Saturday, March 30, 2013

Bioshock: Infinite (Walkthrough Part 5)

Click here for section 4 of this walkthrough.

Part 38: Flagship




Part 39: Comstock




Part 40: Protect the Ship




Part 41: Protect the Ship Contined




Part 42: Dunk in the River




Part 43: The End

Bioshock Infinite (Walkthrough Part 4)

Click here for section 5 of this walkthrough.

Click here for section 3 of this walkthrough.

Part 31: Bank of the Prophet



Part 32: Find the Final Tear



Part 33: Comstock House



Part 34: Wardens Office



Part 35: Turn Off the Machines



Part 36: Hand of the Prophet


Part 37: Board Comstock's Flagship

Friday, March 29, 2013

Bioshock Infinite (Walkthrough Part 3)

Click here for section 4 of this walkthrough.

Click here for section 2 of this walkthrough.

Part 21: Right for Each Other



Part 22: Take Back the Ship




Part 23: Emporium



Part 24: Grand Central 



Part 25: Grand Central Continued



Part 26: Downtown Emporia



Part 27: Downtown



Part 28: Lady Comstock



Part 29: Find the 3 Tears


CLick here Part 30: Find the 3 Tears (Continued)

Glory to Gaming Walkthroughs

Alien Isolation

Bioshock: Infinite

Dead Island: Riptide

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon

Metro: Last Light

Tomb Raider 2013

The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bioshock: Infinite (Walkthrough Part 2)

Click here to return to section 1 of this walkthrough.

Click here for section 3 of this walkthrough.

Part 11: Shock Jockey 





Part 12: Finkton Docks






Part 13: The Docks





Part 14: Zeal Plaza





Part 15: Man for the Job





Part 16: Search for Chen Lin






Part 17: Path to Shantytown





Part 18: Exploring Shantytown




Part 19: Police Station





Part 20: Hero of the Vox





Bioshock: Infinite (Review)


Once in a while a game comes along that changes your perspective on what one should be altogether. Irrational games has achieved mass success with its smash hit Bioshock, easily one of the most well received shooters of all time. One can only imagine what it must be like to create a game in such an overpowering shadow.

This time around, Irrational has ditched the claustrophobic underwater confines of Rapture to bring us to a world that is stunningly beautiful, Columbia. It's 1912 and Columbia is both what you might expect and what no one could see coming. The infinite stretch of sky is quite a sight to behold and though the game wanders far from the gloom and unease of its predecessor, I wouldn't have it any other way. Despite the developers jarring and ambitious shift in surroundings, Infinite still feels very much a part of the franchise. Treading deeper into the games narrative will unveil a certain darkness consuming its seemingly cheerful and radiant atmosphere. An atmosphere so thick you can taste it.


This time around Bioshock has a voice, and Infinite's main protagonist, Booker Dewitt, fits the mold harmoniously. This is truly one of my favorite things about Infinite as it has allowed Irrational's great story telling to reach a whole new level, weaving an even deeper tale that is so immersive you will have an unfathomably hard time pulling away. Booker's interactions with his endearing companion, Elizabeth, shows a bond that is hard to surpass in the world of gaming. It's the fact that Dewitt is fully voiced that makes this possible.


Irrational's attention to detail as always is stunning. Exploration in this game is a real treat, as they have breathed life into a setting that is unquestionably unattainable. As you pass through houses and stroll down streets it's all too apparent that the developers have put a back breaking amount of work into making you feel that this city is alive. People go about their daily business here, and you have been given a rare gift to witness the hustle and bustle of Columbia in full swing.

Elizabeth plays a very unique roll in Infinite. Booker is her protector, yes, but Elizabeth doesn't play the helpless victim like Ashley of Resident Evil 4. She will find ammunition, money, and other useful items for you, pick locks, warn you of incoming attacks, and at your command can physically change the battlefield. Summoning weapons, health, cover, auto turrets, and more adds spice to combat, and allows you to approach combat differently depending on your play style. All of this combined with Elizabeth's unique and intriguing AI makes her a more than welcome addition to the game.


The flow of Infinite is outstanding. Because there is next to no FMV, the game transitions seamlessly from combat to story sequence. Infinite features a navigation button that when pushed will show an arrow guiding you in the right direction. This provides a consistent experience, greatly minimizing the frustrations of finding your way back from fruitful exploration, while steering clear of insulting the intelligence of the player.

