasty Warriors game and unlike those titles, Berserk only has a small handful of playable characters (I read somewhere 8).  Repetition, which has rarely ever been a problem for me, might be a bigger issue here, because of that.  On the other hand, the violence is much more visceral in Berserk and every hit of your sword feels much more impactful, making it easier to live with its lack of variety in playable characters and move sets (you do expand your combos as you level up).  The moment to moment satisfaction you get from cutting through hordes of enemies is quite addictive.  I can’t stress this enough.  The combat just feels soooo good.

Like a Boss

Now if there’s one thing that I feel separates Berserk from all the Dynasty Warriors games and their various spinoffs, it’s the boss fights.  Mind you they’re not Dark Souls caliber but Berserk is the only Musou title that places such an emphasis on boss fights.  It’s not the first Musou game that has attempted to incorporate boss battles (Arslan: Warriors of Legend and that one Dragon Quest heroes with the weird tree of woe title, come to mind), but this one presents boss fights like boss fights.  They feel separate from the regular combat and is presented like the big deal boss battles are supposed to be.  In addition, I believe a first in a Musou game, you have the ability to lock on to bosses and enemy officers, allowing you to quickly maneuver around them and counter ala Bloodborne.

First Boss Fight: Zodd


But man, that “regular combat,” though.  At the end of the day, it’s all about one man versus one hundred, or in this case, hundreds.  Berserk’s greatest strength is still the joy of mowing down thousands of enemies, dozens upon dozens at a time, as you make your way from one end of the battlefield to the other, destroying everything in your path.

“Regular” combat


This is the first Warriors game I think to ever count your kills as, well, kills, as opposed to the “K.O.s” of other Warriors title.  The devs wanted to go all in with the M rating.  There’s plenty of blood in this game but it’s not the gore-fest I thought (hoped) it would be.  When I first heard of this title I got the impression that limbs will be flying all over the battlefield, but that’s hardly the case.  Most of what you get is a bunch of blood splattering as though someone popped a water balloon filed with Kool-Aid, and to be quite honest the blood doesn’t really add all that much to the violence.  There is some dismemberment though, from time to time, but they seem to be limited to enemy officers you kill with your “death blow,” or whatever it’s called, essentially Berserk’s version of a Musou move you pull off during rage mode in Dynasty Warriors 8.  I’ll continue to post videos on here.  I read somewhere that there’s a difficulty spike towards the end with some bosses, which would be a shame.  I hope it’s not as bad as they say it is, and if it is, I’ll probably crank the difficulty down to easy.