Tag: success

Destiny 2: Forsaken/Black Armory – The Destiny I’ve Been Begging For … Kind Of.

Destiny 2: Forsaken/Black Armory – The Destiny I’ve Been Begging For … Kind Of.

Introduction

Destiny has been an up and down rollercoaster ever since the first game was released back in 2014. Many people even equating it to an abusive relationship, and I can’t really blame them. Bungie hasn’t necessarily done itself any good. If Destiny 2’s launch state wasn’t bad enough, the following DLCs (Curse of Osiris & Warmind) were absolutely terrible. With poor story telling, short and dull missions, and lazy new game mechanics. It wasn’t looking good for Destiny, to say the least. Activision doesn’t even consider the game a success, and that’s never good to hear from your publisher.

Now despite all of these truths, I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t enjoying my time playing Destiny 2: Forsaken. Yes, I’m well aware that it is mirror to what Bungie did back in Destiny 1 for The Taken King. However, after putting a fair amount of time into this new expansion, I can safely say that now is a perfect time to return to Destiny 2. The story is far superior to last two, the new game mechanics are great (with some minor flaws), the new raid added is amazing, the new loot is worth the grind, random roles are back (kind of), and I actually feel good about the Annual Pass (kind of).

In this review I’ll be giving a brief run down of my thoughts on Destiny 2: Forsaken thus far, and will be including my thoughts on The Black Armory as well. This review will also contain some spoilers here and there. So if you for any reason haven’t played Forsaken yet, and you’re wanting to experience it for yourselves, please leave now. Spoiler Alert Ahead! With that all being said, let’s get started.

The Story

Forsaken starts us off with a distress call from Petra Venj. She’s just informed us that there is a riot going on at the Prison of Elders, and she needs help getting everything under control. So, with the help of Cayde-6, we descend deep into the prison to assist Petra in restoring order. However, as the riots continue, explosions are caused which begin setting off chain reactions throughout facility. Letting out some prisoners better kept locked away. Regardless, after fighting your way through wave after wave of enemies, you and Cayde manage get the security systems back online. All seems well, until Petra discovers high-value inmates missing from their cells.

She informs Cayde that there is an airlock on one of the bottom decks, and believes that is where they’re going to escape. So Cayde, being the man he is, decides plunge his way down to the bottom of the prison. Using the dangling security hub as a makeshift one-way elevator. Soon as he hits the bottom, he is immediately surrounded by several tough looking Fallen prisoners. Soon as they spot him, they send their underlings after him, and what begins is an absolutely spectacular scene of Cayde-6 in action.

I won’t go into too much detail here, because you need to see it to truly enjoy it. As the fighting dies down, Cayde is worn out and beat. He pulls out his Ghost in need of a pick-me-up. However, before he is given that chance, one of the Fallen inmates (who has now perched himself in a high spot) snipes his Ghost, killing it instantly. Without Cayde’s ghost, there is no where left for him to run. The Fallen prisoners defeat him, and the inmate in-charge of the group, Uldren Sov, deals the final blow. Killing Cayde with his own Ace of Spades.

From this moment onward, your Guardian along with Petra Venj, are both out for blood to avenge Cayde-6. In rush of rage, the two of you invade The Tangled Shore, and with the help of Spider, you track down the Fallen Barons who were responsible for the death of your fellow Guardian. With each of the Barons dead and gone, you make your way for Uldren, only to find a dark truth. Uldren had been seduced by a manifestation of his sister, Mara Sov, into believing he could bring her back. Instead, he unleashed a greater evil unto this realm. The Ahamkara known as Riven.

A mystical, dragon-like beast who was taken by Oryx during the Taken War. She was the Awoken’s greatest ally, and now, she has become their ultimate curse. As we finish Uldren, we begin our journey into the Dreaming City, a paradise created for Riven. As a means to conceal her from the outside world. However, this paradise was short lived when the Taken War began, and Oryx had invaded the Dreaming City. In the process, he took Riven, and she was now a Taken Ahamkara.

At this point, the players are given one task: Drive deep into the heart of the Dreaming City, find Riven, and grant the Queen her Last Wish; Killing Riven.