Irrational has also put a great effort into reworking the franchise's magic system. Vigors have taken the place of Plasmids. Though they are essentially the same thing, Vigor has some interesting mechanics not found in the the game's predecessor. Sure abilities can effect your surroundings as they did before. Using electricity on a pool of water is still an efficient way to dispatch oncoming foes. But Infinite also allows you to combine your abilities to further increase their effectiveness. For example, an ability that allows the player to send a murder of crows to mercilessly peck away at your enemies dealing slight damage and keeping them occupied, providing the player with a tactical advantage. Or you might decide to switch to your fire Vigor and set the crows ablaze adding fire damage to their attacks. This is a tremendous amount of fun and because Infinite allows you to switch between your Vigors so efficiently, it proves to be a practical approach to combat.


On normal, Bioshock: Infinite is not a particularly challenging game; this especially goes for veterans of the genre. I found it all too easy to recklessly mow enemies down and so most of my first play-through was spent reenacting scenes from the movie Rambo. If you are experienced with shooters I would highly recommend playing Infinite on hard for your first play-through. On this difficulty you will be pushed to utilize all your advantages, thus resulting in a much more rewarding experience. This is especially the case in 1999 Mode, an unlockable difficulty that will be accessible once you have finished the game. In 1999 mode there will be no button to help you navigate your way to objectives. Once you have run out of money, dying will send you back to the main menu. At this point you can reattempt a situation that you are ill equipped for or start the game from the beginning once again. This difficulty is very challenging and offers a dramatically different experience. The tried and true spray and pray will not get you through 1999 mode. Instead players are forced to put a tremendous amount of thought into all encounters in order to live long enough to reach the next objective.


There are little to no bugs to be found in Infinite and I was floored by the game's optimization. On ultra settings I was getting a fairly solid sixty frames per a second with a Radeon HD 7850 OC, and the game can also be played with impressively high settings on a relatively old rig. This level of optimization is not often seen in newer AAA titles and I was quite pleased with Irrational's results. Unfortunately due to consoles aging hardware, people that have picked up the game for Xbox 360 and PS3 will not have quite the same experience. The console version of the game is stated to be somewhere between low and medium setting and has been known to have infrequent stuttering issues.

Overall, Bioshock: Infinite is a masterpiece if ever there was one. The kind of game that heightens your expectations of all others. After finishing Infinite I have found myself lacking the desire to play anything else, and though the story is fairly short (about ten to fifteen hours depending on your play style) you will find yourself returning to Columbia again and again. Bioshock: Infinite is a title that simply cannot be passed up.

Pros:

- Bioshock Infinite


SCORE:

10 / 10


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bioshock: Infinite (Walkthrough)

Here is a walkthrough / playthrough of Bioshock: Infinite. I have split the walkthrough into sections and have taken the liberty of cutting out some fat from the beginning. Cheers!

Click here for section 2 of this walkthrough (Parts 11-20)


Part 1: The Raffle



Part 2: To the Monument





Part 3: Island Gateway






Part 4: Monument Tower





Part 5: Battleship Bay






Part 6: Ticketing






Part 7: Soldiers Field






Part 8: Hall of Heros






Part 9: Slate





Part 10: A Soldiers Death

Sunday, March 24, 2013

How to Defeat the Capra Demon in Dark Souls (Video)

In this fight I am using the build from my guide which you can find here.



How to Survive Blighttown (Dark Souls)

Yes, I should have died there.



How to Defeat the Belfry Gargoyles in Dark Souls (Video)


In this fight I am using the build from my guide which you can find here.


Disappointingly So (Dead Space 3 Review)


In Dead Space 3, we are once again given the chance to step into the shoes of engineer, Issac Clark as we beat, blast and kill our way through dark corridors and claustrophobic environments. It's no secret that I am a huge fan of the Dead Space franchise as I gave the second installment quite a bit of praise, but does the third title stand up to it's predecessor? 

Visceral games has made some serious changes this time around and though I would like to commend them for such bravery, a lot of these changes feel more like half baked ideas that were poorly implemented, taking the place of a well structured system that required little to no work. Instead of buying and selling items as you had in previous installments of the series, this time around you can expect to be obtaining all your weaponry, items and upgrades through a new crafting system. This new feature is surely one of the more impressive things that Dead Space 3 has to offer as players can use salvaged parts to assemble weapons with the option of picking which function they wan't for primary and secondary fire and there are a lot of functions to choose from. The problem is, through a huge part of the game salvage is a bit hard to come by and Visceral explains very little about these functions, forcing the player to make the choice between dumping what salvage they have managed to gather into a weapon that may not work for their play style or using these parts to craft ammunition and health, which players know will be helpful. 


Another bold move that Visceral decided to go with is changing over to universal ammo. This is an especially strange move for a survival horror title and though I understand why it was implemented in Dead Space 3 I still found it to be a bad idea. Because ammunition is just as good for one weapon as it is another, I ran through the game almost entirely using just the Plasma Cutter. This new system doesn't gently push the player into situations where they might need to learn how to effectively use any of the other games weapons and therefore leaves combat feeling a bit stale and bland to say the least.  


