Tag Archives: Game Review

Game Review: Fallout 76

by Joshua Blake

Fallout 76 dropped worldwide today, as a role-playing game and the first in the series to be playable online. Fallout 76 is the ninth game in the Fallout series and serves as a narrative prequel to the series.https---blogs-images.forbes.com-insertcoin-files-2018-06-fallout-76-2.jpg

Just like all Fallout games before it, Fallout 76 takes place in post-nuclear America in the year 2102, which is the earliest year that has been playable in the Fallout series. Fallout 76 takes the same RPG elements that it has been known for and moves it to an online setting.

Since Fallout 76 creates an online experience, the games developer – Bethesda – has announced that the only people you will encounter in a game will be other online players. Therefore, there are no friendly NPCS to speak of within the game and according to IGN this decision makes the game feel eerily quiet and dead, even for a world that has experienced nuclear devastation.

IGN also reports that they have experienced a lot of glitches and bugs that are game- breaking throughout their play testing. With the beta that was released, a lot of IGN’s criticisms were still present. Through my play-through of the beta the world felt truly utterly dead.

The decision to have no NPCS in the game makes the game feel extremely isolated. The graphics are also subpar, as there are constant frame rate drops and crashing. As the beta stands, right now Fallout 76 is a very mediocre game.

The reason I say it is mediocre is because there is fun to be had exploring the wasteland with your friends, but that feature is overshadowed by its many flaws. The lack of NPCS not only hinders the open world experience, but it also kills the game from a narrative standpoint, if you can even say there is one.

This beta is not like other betas, because the full game is available to play for a limited time. This means that someone, if dedicated, could complete the entire game if they wanted to. Since the full game can be played, I have spent some time playing through the main story and the narrative is very poorly told.

With no NPCS, the only way you can complete quests is to get the from different terminals you find across the world. This is because the quest is given by a terminal from a person who we don’t even know is instructing us to do some task, but the problem is that the character who wrote this is long gone and gives the player no reason to complete the quest.

To put it simply, there is no desire to complete quests because there is nobody to help. In previous Fallout games, the player had desire to complete quests because they centered around player choice and they are given the option to either help the person in need or to look out only for themselves. Fallout 76 doesn’t give the player that option because of the lack of NPCS.

Fallout 76 is a highly anticipated game that finally brings the franchise to an online setting. The game is extremely fun to play with friends and to explore the wasteland together, but there are elements missing from previous Fallout games that hinder the overall experience. The lack of NPCS and the subpar graphics ruin the game and completely change the Fallout 76 experience.

As the game stands right now, I would say that this game is not worth the $60 that the game is selling for. There are too many problems with the game that are apparent in the beta that make it hard to justify the $60 asking price. The game has many problems that are seen in the beta that ruin the overall experience, but hopefully the correct changes are made that can make Fallout 76 the Fallout game we want to experience with our friends.

Game Review: Red Dead Redemption 2

by Kyle Moats

Red Dead Redemption 2 was released this past Friday to the masses as one of the most highly-anticipated games of the past year. I had the pleasure to sit down and really dive deep into this massive game this weekend.

Throughout my play-through, I was taken aback by how much this game had to offer and how many activities there are to explore. I could not take my eyes away from the screen, as every little detail kept adding another dimension to an already expansive game.

As you enter into the game, on of the first things you notice is how beautiful and eye-appealing this game is. Whether it’s the vast desert plains of New Hanover, the swampy marsh lands of Saint Denis, or even the snow filled mountains of the Grizzlies, the attention to detail is stunning.

Another selling point for me was how historically accurate the protagonists fill out their roles as gang members in a dying business. Whether it’s having to change into different styles of clothes depending on what the weather will be or just the trees blowing in the rough wind, Rockstar Games wanted to not just make you feel as you were just playing the game, but were in the game.

Another amazing thing about this game is the customization features. You can customize everything from your hats, shoes, shirts, pants, jackets, facial hair, hair, and even your holsters. The combinations are endless, and you keep unlocking more as you progress through the game. I found myself toying with this mechanic for hours, just seeing what my character looks like in different outfits.

In addition to all this, eating, bathing, and self-grooming comes into play. If you do not eat enough, you will become underweight, which negatively affects your health. If you eat too much you, will become fat and overweight, which greatly affects your stamina.

Horse grooming is also a huge deal. If you do not regularly brush and feed your horse, it’s health will slowly decline and your bond and relationship with the animal will greatly decrease.

Moving on from these features, the plot is utterly fantastic. The characters are portrayed beautifully, and all have very unique attitudes and characteristics that set them apart from anyone else in the game. Even characters with little roles still impact what goes on throughout the story and in side missions. They also look world-weary, as they are fully accustomed to life in the 1890s.

Their grammar and slang is spot on with the time, as well as their problems. Many of the problems in the game can be directly correlated to what it is like to live a life of crime at this time and the pitfalls and benefits of it.  

So far, I have had no concerns or issues with this game. Every time I sit down and play I know I am going to be in for a good time. For those of you who are still on the fence about buying this game, I would say it is completely worth it and definitely a brand new experience even to the most veteran of gamers. 

 

Spider-Man Swings to a 10/10

by Nick Hernandez

Marvel’s Spider-Man was under development by Insomniac Games for over 3 years. On September 7th, 2018, fans were finally able to get their hands on the video game upon its highly anticipated release.