The Gameplay

(Mostly) Everything that many people have been asking from Bungie was finally brought here in this new expansion and the Black Armory DLC. Destiny 2 Forsaken has random rolls, better loot drops, more challenging raids, better XP gains, more adventurous quests, better told lore, and visually spectacular new environments. It’s also given players so much more to do. With weekly clan bounties now added in, weekly challenge completions that grant players with “Powerful Gear”, weekly flashpoints on different planets, weekly bounties for the Dreaming City and helping the Queen defeat Riven, two new raids (The Last Wish & Scourge of the Past), and a new PvPvE multiplayer mode (Gambit).

We were also gifted with a new third skill tree with each of our Supers. Warlocks were given Nova Warp (which turns you into a spectral ghost that moves quickly and kills any enemy instantly with one attack), Well of Radiance (which creates a ring around wherever the well is planted, it heals all members of the fireteam within it, and it also grants them a slight damage buff), and Chaos Reach (Kamehameha … that’s it … that’s Chaos Reach). On the other hand, Hunters were given Spectral Blades (which turns the hunter into an invisible assassin with dual blades), Blade Barrage (which takes the regular solar hunter knife times twenty and making them explosive … AND making them be thrown everywhere), and Whirling Guard (which takes the Arc Staff and makes it deflect attacks, and the damage of any attack deflected is tripled). Finally, the Titans were granted Banner Shield (which a shield that absorbs damage from enemies while your fireteams works on dealing damage), Siege Hammer (which is a much larger flame hammer that attacks people with flame tornadoes, which is always fun), and Thundercrash (which turns your Titan into an Arc Meteor, and you get to control where they land).

Each of these new Supers also come with their own perks, but if you wanna know more about the details, I’ll leave that for you all to find out on your own. Needless to say, these new gameplay mechanics for D2 definitely made the game more both challenging and enjoyable. At least for me.

The Complaints

While I absolutely love this new expansion, there are a few minor things that kind of ruin the experience for me. Mainly, the PvP aspect. I simply don’t enjoy it that much, because it mostly revolves around luck. It’s similar to Call of Duty’s PvP, where whoever shoots first is usually the one to win. This is especially true when you’re going against a player who is using Sleeper Simulant, Nova Warp, Queen Breaker’s Bow, etc. (aka “One Hit Kill” attacks). Typically I don’t really mind one hit attacks, but when you have little to no chance to recover or react, it kind of gets really annoying.

We had this issue when Gambit first came out. Everyone was using Sleeper. It was just the best weapon to have. When you got heavy ammo, you got enough rounds to wipe the whole enemy team. Also, the gun is one hit on impact, no matter what part of the body you hit. So if you’re invading, it’s basically required that you use Sleeper, or you have you’re super ready. However, it has to be a Super that kills quickly.

While we’re on the topic of Gambit, the game mode itself has it’s problems. Main one, at least for me, is how fast the invasion portal comes back. I understand the need for it, but the frequent use of it is crazy. You’ll have players constantly invading every 30 seconds while your team is trying to kill your Primeval. I understand it being a way for the enemy team to catch up if they’re behind, but at the same time, there should be a bit of a longer cooldown before invading.

On top of that, I believe Primeval’s should be more challenging. Instead of just shooting, there should be some Raid-like mechanics put into it. Maybe you have to complete some sort of puzzle or kill a certain enemy in order to make the boss vulnerable. Something that adds a little bit of uniqueness to the fight. Making each boss feel different. A good example is the Primeval you need to kill for the Malfeasance Quest. That is a unique boss that you can fight. The rest are just Taken enemies with nothing special about them. You just shoot them.

The Black Armory

An interesting idea, but not quite executed well. I didn’t necessarily like how difficult it was at launch. I felt it was a little unforgiving with a very low time limit and a drastic increase in difficulty. I don’t mind difficulty, but please try to give everyone a chance. Don’t release a DLC that no one can play Day One. However, since the release, they have fixed a lot to make the game more bearable. More time will be granted (one second per kill) and the decreased the level so more people could attempt the forge.

Aside from that, the Black Armory DLC is alright. Doesn’t necessarily do much for the story, and is kind of just more lore tacked on to the back story of Destiny. Good loot though so, can’t really complain. Haven’t sat down and attempted the Raid yet, so I can’t fully review this yet. You’ll hear about that sometime in the future.