Perhaps one of the most disappointing things of all is Dead Space 3's mediocre story in combination with it's  poor delivery and dialogue. There is nothing exciting about the tale being told, and the lack of character depth is hard to overlook when it was so easy to feel connected to Issac Clark in Dead Space 2. Scene's like the one where Issac is talking his way out of getting his throat slit while in a straight jacket as seen in DS2  is very much absent this time around and instead you will get petty squabbles and an Issac that irrationally sways from angry to the nice guy at the drop of a hat. The environments this time around are equally as uninspiring as Dead Space 3 lacks the ability to really scare the player the way previous installments had. It's not that Visceral didn't make an honest attempt at adding some new areas that the player might find interesting to explore, it's the lack of the atmosphere that the previous installments were so saturated in. All of this greatly takes away from immersion and leaves you more interested in the games action which is still fairly enjoyable if you are okay with running around and blasting aliens with a plasma cutter. 

"I know I've got a quarter here somewhere..."

If you are looking for something that is visually stimulating then you will certainly find it here. Dead Space 3 delivers with stunning models and consistently gorgeous textures. The lighting that Dead Space 3 features is also superb and helps to add some sense of atmosphere. Dead Space 3 is very challenging like previous installments. On harder difficulties you will get brutalized often and for those looking for a serious challenge this could certainly be a selling point for the game. These things are great and help make the game a bit more enjoyable, but certainly do not mask DS3's short comings and you're probably better off picking up Dead Space 2 if you are drawn by great visuals and difficult scenarios.  

Overall Dead Space 3 is simply just not very fun. I wanted to love this title as I had the two that came before it, but almost always found myself frustrated and just plain bored. If you are hell bent on picking this title up I would wait until it hits the bargain bin, which should most certainly be sooner than later. Otherwise I can't say this game is worth your money.

Pros:

- Great Visuals

- Exciting Combat

Cons:

- Poor Story and Character Depth

- Offers Little in the Way of Explanation

- Uninspiring Atmosphere

- Just. Not. Fun.

SCORE:

6.4 / 10



How to Defeat the Taurus Demon in Dark Souls (Video)

In this fight I am using the build from my guide which you can find here.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

DmC Review


Dante is at it again and this time with a new look, new world and well... pretty much a new everything. When Capcom's new reboot of the Devil May Cry series hit shelves in January there was an uproar among the DmC community. A great many people were obviously quite upset with Ninja Theory for the dramatic changes to a well loved series, but is it so bad?

Let's start things off by saying, DmC looks great. In fact, I would go as far as to say it has never looked so good. In DmC you will cross paths with stunning environment after stunning environment, as you hack and slash your way through hordes of demons and are locked in your seat with superb narrative. There is not a single area in this game that doesn't look absolutely amazing, and DmC's environments in harmonious marriage with its stylistic and iconic combat makes for one hell of a visual experience. The best part of all of this is how optimized the PC version of this game is. On ultra settings I was getting up to 170-200 FPS on an HD 7850. When you consider how great this game looks, that is seriously impressive.    


This time around things surely have changed for Dante and his surroundings, but fear not. With a bit of an open mind, these changes are a good thing. DmC is a much more mature experience this time around. The game features plenty of vulgarity and other adult themes and this paints a much more relatable picture and creates a believable experience in a world that has quite literally gone to hell. In the reboot, Dante is the definition of badass and his cocky attitude makes way for some interesting interactions and leaves plenty of room for character growth, which I imagine we will see more of in future installments. DmC has ditched it's cliche gothic feel that is more fitting for titles such as Castlevania, for a more modern, almost cyber punk setting. Sure this is pretty out of the norm for DmC, but it works well for this reboot and paves the way for some more refreshing environments.  

You can expect a lot of this.
...and this.
























DmC's story is both riveting and cinematic. The way characters interact with each other and the way their bodies move during dramatic situations is seemingly lifelike and helps to draw you in as Ninja Theory weaves a tale that is both entertaining and moving. If you ask me, this is the best Devil May Cry story to date. The characters are equally fascinating, as they are well defined and emotionally extant. A combination that makes them easy to understand, leaving the player feeling as if they have truly gotten to know a person, not just a three dimensional representation of one. Unfortunately as solid as the story is, its not as present as I would have liked. Instead you get snippets here and there in between missions, much like the 2D side scrolling beat em ups in days of old. This leaves you starving for more as the story that is in the game is quite gripping. This is either a bad thing, or an ingenious marketing approach. DmC also features a great sound track that fits in well with the games overall feel and voice acting that is as strong as the games cinematic choreography. 


