Posts Tagged ‘ps3’

I Am Alive : : Don’t wait for The Last Of Us

I Am Alive is probably a game that you won’t ever play. The next 5 minutes will hopefully convince you otherwise. The simplicity of the game is what makes it such fun to play. For £8 you’re getting a single player experience that easily rivals that of the £40 titles out there at the moment. It’s certainly been the most enjoyable single player I have played in 2012. So what exactly makes it such a joy to play? Why should you not just wait for The Last Of Us? 

The opening hour is more or less of a climbing tutorial. In I Am Alive you have a stamina bar that slowly decreases as you traverse the terrain in front of you. Therefore, if you are acting like Nathan Drake for too long, then you’ll eventually fall. This makes the climbing sequences not only exciting but also challenging. Figuring out what path to take across (the George Washington?) bridge will act as a lovely tutorial for this.

These climbing sequences usually space out the main events of the story which see you meeting many people. Some need your help, some can help you but most just want to kill and loot your body. This part of I Am Alive is where the game comes into its own. You usually want to help those in need after you experience how difficult it is to stay alive (especially in the harder difficulties).

Every meeting with hostile civilians is dealt with differently than in previous encounters. That said, there is only ever one solution towards coming out alive after each encounter. These meetings with people pop up at a brilliant pace, you’re not waiting long between meetings but you’re waiting long enough to enjoy the other aspects of the game like climbing, scavenging and exploring. The variety between who you come across is also very refreshing.

It’s been a very long time that I’ve played a video game that had me thinking about what will happen even when I am not playing it. Most nights I often found myself thinking about how this man would find his family, which parts of the map I hadn’t explored and what I needed to scavenge for as soon as I resumed playing. It was nice to be so passionate about a single player game since I played the Uncharted series.

Scavenging is another part of I Am Alive that the producers seemed to have pulled off brilliantly. Your character starts off with nothing. Everything from water to camera batteries to first aid must be found. The rare items like bullets and adrenaline shots are usually found in hard to reach places. They often require the player either helping out a person in need or exploring a part of the map that does not tie in with the story line. That said, it is worth your time to go this extra mile. You see, an empty gun is handy to keep away people with a machete. But should you raise your gun towards someone who also has a gun, then expect to die, quickly. Should you find yourself cornered by three enemies, you should shoot and kill the one person with a gun first and then aim your gun menacingly at his two friends that only have knives. They don’t know you just ran out of ammo and they sure ain’t going to call your bluff. Usually, you won’t ever have more than 1 or 2 bullets. Heck, most of the time you won’t have any. I vividly remember the time I managed to scavenge 5 bullets in the space of 15 minutes, I couldn’t stop screaming “5 F**KING BULLETS?!” The amount of power I had was silly. Like a school boy I ran into my next engagement as 4 men slowly cornered me. They were joking with one another about how I probably had nothing for them to loot and how my body would keep their fire warm that night. 3 seconds later they were all dead and I only had one bullet left. The regret seeped into me immediately….

The game later brings in other elements, like a bow and arrow in which you can pickup your arrow again after each use. This means you have unlimited ammo in one way, but can only use it effectively once per engagement. This brought a new element to the game as there were now numerous ways to deal with hostiles. Not only did I have my machete for close engagements but now I had 2 bullets and my bow and arrow?! Before the excitement got too much, I realised that now there was usually an extra person in each group of enemies and a couple of extra guns between them. This made each encounter much more difficult. Yet I must commend the game, the pacing is superb along with the increased difficulty as the game progresses.

I Am Alive is a game that far exceeded my expectations. When a game is only available on the PSN store for £8 you probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid. However, I Am Alive could be the most under-rated game of the last 5 years. Many people will unfortunately miss out on this experience due to its lack of coverage along with the release of The Last Of Us just around the corner. However, you will not be disappointed. It was, without a doubt, the best £8 I ever spent.

Call of Duty online has improved but it still needs balance.

There are two very different Call of Duty online experiences available to fans at the moment; Infinity Ward’s Modern Warfare or Treyarch’s Black Ops. Both of these have positive and negatives. Although the one thing to remember is that the online experience has done nothing but improve over the last 4 years.