In Conclusion

All in all, Forsaken and Black Armory are two things in Destiny 2 that we needed. Without them, this game would simply be left in the dust. Forgotten to time. It finally gives players a reason to play Destiny. Before, we had little to no quests to do, no raids worth completing, no quests worth doing, but now, things are better. Things are more enjoyable. We can finally have fun on Destiny 2 again. It’ll never be perfect, but it is nice to know things are looking up.

I only hope that this the start of better things to come.

 

 

 

Why Left 4 Dead 2 is one of the greatest Zombie Survival games of all time!

Why Left 4 Dead 2 is one of the greatest Zombie Survival games of all time!

Introduction

Zombie games have gotten themselves a bad reputation as of late. They’ve just become a saturated market where they all feel the same now. State of Decay 2 and Metal Gear Survive both seem like pretty bland, low effort Zombie Survival games. Its really unfortunate to see how much they’ve gone down the tubes. Especially years after the release of Dying Light; and while that game didn’t have the greatest story, the gameplay was fantastic. I really enjoyed the parkour elements, I loved the melee combat, and loved the open world. Especially when the released The Following, making the world bigger. However, it never was as great as this one. The one zombie game that I still play even to this day. The one game that I’ve cherished forever. That game … is Left 4 Dead 2.

This game is a Zombie Survival game, done right. This was during the Golden Age of Turtle Rock Studios. I absolutely enjoyed this game for it’s gameplay, it’s story, it’s characters, and it’s level design. This game forces you to work as a team in an environment filled with hundreds of thousands of zombies. From common infected to special infected, you’ve got to fight your way through the horde to make it from point A to point B. It may seem like a simple objective, but its the journey that makes it a challenge and what makes the game more fun. You’ll have moments when you feel like you’re in the clear and alone, but then you’ll hear that familiar tune, and you’ll have a Boomer ambush your group and cause a horde to attack you guys.

There is so much to say about this game, so let’s talk about it!

Story

Now, this game’s story sounds very simplistic on the surface. You play as one of four survivors. Either Rochelle, Coach, Nick, or Ellis. These characters each have their own unique personalities and backstories. Rochelle was a news reporter, Coach was (obviously) a former High-School football coach, Nick was a gambler and con-artist, and Ellis was a junior mechanic. As you play through the game, you get a brief mention of the backstory of each of the characters. This can be heard through the dialogue segments that you can hear when your in safe rooms.

As the game progresses, you begin share this bond with these characters. The AI makes these guys feel real when you play alone. The other survivors have your back all the way. They will heal you and they will provide you with buffs to help keep you going and keep you safe. So long as you guys stick together, you’ll be an unstoppable force.

Now back to the story. As I’ve said before, it’s very simplistic. If you look at it on the surface, you main objective is to go from point A to point B. However, once you start digging deep into the lore of this world. Reading the graffiti on the walls of the safe rooms, scouring the environment, and listening to the characters speak. Doing all this will begin to unravel the deep lore of this universe. This is what Valve has always been really good at. Keeping the story ambiguous and leaving the player to make up their own thoughts and theories on how everything happened.

It’s what Valve has done with all their titles. Hell, even Team Fortress 2 has a deep and rich lore, but that’s a story for another day. The point is, this game’s story is purposefully ambiguous so the player can think of how things went down on their own. While part of me would like a codex (because I love a good codex), I do think this is the best way to have a story told in a Zombie Survival game. Leave the player to figure things out as the game progresses so they can be immersed into the world.

Gameplay

This is where Left 4 Dead 2 shines brighter. It’s gameplay. There is a lot to discuss on this part of my review. We’ll mostly be discussing the basics here, but if you want to learn more, definitely check out the Wiki where it’s all explained. First, let’s discuss the team work aspect. As I’ve previously stated, this game REQUIRES team work! You’ll never be able to traverse through this game on your own. This game throws wave after wave of common infected at you, and also the random ambushes from special infected. You need to work and communicate as a group in order to make it to the next safe room.

Now to combat. There are two weapon types in this game. Firearm weapons and melee weapons. Melees help you out in close quarters combat. Great against hordes of common infected. Firearms are useful for long range attacks. Very useful when dealing with special infected like Spitters and Smokers. There are 22 weapons that are a mix sidearms, rifles, shotguns, and machine guns. There’s also 11 melee weapons that (while they may act the same) feel different between each one. Killing zombies with a Katana or Baseball Bat feels truly satisfying.