Though DmC features some really solid controls and great gameplay its really nothing that hasn't been done before. You will jump around during platforming sequences, and hack and slash at enemies as they appear. This at times can get old as it did in some of the previous installments. Fortunately, one of the great things about combat is the ability to switch through any of the games eight weapons at the drop of a hat (or in this case a demon). A combination of the d-pad and triggers will allow you to bring any weapon you choose into a combo, spicing up combat and allowing you to add some variety in a combo with great ease. This also helps when it comes to style points which is earned by combining moves to create combos. The more varied your attacks are, the higher your score will be. The game feature no lock on system and this can be frustrating at times, but this is rarely the case as the auto targeting system is usually pretty good at assessing where you want your damage to go.


One of the great things about combat in DmC is that the enemies you face vary greatly in attack patterns, each one having not only its own unique way of fighting but its own weakness as well. This is where the ability to fluidly change between weapons really comes in handy, as you will need to use the appropriate weapon that a situation demands to efficiently dispatch your enemies. My biggest problem with the gameplay in DmC is that it is fairly easy, especially when being compared to past installments in the franchise. Boss fights will require a few more tries at the very most and death will merely bring you back to a previous checkpoint that is usually not that far back, resulting in a small hit in your overall mission score. In addition you can buy and hold onto items in the game that can heal or even resurrect Dante when you die. I was fairly disappointed with the way the game quite literally held my hand through more than half of DmC, had the game been slightly longer I may not have thought this as much of a problem. If you are looking for a challenge I would advise playing through the game on a harder difficulty, but even then I don't offer any promises.


Though DmC is quite short there is a fair bit of replay value here. The game features a ton of collectibles and finding these can prove to be one hell of a challenge. After finishing the campaign you are able to replay missions and unlocked challenges, and these are a lot more fun the second time around as once you have completed the game you are able to use everything unlocked in your previous play through to achieve higher scores and get to certain collectibles that were inaccessible during your first trek through the story.


Ninja Theory has taken a lot of brave steps here and DmC is very different this time around, but this doesn't have to be such a bad thing. This reboot brings a breath of fresh air to the table and its compelling story will help drive you further into this game, as you continue to wonder what is around the next corner. If you are hesitant to try this new title because of negative naysayers, I would advise that you tune out the QQ's and give DmC a chance. 

Pros

- Superb voice acting and story

- Amazing environments and visuals

- Great replay value

Cons

- Excessive hand holding

- Gameplay lacking in challenge

SCORE:

8 / 10 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

An in Depth Look at Office: Counter-Strike Tactics (Terrorists)



All hail office. Office is possibly one of the best maps in the history of competitive shooters. Well balanced and amazingly well thought out, Office has certainly withstood the test of time. I've been playing CS since it's original release way back when, and to this day this is still my go-to Counter-Strike map. Below I have compiled some of my own personal strategies that I have developed over the years, to give players new to CS something to work with when facing the fierce competition that the game is so famous for. Keep this guide in mind when playing and ultimately use it to evolve some of your own strategies. What works for one player isn't always going to work for another.    


TERRORISTS

Overview:

In my years of experience playing this map I have personally found that Terrorist are the superior team to join when playing Office. Higher altitudes make for easy head shots and if an aggressive approach seem to be working against your team, T Spawn is quite an easy place to hunker down for the defensive. If caught in  a position where being on the defensive seems to be the better approach, it is best to camp The Conference Room. As it is a more confined and controlled environment. Remember, though some people on the other team may complain about you camping, it is the terrorists job to protect the hostages.

This is a good position to hold as both the plant and hostages provide you with  cover.  Make sure to keep an eye out for CT's entering from your right. 
Option B: If the first camping spot is taken or you need to switch up your tactics, this is a  decent place to hold. It's important to note that this position is not as good as the first one as you will have more of a gap between you and your target. This is the optimal position if you do decide to snipe.
Alternatively if the rest of your team seems to have the conference room under control than this can be an effective spot to cover all your teams bases. The back draw to this location is you are in slightly more danger than the other two spots, but with a good shotgun, this is an effective position to score some kills.



Loudout:

When starting at the pistol round as terrorists I generally stray from buying a better pistol. If playing competitive I generally go for a support approach, grabbing a flash grenade and HE grenade while saving $300 for the upcoming round. The Glock can be a surprisingly effective start pistol due to its high fire rate. Avoid using burst fire as you can generally fire off more accurately with standard fire and at high fire rates  you tend to do dish out a decent amount of damage.

