Battlefield 1. A beautiful representation of a horrible time.

EA DICE’s Battlefield 1 is well put together with a multiplayer probably at its best that it can be. I’m glad there is finally a multiplayer that has all roles/loadouts being effective in almost any map. Besides the multiplayer, the story and campaign is captivating as you play as multiple solders and here their take on the worst era in human history.

Graphics

I get it. It takes time to squeeze all of the juice out of a ps4 and while the graphics of battlefield 1 does look good, you don’t know how much is missing until you play it on pc. I haven’t yet, so with only playing the ps4 version I can say that it is good. Not too much texture popping, transitions are a bit rough and so are checkpoints. However, despite a few little nuances, the graphics are what you expect from the frostbite engine; crisp.

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Mishaps

Some gripes about Battlefield 1 that it is slightly buggy and does seem to punish you for it. There is no game that comes bug free however during multiplayer (not the alpha or beta) there are occurrences that do leave you quite vulnerable and during the campaign some bugs you can take advantage of. Nevertheless, none of the bugs fully depreciates the entire game.

Gameplay

The detail of introduction and the chaos of war is depicted just as crazy as the stories that came from it and seeing a German solder shell shocked and just walking around aimlessly during the shooting is brilliant. Sadly, after the swift introduction the AI falls down a bit, well maybe a bit more and you’re left with the same basic npc characteristics from previous titles. From a multiplayer aspect, everything is rainbows and sunshine. The multiplayer is reminiscent of battlefield 4 however it’s also nothing like it at the same time. Combat is more sporadic, spread over a much larger landscape with battles overhead and all around. The blinding of light, smoke and weather make it more intense. Soundtrack is nice and very hopeful. The sound effects are really good. This is the perfect game for those with medium to large surround sound systems.

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Other thoughts

I like the fact that this game doesn’t try to give you why these events happened or the politics of it. It doesn’t try to spin it from a fictional standpoint either. The goal, I believe, was to give the gamer the experience of time where the chance of dying; the fear of engagement and the gloom of war was just another Tuesday and how maddening the whole war was as over 10 million solders lost their lives.

Overall DICE did a phenomenal job making it look and feel slightly different, enough to make me want to buy it and the multiplayer is decent. For now before any DLC drops the grade I give it is a B-.

If you’re on the fence, I’ll say stay there or rent it. If you love the battlefield series then this is surely something you might be interested in. If you’re thinking between this and Mafia 3 or waiting for CoD I would suggest renting it first.

Uncharted, for the last time?

Right off the back U4 is a very well put together game that starts off similarly as U3. In fact Naughty Dog has been pulling out the same mechanics and technique since the beginning. Well if it isn’t broke… however, can a game solely survive on the story and suspense alone?

So I didn’t read any reviews and no articles about U4 at all, I wanted to surprise myself and was really shocked to learn that Co-Op won’t be available until around August timeframe. Kind of a bummer.

Gameplay
Let’s start it off with something that hasn’t changed. The game play mechanics is still the same with no improvements, well to be fair, it doesn’t suck either but by now I would expect something things to be just a bit different or better.

Gun fights have that similar feel as well but still packs that suspense and chaos of previous titles. Finishers are smoother and there are more improvements making it more swift and flowing. I find headshot to be a little bit more of a challenge but changing some settings fixed most of that.

Cover system improved slightly by using the environment more, however, getting away from alerted enemies is slightly more difficult that it should be.

Obstacle interactions between Nathan and Sam are seamless and looks like you’re watching a cut scene. Driving is typical but still an improvement over U3.

Story
What can a say it’s a Amy Hennig sorry, Naughty Dog story. Any who, topnotch amazing and gripping like a large budget movie. It doesn’t get any better that and they have proven once again that a story, when told correctly with great direction can carry a series on its own.

Graphics
Wonderful. Even though it would probably never be on PC, U4 should be just to experience it at 60fps with even more tessellation and lighting effects. If you seek game solely based on graphics Uncharted 4 will be impressive. A true testament to game design. Somethings, I could tell right off, were added profusely to show “look what we can do” and while that is cool it’s also kind of forces certain dialog or “look here” spots that, later on, get slightly annoying.