On to the zombies. I’ve already mentioned this earlier, but there are two zombie types in this game. Common Infected and Special Infected. Common Infected are your average zombies. They pose no real threat unless they’re in a horde. There are different types like Hazmat Infected, Construction Infected, Scavenger Infected, Mudmen, and more, but they all pretty much act the same as Common Infected. Then there’s the Special Infected, and they’re the deadlier type. The different types are Hunters, Spitters, Smokers, Jockeys, Boomers, Chargers, Witches, and Tanks.

Spitters spit pools of acid at the survivors, and the survivors will take more damage over time. Hunters will ambush survivors, and will pounce on one of them dealing as much damage as possible before they’re killed. Tanks will randomly appear. They’re basically Arnold Schwarzenegger on super steroids times ten. They’re a mindless ripped infected that will deal tons of damage to the survivors, and literally throw chunks of concrete at them try to knock them down. Watch out for this one. They can literally wipe your entire group.

Finally, the map design. This I think is one of the best thing about Left 4 Dead when it comes down to gameplay. The many different environments that you journey though have so much variety, that it’s advised that you do some exploring. There are so many areas of the game that have little weapon caches or even just some nice melee weapons for you to collect. Killing Scavenger Infected will sometimes give you med kits, pills, or even pipe bombs, searching homes can have ammo supplies and weapons waiting for you to collect, and all these features help make the world feel more alive. It rewards players who search around the different maps.

Community

This is game is turning nine-years-old this year, and the community is still continuing to thrive. While it might be a little dead on console, it’s continuing to slowly grow on PC through the Steam Workshop. Where some of the most talented gamers come to share their artistic and programming skills. Some exceptionally well made mods exist on the Workshop. Mods from popular shows/movies/games like Halo, RWBY, Star Wars, etc. Its one of the many things that makes me keep coming back to L4D2. Always wanting to see the amazing things the community has made.

There’s also the great Multiplayer this game has. From Scavenger, to Mutated, and to Versus, this game does it’s multiplayer well! Especially when you crank the difficulty to realism, for an even tougher experience. This game has some of the best moments when playing online. Interacting and competing with other players is a blast, and one of the many enjoyable experiences with this game. Allowing players the ability to play as the Special Infected is crazy. Playing as Hunters, Smokers, or even as the almost unstoppable Tank is super fun.

The Community is the one thing that continues to keep this game alive.

In Conclusion

Buy this game if you can. It’s only $20 right now and definitely worth every cent. Or if you can’t get it now, wait for a Steam Sale. I don’t care, but if you’re an avid PC Gamer, then it is your duty to seek out this game and add it to your library. I promise you, you’ll love Zombie games again playing this with your friends. Without a doubt. I’ve invested over a hundred hours into this game with my buddies both on PC and Console, and each experience was always memorable for me.

This is one of those games that I’ve unironically given a 10/10. It’s literally on the same level as games like Half-Life and System Shock 2 where it’s practically perfect minus a few minor things wrong, but the good parts of L4D2 truly out way the bad in the best way possible. I highly recommend you buy this masterpiece of a Zombie game. Trust me, you will not find any Zombie Survival game like it on the market. I truly believe that it is the one that dominates them all.

 

It’s Open Season, Hunters!

It’s Open Season, Hunters!

Just wanted to give my quick thoughts on the game thus far. Monster Hunter World already has me hooked. From it’s combat, to it’s environment, to it’s new in-game mechanics, and even it’s story. I’m fully ready to see what wonderful things this epic game has to offer. Honestly, this game is a huge breathe of fresh air. In a market where gaming is under heavy fire for predatory micro-transactions, miscommunication between the developers and consumers, and even corporate monoliths revealing just how greedy they really are. It brings a smile to my face when I can finally sit down and play a good, well made game. I can enjoy wanting to work my ass fighting fierce beasts in order to craft epic armor and weapons. I can admire the world and story to my content through the game’s codex. I can spend hours with my friends fighting giant monsters and truly feel a sense of pride and accomplishment when completing difficult tasks.

Monster Hunter World so far is an incredibly fun experience. It’s a game not just for hardcore MH fans, but for people who are new to the franchise. It’s a brilliant edition to the franchise, and one I will be doing a more in-depth review on sometime down the road. If you’re at all interested, I highly recommend it. Definitely worth a buy!