I know most people will immediately argue that Call of Duty 4 still remains the greatest online shooter out of all instalments. Yet you cannot blame Treyarch or Infinity Ward for trying to extend this experience and improve it. Many fans will argue that nothing needs to be changed. Even I find that Cod 4 is probably the best out of the lot, although I wouldn’t want the companies to stop trying to expand the experience. This is something that will always be difficult given how great Cod 4 was. If Naughty Dog can do it with the Uncharted series, then everyone can.

What I want to highlight in this post are the differences between MW3 and Black Ops. Yes they were produced by different companies even though they both fall under the Call of Duty franchise. But both games have positives that can only shape future shooters for the better.

When I think of Black Ops I think of slower gameplay. Not Battlefield slow, just a lot less frantic than Mw2. In fact, it was more on par with the speed in Cod4, which in many people’s opinion was perfect. Black Ops was a more simple game than MW2, even though all that customisation gave it a facelift, it was more basic and more similar to Cod4. It rewarded good gun skill. Plain and simple. I do not remember ever being in a game that was ruined by air support or poor spawns or bad map layouts. Yes, the maps weren’t phenomenal and the guns not too exciting and the killstreaks nothing like as fun as those in MW2. But all this meant it was a more solid shooter.

Treyarch had also managed to vastly improve it’s game considering the last outing was in Call of Duty World at War. Even though I enjoyed this, World at War is considered to be the weakest of all Call of Duty games. Given the fact it was the first one released after the prestigious Cod4, it was never going to meet expectations.

However Black Ops brought something completely new to the table. For the time, game developers and community managers were listening to players. Fans voiced their opinions on sites as basic as Twitter and they saw the changes within weeks. Black Ops had patches. The game only improved after it was released. Over-powered guns were tweaked, spawns were improved, even joining parties became more stable.

You think of MW2 and the noobtubing and spawnkilling and headglitching and all the crap that game with the game. How easy it could have been to wipe all that clean and improve the game. Yet they were too stubborn back then and many fans label MW2 as a ‘broken’ game. It’s very difficult to go more the 5 games in MW2 without rage-quitting. Yes the pace was better (in my opinion) than Black Ops but the guns were too lethal and the killstreaks far too over-powered and easy to achieve. Black Ops improved all of this, but took too much of it away. They took away too much pace, too many killstreaks and too much lethality from the game.

MW3 arrived last November and managed to sell 6.5 million copies in just 24 hours. Over $400 million worth.

1.5 million people queued at midnight on Monday to grab a copy as soon as possible, myself included.

Black Ops only managed $360 million on the first day and MW2 just $310 million.

People forget that the vast majority of people simply have fun playing the game and enjoy it. However when you have this much exposure, the negatives will always manage to worm their way to the surface.

Cod4 sold 7 million copies worldwide over the last 4 years.

MW3 managed this in one day.

You can see how much less exposure the game had back then. it is obviously more difficult for the flaws of a game to appear when the fan base is smaller and very dedicated. Obviously it was still a massive game and appealed to millions of people, yet when you compare the figures of COD4 to MW3, the argument makes itself.

That all said, MW3 still has problems. The guns are far too lethal. There is still no map as exciting as Highrise, Favela or Terminal and you still get odd games that are ruined by overpowered air support.

But then to call in my counter-uav on that argument ( 😉 )- all these flaws are far less intense than they were in MW2.

I can go for longer without rage-quitting, there isn’t a bad map in the game and there is no gun as powerful as the UMP or Scar from MW2. Finally, Robert Bowling, the community manager for Infinity Ward and Modern Warfare 3 has started listening to his fans and taking on board what they are saying. For the first time, a modern warfare game has patches. Game chat has been improves, overpowered shotguns and machine pistols have been nerfed and spawns have been vastly improved. Even the new ‘Infected’ playlist that was released on the 5th February already received it’s first patch on the 6th February.

Modern Warfare is finally listening to it’s fans and taking on board what made previous games successful so that it can work towards becoming a better experience. That said, the community is finally becoming more mature in how it voices the opinions. You talk with intellect and reason, and they will listen to you. You act like a dick and call Robert Bowling a cocksucker- you will be ignored.

I loved black ops for its slower game play and consistently had an 8/10 experience on it. However, even though MW2 irritated me and left me screaming at the tv, it gave me moments of 10/10 excitement. I’ve never had as much fun on a game at times as i did with MW2. The same can be said for a lot of my friends. The flaws that made it unbearable at times are finally being recognised and altered. This window of pure rage every 4/5 games is getting smaller and smaller. The franchise is getting closer to releasing a “total” shooter.