Overall the graphics are very good and actually more than what I expected and if you thought that the e3 graphics was going to make it into the final game, please don’t expect things like that.

Sound
Why don’t people talk about sound in games? Music and sound effects matter… lol. Seriously if you do not have a surround sound system then you lose a lot of value from this game. The sound and music is very good. The DTS and Dynamic Range is really good. I also enjoy the extra setting added in to tweak the delay, spatial profile and channeling. To those who system is above 500w will be greatly rewarded with theater quality brilliance.

Multiplayer
While upsetting that co-op isn’t ready, still the multiplayer is there with only a few modes for now and, I guess, because of the delay in making the game, most if not all of the content in the future DLC’s will be earn-able but free. So… this is where the 60fps ended up. I knew the game was held back to 30 but they did promise that it would develop some aspects to 60 and they did it in multiplayer. Clean and very smooth, I love it. Maps are ok to start with and the powerups kind of even the playing field a bit. I would need more time to say if it’s just as good as U3 and probably need to wait on more content too.

Charted
The Uncharted series is a good series and each one has its best moments. Each one became a hit and each one kind of stands on its own and can be played without knowing who is who.

With that said Uncharted 4 is the best one in the series and not because of gameplay, graphics or mechanics but because of the story, the way it’s portrayed, driven and conversed. It one of the few series/games that define “Adventure”; however, no solid “A” grade, even though I would love to give it that.

I must give it an A-.

Nearly perfect.

Inside is out there

The latest game, Inside, from the creators of Limbo is an indie game that leaves you with an array of questions, however is still really entertaining. Available for PC and XB1.

IGN gave it a “10/10”, rare, but I wonder if it truly lives up to that.

Gameplay
Much like Limbo the gameplay is a side scrolling platform with shifting views from time to time with puzzles throughout. You’ll find yourself looking at the red shirted boy for queues on whats going on or what is going to happen. If your playing on the PC you might want to change the Grab button to the other side of the keyboard.

Graphics
Very nice, on the PC it sheds brilliant blend of contrast and color. A meticulous take on detail without making it look realistic. If you don’t know this already, I love game music and the lack there of was saddening at first but then it gave me a better concentration to solve the puzzles; when it does show itself, its is nice.

Story
This game will have you guessing and the end may make you mad or like me, make you want to know more about this world and why something are what they are in the game. It’s almost too short and for $20 on Steam I hope there is going to be a part 2 at least.

Is it a perfect game? No. When I think of the other games which were indie and that I gave an solid A to (or A-), like Child of Light, Inside can hold its own but still not A quality, I think its mostly a B+ at best. Is it worth $20? Kind of, I would feel better if it was $15, I say catch it on sale and give it a go.

No Man Sky Universe

(originally written Aug 10, 2016)

Hello Games brought an interesting conundrum into the world of gaming. No Man Sky offers, well most of you know already, and endless exploration adventure that just might supersede the next 5 playstations. A game so big that it’s more of a single player, first person adventure since the likelihood of you ever seeing someone else is bleak, like less than 0.1% chance, even though it’s officially an MMO. But is it the killer that will compel everyone to design procedurally generated amazing games? Maybe. Will you like it? Unless you love exploring and slow grinding then you probably won’t. However I love it. Might have to give up on Black Desert Online 🙁

