Before we get started on this week’s pick of the news items from the gaming world, which will be a little shorter this week, I have to mention that I purchased Sleeping Dogs earlier this week as well as Counter Strike: Global Offensive. I am going to start writing a review on the former soon and my views on the latter will be mentioned later on in this post. I’ll be quick and say that I think both are absolutely great games for numerous reasons and have reinvigorated my stale summer gaming schedule, which had been extremely lacking.
Now for a quick word on the future of these posts. I stated a short while ago that I intended on continuing these posts from September and beyond but in a smaller capacity. That still stands although I am considering writing them on a monthly basis. Writing two of these types of posts a week, each one accumulating over 2000 words each on some occasions, as well as other pieces of writing on a weekly basis is a considerable amount of work. Not impossible, just impractical. I’ll consider it in more depth in due course, however.
GTA V screenshot explosion occurs
Boy have Rockstar been generous to us this week. Earlier this week Rockstar released three screenshots showing off various methods of transport (namely a bicycle, jet plane and a car) and not a day later came more images showing off leisure activities, such as tennis, dirt-biking and parachuting. To top off that injection of content, they released yet more images on Friday showing shots of a police chase, which look as high-octane as you might imagine.
Anything released from Rockstar regarding Grand Theft Auto 5 is sure to grab a hold of the excited masses and shake them until they vomit, and these screenshots weren’t an exception to that rule. Personally, I’m a little too excited about bicycles making a return as well as the leisurely activities to partake in when you get tired of causing immeasurable damage to everything that moves.. GTA4, for all of its successes, largely removed all of the more fun things you could do in earlier games and they were sorely missed.
It’s remarkable how something as small and unrevealing as a screenshot can garner so much analysis and excitement but Rockstar know how to hype their audience up. Everything about GTAV looks fantastic and although I don’t expect that we’ll see the game any time soon, the excitement is already at fever pitch and we’ve only had one trailer and a handful of images released. Hands up who’s looking forward to cruising through Los Santos on a bicycle with an army of tanks, helicopters and police vehicles pursuing you from behind. Those were the days…
Plants vs Zombies 2 announced
Get ready to venture out into the garden once again to fight off those pesky zombies with your leafy companions because the super-popular action strategy game Plants vs Zombies is getting a sequel due for release in 2013.
Developer PopCap confirmed earlier this week that Plants vs Zombies 2 would release next year and feature “a bevy of new features, settings, and situations, designed to delight the franchise’s tens of millions of fans around the world” according to the press release. The platforms the game will launch on are yet to be confirmed, however.
The official announcement comes weeks after the rumours that Plants vs Zombies 2 would make the switch to a first-person shooter in a similar vein to Valve’s Team Fortress 2. While those rumours are not denied nor confirmed, I can safely say that such a move would, in my opinion, be unnecessary, diminish the unique feel the franchise has and be a move in the completely wrong direction. PvZ works the best the way it is now and changing that for no discernible reason would be ridiculous.
I’ve never actually finished the first PvZ game simply because once I reached the rooftop levels, I got rinsed by the tougher enemies. I’m playing through it again right now and although I have every intention of beating it, whether or not I get there before the sequel is released remains to be seen. If I do get there I might be hospitalised due to muttering about plants to myself like an insane lunatic. It would be worth it though, right?
Fallout 4 will be set in Boston, according to speculation
A series of unconfirmed reports written by anonymous Reddit users suggest that the next entry in Bethesda’s post-apocalyptic series will take place in Boston, Massachusetts.
Earlier this week, an anonymous user of Reddit claiming to be an employee of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, or MIT, posted a message claiming that Bethesda had been scoping out Boston as a possible location for their next Fallout title. The same user also claimed to be posting under the guise of anonymity due to fear of losing his/her job and/or being sued by Bethesda. A second Reddit user later added substance to the initial post by also claiming to live in Boston and hearing reports of Bethesda conducting initial research of the area in preparation for the game.