Once you have progressed further into the match and you have some money saved up, the AK-47 is my recommended choice for weaponry. Firing short bursts with the AK can be extremely accurate in those long hallway situations, this is especially the case with the first round fired. The AK is also a great choice for mid to close range combat due to its extreme damage output and lethal spray when close to your opponent. If cash is running low I will generally move to the Nova or UMP while funds replenish. If the AK is not your thing, a good shotgun is also a great choice for Office. I personally advise either the Sawed-off or Nova as they provide more controlled fire and dish out a lot of damage per shot. I generally stray from using snipers in this map as there are not a whole lot of great sniping points.

Contact Points:

Getting to know a maps contact points is essential in CS. Knowing where to expect your enemy can give you a great advantage in combat, giving you a better chance at survival. Below I've added some pictures of the important contact points in office.

This is one of the more famous contact points in office as well as the most dangerous.  Grenades are to be expected in this area and its not uncommon to fall to an instant death to due to a head shot when coming around the corner. Use extreme caution when taking this route. When getting to the bottem near the exit sign, take it slow and use a jump to crouch technique (as shown below) to enter CT Spawn.


This is a really common contact point, especially for newer players. Be mindful of enemies coming up through the stairwell which is where I am aiming, and snipers looking in through the windows up ahead. This contact point is a bit easier to fall back from than the previous one listed.


The contact point for the back route is actually ahead and around the corner but this is where I would recommend holding as it also allows you to see through the doorway down the hall.  


Flash (Grenade) Points:

Flashing is a sound tactic in any CS map, but with all the tight and closed corridors in Office, this map is one of the best for the bang and entry strategy. When it comes to office I almost always have a flashbang on me at all times. Listed below are some good places for terrorists to use a flash. Take note of the cross hair as that is exactly where you want the flash to go.

Flashing here is a great way to get into this dangerous area. The idea is to bounce the grenade around the corner blinding the enemies that either coming up the stairs or hunkering down at the bottom. If getting here a bit late be weary of enemies coming around this corner, or through the window behind you to your left. If the enemy has caught on to this and it doesn't seem to be working as well, try using the tactic in the video below to get the jump on them. This works best when the enemy is consistently holding the bottom of the stairs.

If trying to prevent entry into T spawn this is a good flash point to stall players that are working their way down the main hall.
Bouncing a flash off this wall here is a safe way to gain entry into the doorway ahead. It's not uncommon for CT to be standing in the window looking at this doorway, so entry into this room can be dangerous. Be mindful of the stairwell pictured to the left as this is a common way for CT to enter the building.

Preventing Entry to Spawn:

It is the Terrorists job to guard the hostages and keep CT from rescuing them. This means that guarding your spawn is your number one priority. Below are some examples of good places to hold when looking for a defensive start the round.

This is a pretty standard place to take cover. Straight ahead is where you are most likely to take fire from . The dangerous thing about holding this spot is that the wall directly in front of you is easily penetrated by bullets. If things really start to heat up make a dash to the spot pictured below.
This is a great place to take cover. The doorway creates a choke point that your enemies will have to funnel through, allowing you to get quick kills when spraying with an automatic weapon. 
When guarding the back entrance this is generally where you want to be.  If overwhelmed  try falling back to the position below.
Surprisingly enough this spot (located directly next to hostages) is quite effective. People tend to overlook this  location and it gives you a good view through the opening straight ahead. A shotgun is not advised for this position as there will be a fairly large gap between you and any enemies located behind the desk directly ahead.

Sniping Positions:

Office is clearly not the best map when it comes to sniping but there are a couple of OK spots if you insist on engaging in long range combat.

This spot is great due to the semi-long hallway, it is also a great position for a quick retreat through the door to the left.
This is your second best choice for sniping, but generally you will be taking a lot of fire in this spot. The window straight ahead is where you will likely be getting the bulk of your kills when using this position.
This is also a popular place for sniping as you can see through the doorway ahead and take cover behind the wall.
Some people will choose to snipe in this spot, but I would not recommend this position as you are likely to take fire from behind.




Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dark Souls Frame Rate and Resolution Cap Fix. Texture Mod. (PC)


At this point hearing that the Dark Souls PC port is terrible is no ground breaking news. Many people, including myself have been struggling with the poor optimization and customization that this port has plagued players with. Here is a mod that will help fix the frame rate and resolution cap for the PC version, as well as a few other mods to help the game look a little better. 

Various visual improvements to the game.


FPS cap and res cap Fix.


Blighttown high  res texture pack. 

Darksiders 2 Stuttering Fix

Here's an article that will direct Darksiders 2 players to some mods that will fix a few annoying issues with the game. This is also an awesome blog so you should check it out!

Tips for Survival (Metro 2033)


Metro 2033 can be a fairly difficult game to get your bearings in. Here I have compiled some tips for those who are new to Metro, to help give a fighting chance to those who need it in this brutal game.