GamePlay

Let’s jump right into it. Fighting sucks. Whether it’s animals or those dam fighting sentinels or pirates, either way it gets nerve racking. Luckily you’re able to fine tune the controls to your liking however land fights are still kind of poor cause your character needs to be upgraded (a lot) to handle most threats effectively. Mining is straightforward and your multi-tool is very useful and be upgraded to mine more and fast. It will be frustrating at first because you will lack the storage needs of a true explorer but almost every planet has at least one suit upgrade pod. I haven’t found any ship upgrade stations yet but they do exist. You can save up some units (money) and buy nice upgrades and even barter with aliens for their ships. There is a narrative and path, you can stray away from it, like really far away from it, however you will notice that many elements are locked until you do the “next step” so-to-speak. No maps (except for the nebula map) means you will get lost a lot and that’s ok and scary. I once lost where I was going because I walked away from the controller and I think my ship hit an asteroid and was flying off course… for 30 mins 🙁 i was in the middle of nowhere. Scans help but at first these scanners suck, but guess what; you can upgrade them as well. OMG save points are horrific. While you do save when you get out of your ship, if you fail to save (find a waypoint) when you are exploring on foot you will be SOL. If you die in space (or on land) make sure you go your grave marker so you can recover your inventory, if it’s still there. Trading is also a feature. Which means trade daily and trade often. This will be your primary source of Units and your access to other elements or items you may need. Each trading post, base or station has its own “high priority item” that marked with a star.

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Graphics and Sound

Not mind blowing but decent and pop ins are ok because there are literally no loading screens. There was only one error I found that some POIs (points of interest) are bugged and you can ever approach them, they simply just move farther away, glad this is a rare occurrence. Also the math that’s involved can get buggy causing a collapse and the screen will freeze and you be prompted to report the error. This has happened to me 5 times now which is not a big deal if I was on PC, however for the console I think 5 crashes is a bit concerning. The music isn’t that bad and I love the clam to serious changes and the shifts in between good combos. Usually after a while I turn off the music but for now it’s still on.

Perfect for Remote Play

With the lack of life threatening entities, for now, mobile play though the Vita is pretty good and you will definitely kill some time however the controls you will have to get used to.

Too Big?

Unless you have always dreamed of flying endlessly through space and discovering worlds, No Man Sky is way too big and too repetitive for most players. Dogfights, hostile aliens, Monsters, and the occasional vicious plant life are kind of rare, your typical, and not to be messed with, opponent will be mother nature. You will more likely be tested by negitive 90c weather than a floating beast with 2 heads and tentacles for legs.

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Endless Sky

Overall, No Man Sky brings out the kid in me.. Wondering what is in a cave or seeing what I can find on a distant Moon. Love it, however it still doesn’t feel like a heavily populated or interactive universe, unless i just haven’t came across a heavily populated solar system yet. It needs more MMO elements. Things that will make the need to explore even more bounding to the player. Extreme missions that might take you near a black hole or a dying neutron star. That would be awesome. Bias aside the game gets a B-. I hope that DLCs and Expansion Packs makes up for the tediousness.

Mafia 3 – A Scorsese Game…

I don’t know if the man himself would have liked Mafia 3 but I bet he would have been impressed.

Overall Mafia 3 is good. The acting is superb, the story is adequate and the gameplay keeps you going. Even the collectibles are worth collecting, especially if you like cars and nipples. The biggest downside to Mafia 3 (that you can almost ignore) is the graphics…

I had to check my ps4 to make sure it actually said ps4 on it. On PC there is no question about the quality; it’s much better. I don’t know about xbox, mainly because I don’t have one. However, it’s ignorable to a certain extent.

The game’s best quality is the acting. While it’s no Last of Us, it still brings amazing and convincing acting to the game and sucks you in to the story quickly and this goes for all acting not just the main characters. The well written plot almost seems too simple, but it is effective.

The gamplay isn’t bad but it does keep you going. Most of the side missions are nearly the same between your underbosses. After you take over your second district you should have a pattern established and quickly realize it’s going to be like this for the rest of the game. Amazingly it doesn’t get boring, at least for right now. I’m currently working on my 5th district and I haven’t put down the game since Friday. So with that I think it accomplished it task. I hope the end lives up to the story so far.

The soundtrack is very good. It’s the 60s and the best of the 60s is playing which is good for the younger crowd that doesn’t even know what a LP is or what a record player looks like.

Which leads me to the setting; it not only portrays the 60s in its true light but also is perfect for this storyline. Try to systematically destroy a crime organization now, it just wouldn’t fit and you would probably have to add so much more to the story for it to make sense.

When comparing Mafia 3 with its predecessors and other games within its genre, I can say this installment stands out, a lot. If you can get it, grab it. Mafia 3 gets a solid B+ in my book.

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