The Call of Duty franchise has been in existence for 10 years now, taking the player through the battlefields of the past, present, and near-future. Like clockwork every November, Call of Duty amasses metric tonnes of money for its publisher, Activision. Modern Warfare 3 has sold over 26 million copies since its release in 2009. Black Ops II in 2012 grossed over $500 million within 24 hours of going on sale, a record for the largest entertainment launch of all time that clung to until September of this year when GTA V took the crown (which, in case you didn’t know, we reviewed over here a few weeks back). And news is that Call of Duty: Ghosts, the latest main installment in the series, pulled in a ego-inflating $1 billion in a single day. That’s not sales to customers though, rather to the stock sold to the retailers. Still, Call of Duty is a very large, hugely-uddered cash cow that seemingly isn’t going to run out of milk any time soon. And I’ve not suckled at its teat…until now (Ed: That’s a very disturbing metaphor you’ve got there). Did the experience leave a bad taste in my mouth? (Ed: You’re not making things better.) Find out after the jump.
Yar, mateys! Tis time to sail the seas, buckle our swashes, and walk the planktons with our jolly rogered crew (Ed: erm…) The assassins have taken to the seas and are getting dressed in their colourful apparel in Davy Jones’ Locker Room. Your trusty reviewer takes up his sword and blunderbuss and goes trawling the seas in search of loot and victims to assass. (Ed: That’s “assassinate”. Oh never mind. I can see I’m in for a tough job editing this review.)
Every now and again, a game comes along defies the genres. A game so mighty and amazing that you wonder where it has been all your life. A game, though based on either a film or a TV series, is so brilliant, so wonderful, so totally mindbendingly stunning, that you wonder what kind of magic brain-boosting coffee the developers were drinking. A game that is so funny it reduces you to tears. So emotional that it leaves you a gibbering wreck on the floor, controller in hand. Plankton’s Robotic Revenge is not that game. However, it does feature Spongebob SquarePants, so there’s that. Are you ready kids? I can’t HEAR you!
I wonder if David Cage revels in being different? His studio Quantic Dream makes games different (and differently) from their peers. With the 2010 psychological thriller Heavy Rain, the studio orchestrated a coming-together of video games and film noir. In 2012, Kara the short film showed off their advanced graphics and motion capturing technology. And in 2013, Beyond: Two Souls they create their own concept of a modern adventure game that not only places emphasis on the themes of love, loss, and consequence but gets an injection of super-natural action, a top-notch Hollywood cast, and a story that spans 15 years. Seems like a great setup then, but is this form of interactive movie worth your time and money?
I have a confession to make: despite being a gamer for so many of my years, I’ve never played a Grand Theft Auto game before now. So you’re getting the view of the game from the fresh eyes of someone who has never before visited San Andreas, or Chinatown, or Liberty City. Isn’t this exciting? So let’s see the sights of the city of Los Santos as I give you the grand tour of Grand Theft Auto V. Hope you’re strapped in tightly and sitting comfortably on your botty, because this ride is going to be a little…bumpy.
The PC version of Diablo 3 was released all the way back in May this year, and now finally the console version has made its appearance. In the game, you once again take on the Lords of Hell in an effort to bring some measure of peace to the world. I don my adventuring gear, take up my sword, my bow, and MY AXE to see what it took to slay evil once and for all.
Late last year, we reviewed the first reboot of the XCOM series of games, titled Enemy Unknown. The prequel to this game, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, while not a turn-based game, still retains some of the strategy elements while bringing you to the battlefield as a third-person shooter. Think XCOM meets Gears of War meets Mass Effect, all set in the early 1960s. Intrigued? Then read on.
Deadpool is everyone’s favourite “Merc with a mouth” and all-around anti-hero. If you’re not already aware of his existence in Marvel’s X-Men universe, you’ve got a lot of catching up to do, and a lot to look forward to. In any event, Deadpool now gets his very own video game courtesy of High Moon Studios. But is Deadpool all talk and no action? Or vice versa? Or verse vica? Let’s find out.
Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 is the sequel to the original Sniper: Ghost Warrior (Ed: Your observations are simply stunning in their accuracy.) and, while other FPS games tend to focus on fast action, teamwork, and hordes of enemies hell bent on filling you with so much lead that they could use you as a pencil, Sniper focuses on a single aspect of the FPS genre. Killing silently and efficiently. Preferably from a gooooood distance.
Lara Croft is back. Crystal Dynamics, best known for developing Legacy of Kain, were tasked with rebooting the venerable Tomb Raider series. Thanks to their efforts, we see a whole new side to the much-loved Lara Croft, and it’s “M” for mature.