1. Conserve ammo:

This one is a given but in a game like Metro this can't be stressed enough. Mutants can be extremely tough and often take quite a few rounds to take down. Aim carefully and make your shots count or else you'll find yourself in the middle of a horde of mutants with nothing but a knife.


2. Don't be afraid to reload checkpoints:

Checkpoints are not always those annoying things you have to fall back to when you die. Sometimes a checkpoint can be used to a players advantage. If you make your way through a difficult scenario and find that you have used more resources than you should have, don't be afraid to reload your save. Wasting more ammo than necessary in combat can create quite the headache when the going gets tough.


3. Let your teammates take some action:

When low on ammo and engaging in combat with others, don't be afraid to hang back a bit and let your teammates take some heat. The NPC's in Metro tend to be pretty tough and some ammo conservation is always a good thing.


4. Throwing knives are your friend:

You'd be surprised at just how powerful throwing knives actually are. Not only do they pack a wallop, but you can also retrieve them from your dead enemies. Using throwing knives at opportune moments is a great way to save up some ammo for when your firearms are really needed.


5. Military grade ammo is precious:

Military grade ammunition doesn't just provide some extra damage, it's also the games currency. Military grade ammo is best saved to be traded for greater quantities of "dirty" ammo and upgrading your arsenal. The extra damage that military grade provides is usually not worth it and you shouldn't use it unless absolutely necessary.


6. Hit the lights:

Just about every source of light in Metro can be shot out and the dark is a great way to conceal your position. When engaging in a combat scenario, be aware of the lighting around you and how it may effect your chances of getting shot.


7. Explore you're surroundings:

Exploration in Metro is extremely vital to your survival. Though at times you may feel that rushing ahead to avoid enemies is your best option, make sure you take the time to thoroughly check your surroundings. Ammo can be hidden anywhere from a dark corner to a closed locker or cabinet. Make sure you don't pass a bunch of ammunition that will be needed further down the line.


8. Avoid conflict if possible:

Fighting your way through every scenario is not always the best option. Stealth can be extremely useful in Metro and a lot of times you are able to pass enemies undetected. This especially comes in handy when dealing with large groups of soldiers or particularly tough mutants. Sometimes even a quick dash for the exit can save your skin. Remember tip #6!


9. Value your gas mask:

Walking around with a seriously cracked gas mask is risky business. Make sure to reload checkpoints when your mask takes unnecessary damage and keep an eye our for masks that might be in better condition than your current one. You don't want to end up at a checkpoint with a mask that can only take one more hit and no replacements close by.


10. Use those grenades:

It can be easy to forget to use your grenades from time to time, but being mindful of situations that benefit from a grenade or two can save you quite a bit of ammo. Keep an eye out for clusters of enemies that can be    quickly dispatched with a grenade and don't be afraid to prime it a bit before you throw it. The great thing about grenades in Metro is that you are able to see the fuse burn away, indicating how much time you have til it detonates.

Metro 2033 Review


There are few games in the world that can offer an experience like Metro 2033. A game with an atmosphere so thick you could cut it with a knife and an attention to detail that I have yet to see in any game. Metro 2033 takes you through a post apocalyptic nightmare, dragging you through the grungy and decaying subway tunnels below Russia and scaring you half to death in the process. For a game that is just about three years old, Metro is still easily one of the most gorgeous games on the market. The word gorgeous is an interesting choice here, because as visually stunning as the game is, the environments you will nervously creep through are as dark, dirty and dismantled as they come. The textures in Metro are flawless and the game features some of the best lighting I have had the joy of experiencing in a video game, and because most of your trek is so dark, the lighting really gets a chance to shine. Forgive the pun. My only problem with the visuals in Metro is that the models of mutated beasts you will encounter are not nearly as well crafted as the rest of the game. Some appear rather blockish and dated, reminiscent of say, Doom 3. Though this took me out of the experience from time to time, it in no way hinders the games ability to draw you in and generally scare the crap out of you.



While on the subject of Doom 3, I should probably mention that Metro 2033 is a challenging game. A really challenging game. It was been quite a long time since I have played a shooter that pushes me the way Metro does and as a guy who like to get his ass kicked once and while, Metro is the refreshing experience I have been waiting for. In Metro you can expect frustrating checkpoints, and a frequent realization that you are out of ammo and are only left with a knife to use on the three huge mutated freaks that tower before you. Death will be expected, and ammo will be sparse, but it's the excitement of overcoming these challenges that will keep you interested in the game and returning for more. Metro also features a Ranger, and Hardcore Ranger difficulty. In Ranger mode, both enemies and the player will deal greater damage creating an even more realistic play through and in Hardcore Ranger the players HUD will no longer be viewable  creating a much more immersive experience.  