The PS4 exclusive game was critically acclaimed, earning outstanding support from large game reviewers such as IGN and GameSpot, rating it 8.7 and 9 out of 10 respectively.

The game received enormous amounts of hype on multiple social media outlets and fans were thrilled by all the creativity and ingenuity being put into it. The game truly lived up to all the hype and anticipation brought on it and proved to be well-worth the wait. It has been noted that the amount of detail in the game is evident, as its realistic portrayal of real-life city spaces shows that every detail had intention. Insomniac knew precisely what they were doing during their creation.

Containing over 20 hours of in-game missions and levels, gamers were kept busy by all the opportunities of campaign play and mini-games that were integrated across many areas of the virtual New York City.

Many iconic villains from the Spider-Man franchise were seen both in Story Play and Side Missions. Foes such as Doctor Octopus and the Rhino made appearances, as well as future villains such as the Green Goblin.

The fighting style of the Wall Crawler became highly praised and talked about amongst fans. From flips and kicks to his basic web-swinging throughout the city, the whole experience seemed almost surreal. There are so many possible things to do that it seems as though you’ll never get bored of completing missions like fighting crime or just simply exploring the enormous city.

In game, you are able to play as others characters and see how they grow throughout time. From the relationship between Peter Parker and aunt Mary Jane – to how the next Spider-Man, Miles Morales, came to be – there is so much to do and learn about each character. As a player, you notice the friendship between Spider-Man and the chief of police, Yuri Wantanabe, grow stronger over time. You also get to see how Peter reacts to helping out his Aunt May and the people he meets when not donning the red and blue suit.

As a sort of nod to future games and the evolution of the Marvel Gaming Universe, many other heros and characters can be seen in game and as “Easter Eggs.” Some of these characters include Doctor Strange, Sandman, Daredevil and Black Cat. It seems as though Insomniac and Marvel plan to produce sequels to this game or maybe introduce further iterations in other hero games such as Iron Man.

Overall, the game was well-liked by most all gamers who played and with proper reason, it is truly a great game. The visuals exceeded all expectations and every element of the game abides by perfect creation. Fighting is fast and intense, yet could be taken slowly and missions were creative, yet challenged all those who played.  

 

A+E: The downfall of the Madden franchise

by Joshua Blake

Micro-transactions are extremely controversial in the current gaming world, as games such as Fortnite and Madden thrive off these in-game purchases.

Madden ’19 is the newest installment for the franchise, and became available on all platforms August 10th. After spending countless hours on this game, I can confidently say that I am beyond disappointed in this years addition.

Electronic Arts’ (EA) lack of effort with this game is evident, as there is next to nothing different from last year’s installment. It looks and plays almost identically to last year’s Madden. The game is filled with countless bugs and glitches and an absurd amount of micro-transactions, which is not new for Madden.

Micro-transactions are extremely controversial in the current gaming world, as games such as Fortnite and Madden thrive off these in-game purchases.

The game lacks new, quality features that should’ve been added to the franchise and instead gives you the same game as last year, just with slightly improved graphics and a new roster. Madden ’19 overall is a low quality football game.

Madden’s biggest problem is it’s straight up price just to purchase the game. It costs $60 up front for the game or $80 if you chose to buy the Hall of Fame edition. After you pay the $60 the game is yours, but the game pursues you to spend extra cash on MUT coins and cash, which is in-game currency.

These coins are used in the Ultimate Team game mode – the most popular mode played by many – and with these coins you can purchase player packs that are essentially slot machines and you have to hope to get a good player for your ultimate team. Most likely, you won’t get a good player as it is highly unlikely because it’s all based on chance and computer programmed. You don’t have to spend money on MUT coins as they can be earned by playing the game, but this can be a slow and tedious process and is made faster by coughing up some money.

Another flaw I found in the game were the various bugs and glitches in my playthrough of Madden ’19. There were small glitches like players not having their helmets on and players not picking up the football while on the ground. There were also some more noticeable bugs such as the game crashing or earning a touchdown and it being called a safety by the refs. These kinds of game breaking glitches should not be present in a final game worth $60-80.

Some positive notes about this year’s Madden is the franchise is on it’s second year running on the high-tech Frostbite engine, and it shows. This is by far the best Madden game to date from an aesthetic point of view. Madden’s Ultimate Team mode is an enjoyable mode at times as it is probably the best game mode present despite the annoyance of the MUT coins.

The most shocking thing I found about Madden ’19 wasn’t the game itself, but the reviews it was getting from various gaming outlets. IGN gave the game an 8.9/10 and GameSpot gave it an 8/10. Once I saw this, I had to truly ask myself “did they play the same game I did?” This game isn’t more than a 5/10 with all of its flaws let alone an 8.9/10. This is absurd that a game that pretty much copies and pastes it’s previous game with little to no improvement and still charge $60 get almost a 9/10.

For the Madden franchise to improve in the future, I believe that the best thing to do is to make it a free-to-play game. Now, before you say anything, let me explain. Madden’s Ultimate Team game mode alone is worth $800 million annually, according to gameindustry.biz. $800 million seems like enough money for the company to make Madden a free-to-play gaming experience and then depend on micro-transactions.

To all the Madden fans out there who love to play the game, my advice to you is to just stick with Madden ’18 as it plays exactly like Madden ’19 and you can update the rosters to get the teams up-to-date. Most importantly, just updating your roster will definitely save you money.