While I would be happy and would still buy Fallout 4 even if it was set on the Moon, it is worth noting that the posts that led to this speculation are completely and utterly unconfirmed and Bethesda have denied to comment on their authenticity. It’s not outside of the realm of possibility that Bethesda would want Boston as the setting of Fallout 4 but it’s still a rumour nevertheless. After all, anybody can say they work at MIT and we’d have no way of knowing whether they were telling the truth or not.
If the above is true, and I doubt it is, it would suggest that Fallout 4 is many years away from release if they’re only just scouting out possible locations. It would almost certainly be a game for next-gen. But, as I just said, a couple of anonymous Reddit users are hardly strong reliable sources of truth so it remains to be seen where Fallout 4 will be set and when. Would Boston be a good location? Absolutely.
What I’ve Been Playing
After missing the game’s initial release last week and witnessing the rave reviews it was getting at every turn, I finally succumbed and bought it on Monday. Was it money well spent? Hell yes.
Sleeping Dogs is, quite simply, a fantastic game that’s authentic, well-designed, and plays as well as it looks. The focus on hand-to-hand combat as opposed to guns is a nice change from a typical open-world game and being set in Hong Kong gives us a different kind of city to experience and a varied one at that.
I’ve put in around 17 hours on the game and I would estimate that I’m around 50%-ish through the game. I’ve been taking my time, however, so unfortunately the game wouldn’t appear to be as long as one may hope. Still, with plenty of DLC planned for the future, Sleeping Dogs has a lot of life left in it.
I’ll discuss my thoughts on Sleeping Dogs at more length when I write a review on the game but rest be assured it’ll be an overly positive one. The game isn’t perfect and you’ll see what I mean when I talk about it at a later date but for a game to have been unceremoniously cancelled, resurrected and for it to still be this good is quite remarkable. Suck it Activision.
Counter Strike: Global Offensive
Global Offensive had been on my radar for quite some time since its announcement. I had never played any version of Counter Strike before and after hearing about how addictive and compelling it was, I was keen on experiencing it for myself. Also, the fact that GO would be available on Xbox 360 made it more appealing as no matter how hard I try, I simply struggle with a mouse and keyboard control scheme. After purchasing Global Offensive earlier this week, I now have an understanding of why people claim it to be a dangerously addictive game. I find myself in the same situation, even if I occasionally play terribly.
One of Global Offensive’s strengths is how basic it is. After playing titles like Call of Duty that give players big helicopters to kill people with, GO takes things back to basics by simply giving you a gun and telling you to get on with it. There are no rewards for getting a kill, no ranking system to strive to progress through or anything else that may be a distraction from gun-on-gun combat. It’s refreshing to play something like it amidst all of the latest titles that have explosions going off at every turn and choppers doing the work for you, almost making the use of a gun redundant.
Global Offensive, as good as it may be, does also feel somewhat limited by its basic-ness. For example, there is no way to aim down your sights with your weapons, no way to add attachments to your guns to enhance the tactical style of the game and so forth. After playing titles like the aforementioned Call of Duty for years, you get used to having these elements at hand, so much so that you notice their absence when they’re gone. It’s not an issue with GO as, like I said, it takes things back to how they used to be but it’s noticeable nevertheless.
On a side-note, it’s also amusing to hear players moan about the game because they were expecting something similar to Call of Duty, and you’ll hear a lot of them due to the game restricting party chat. I even heard one player cursing the game because it wouldn’t allow him to quick-scope. Yes, seriously.
Global Offensive is a completely addictive experience regardless of what platform you play it on. It’s definitely more suited to a PC than a console but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to play outside of one. For what it is and what it provides, GO is a welcome break from the carnage and chaos of today’s online shooters and for that, many more hours will be spent on this game, of that I’m sure.
And that’s a wrap for this week. I am very interested in hearing other people’s thoughts on Global Offensive as I’ve not seen as many as I’d like yet. Also, what are your thoughts on Fallout 4 possibly being set in Boston? BS or hell yes? Share your thoughts down below!