Metro is fairly linear but gives you some room to explore. And players that do end up exploring will be greatly rewarding as a short trip around a terrifying corner could be rewarded with four precious shotgun rounds. The nice thing is that these findings are not few and far between if you are willing to put in the effort to look for them, and its these moments that will leave you feeling like the greatest adventurer to ever wander the dark mutant infested subway, as those few but priceless spare rounds may save your life in the area just ahead.



As mentioned before, the level of detail in Metro 2033 is spectacular to say the least. Just about any light in the game can be shot out to help give you a stealthy advantage. This even includes head lamps that are worn by your enemies. Your gas mask uses depleting filters that need to be replaced as you further venture into hazardous areas, condensation will even build up in your mask as your filter runs low, fogging up your view and limiting your vision, all while adding some really cool blurring effects. Your mask can also fracture, also obstructing your view. Taking physical damage can even lead to your mask shattering, leaving you a few precious moments, to eradicate any immediate threat and find a new mask before you die from the area's lethal air quality. Smoke twirls in the air after you fire your gun making distant enemies in dark area's hard to locate, and debris will dance in beams of light as enemies unload into a concrete barrier that you take cover behind. These little details, and many more are the things that endear Metro to me the most. There are certainly some that will argue the pro's and con's of realism in gaming, but in this case I wouldn't want it any other way.


The story in Metro at times can be lacking in presentation, and you will often find yourself yawning at an unfolding event as you wait to once again take control of your character and venture into the dark. It's not that the story is bad really, it does the job, it's just nothing special when compared to Farcry 3 and other titles. The soundtrack is also forgettable, though a lot of the ambiance definitely adds to the creepy atmosphere that makes the game so compelling. A place where Metro really takes a hit is the voice acting. If using the games English voice option, be prepared for some atrociously cheesy voices and lame Russian accents. The dialogue itself isn't too bad and there are a few jokes here and there to chuckle at.


The weaponry in Metro is superb. Weapons are unique, interesting, varied and most importantly, fun to use. Each weapon usually has a few variants to find and this is great because it allows people with different play styles to enjoy the same weapon. The revolver for example can be found as just a normal standard pistol. But there is also a version with a silencer, and one with a scope and rifle butt for accuracy. Some weapons in the game shoot ball bearings and will require you to manually pump them every so often, much like a BB gun, for optimal performance. The laser sight as pictured above is an attachment that many guns feature and is one of my personal favorites as it makes hip fire a breeze and looks pretty cool to boot.

When it comes down to it, whether or not you will enjoy Metro 2033 is really a matter of what you are looking for in a shooter. If you are looking for a more modern run and gun experience, with little disruption and plenty of ammo to get you by, then Metro is most certainly not for you. On the other hand, if you are looking for a game that offers a challenging experience not found in most modern day shooters, then Metro 2033 is a must have game and I would strongly advise picking it up. Metro is certainly not perfect, but it has a lot of admirable qualities that are not often seen in the world of gaming. I myself thoroughly enjoyed Metro and can see myself playing through it once again on a harder difficulty sometime very soon.

Pros

- Challenging Experience

- Extreme Attention to Detail

- Fantastic Atmosphere

- Great Weaponry

Cons

- Terrible Voice Acting

- Inconsistent Models


SCORE:

8.3 / 10



Monday, March 11, 2013

Domain and Name Change

Due to the fact that Geeks on Games has recently been taken as a domain name, my blog's name has been changed to Glory to Gaming. A new domain is in the works and will be up anytime within the next couple of days. The new address will be www.glorytogaming.com. Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

8 Things I Want to See in the Next Tomb Raider


1. Duel Wielding:

In past Tomb Raider installments it was certainly no shock to be wiping out baddies while wielding two pistols. I would love to see this implemented once again in the near future. Given the way combat works in the reboot it may not be wise to see this as something that can be done all the time, but maybe a meter could be implemented and when full you can pull a second pistol from it's holster and blow your enemies away for a predetermined time. Bullet time may even be a nice addition to this feature.

2. A stronger cast:

In the reboot, Lara's character is stronger than ever. Part of the major draw in this installment is how alive and relateable she feels. Unfortunately the supporting roles in the game just don't have the same kind of presence as Lara. Of course we all know Lara is the hero of this story, but it would be nice if she didn't over shadow others to the point that they feel two dimensional. A stronger supporting cast would be a nice addition to the next Tomb Raider.

3. More challenging climbing puzzles:

Really using your noggin to figure out how to reach that ledge that seems unattainably high up was a big part of the series. And though the removal of these moments certainly improved the flow of the campaign, it would be nice to see some of these moments implemented as optional experiences. Some larger tombs to explore with more demanding puzzles would help to give a more rewarding experience to those who are looking for a bit extra in the challenge department.

4. No silencers:

Now, obviously Tomb Raider does not have any silencers for the game's fire arms. But this is a good thing. A really good thing. Not having silencers for guns is what keeps you returning to the bow throughout the game, keeping the balance of weaponry and allowing you to continue to enjoy using this primitive weapon which would be otherwise inferior.

5. More skills:

Tomb Raider certainly had some really cool skills, even more so than I had anticipated. But adding more would force players to make sacrifices and ultimately increase the game's replay value.

6. More suspenseful jumps:

A big part of the Tomb Raider series has always been about knowing Lara's limits. This is especially the case when it comes to jumping. There are certainly a few white knuckle moments where you are not sure you are going to make the jump in this new reboot, but this just doesn't happen often enough. These kind of jumps are a great way of upping the suspense and in a campaign that is already risking inducing a heart attack, more of these moments are more than welcome.

7. Blind fire:

Now this one just seems like a given. It is ludicrous to think that any game with a decent cover system shouldn't have blind fire. In this last installment Lara is just starting to blossom into the fearsome heroine that we all know, so it's easy to understand why she may not be up to speed on a technique such as this. But it would be great to be able to pump our enemies full of lead safely behind cover in the next installment.

8. Co-op:

This one would definitely be the bigger challenge out of the eight. But a co-op option for campaign would be a wonderful addition to the series. Bringing friends into the adventure could add a more varied and personal experience. If this could not be achieved, then at least provide some co-op mission options online. C'mon guys... throw us a bone here.


These are a few of the things I would personally like to see in the next Tomb Raider. Feel free to comment on what I have here or add some of your own opinions below.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tomb Raider Review (2013)


Crystal Dynamics' reboot of the world renowned franchise, Tomb Raider, brings the kind of white knuckle, over the top intensity that one would expect from a block bluster action flick. Throughout the entire game your palms will sweat. You will climb, jump, and fight your way through the stunningly beautiful yet malicious island that Lara Croft and her companions have found themselves stranded upon. This heart racing experience will keep you locked in your seat for hours on end as you further unravel the mysteries this island has to offer and get to know a young Lara at her darkest hour.


Spectacular visuals and fluid animations are in great abundance here.While passing rolling streams, breathing forests, and masterfully crafted terrain, it is all too easy to place mission objectives on the back burner while you take the time to simply soak in the scenery. Crystal Dynamics has gone to great lengths to produce a world teeming with vitality. The fruits of their labor have paid off as Tomb Raider has proven to be an unforgettably immersive experience.


 Lara's character development is a huge part of Tomb Raider and is so strong you can't help but feel that some of the story and supporting cast feel two dimensional in comparison. From the start players will watch as a fragile and young Lara overcomes demanding obstacles, enduring the pain that shapes her into the inspirational heroine we all know. Taking the reigns of this metamorphoses coerces the player into feeling invested in Lara. The emotional drive in Tomb Raider is a powerful weapon aimed straight at the hearts of gamers abroad. Tear jerking moments in conjunction with the game's non-stop, heart-pounding action helps to create a truly cinematic experience.

Tomb Raider's weaponry is lacking in abundance, but the arsenal provided is well refined. The bow, a new addition to the franchise, is one of the game's greatest features. Since none of the game's guns feature a silencer attachment, you will find the bow consistently useful instead of falling behind as more fire-arms become available. Choosing what weapon is right for you when faced with a given situation determines how the interaction will play out. Players that prefer a stealthier approach are able to utilize the game's open environments and intuitive cover system to dispatch enemies in an inconspicuous manner. Players that prefer a more straight forward approach will find an immense amount of enjoyment in observing interactions between enemy AI as they work together strategically in an attempt to flush the player out from cover.


Being heavily rooted in platforming, it is tremendously important that Tomb Raider plays as well as it looks. So it's a good thing that Crystal Dynamics' reboot has some of the most solid game-play to date. Maneuvering through difficult terrain and averting heavy gun-fire feels natural and seamless. Tomb Raider's graceful animations meld harmoniously with its astounding playability, solidifying the game's immersion while diminishing any obstruction to its impeccable flow.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time with Tomb Raider's invigorating yet short lived campaign and found myself returning for another play-through twice more. Aside from a few minor bugs (such as Lara's ponytail infrequently playing hide and seek) Tomb Raider is a flawless work of art that should hold a place in every respectable gamer's library.












Pros

- Great Flow

- Action Packed

- Amazing Character Development

- Responsive Controls

- Stunning Visuals

- Immersive Gameplay and Story

Cons

- Minor Bugs


SCORE:

9.7