Well oh well, back to work! I must say I had a wonderful family getaway in the beautiful waters of Me-he-co in the form of scuba and it was as calming as it was amazing. After last week’s insightful yet brief update with Mr. Robert Bowling and his prestigious self, I feel it necessary to follow up with a posting that one might consider . . . “substantial.” However, considering the sheer amount of talent that this site is currently intaking in the form of moar writers, I would be remiss to encourage anyone to think that my uploads could match the output of my fellow editors. Now, for the moment that you’ve had to wait an entire paragraph for, what is project warpath? In a sentence, it’s a six-set review-athon where certain games will be critiqued on both their own terms and against one another. Let’s meet our contestants . . .
Here’s the deal, Infinity Ward does not need to be told more than the billion times they’ve already been informed that the franchise needs a fix. With all the shrieks and cries of noobish tragedies at the hands of god-mode shotguns and hacked FAMAS’s, it’s no secret that Robert Bowling and Co. have had their work cut out for them these past 2 years. I look forward to the triumphant return of fresh Spec Ops missions, a thrilling campaign, and (of course) multiplayer mayhem. As for holding its own against its “competitors,” you will soon realize why I find it doubtful that MW3′s semi-realistic, yet delightful, mix of BLAM and POW can only hold out for so long. I think Saints Row the Third would be inclined to agree . . .
To put it plainly, this franchise puts the “!!!” in “HOLY SHIT!!!” If it had a motto, it would be something like “all for fun, and fun for all.” Cheesy, yeah, but there’s really no other way to describe it. Everything about this game screams of a developer with no priority above dicking around . . . literally (google: saints row dildo bat ^_^). If you’re the kind of person that wants MOAR out of your gaming, then this is good place to start. On November 15th, prepare yourself for a free-roaming world set on fire by Call of Duty-esque air strikes, a city brought to its knees by your unyielding autocracy, and plan to double the trouble with a brilliantly implemented online co-op. Still, we all agreed that BLAM and POW is not always enough. Isn’t that right . . . Ezio Auditore Da Firenze?
Readers that have been with my “presentations” for some time now will recall that I am not what one would consider a fan of this franchise after our favorite, heavily-accented assassin went from hero to zero in the last Creed outing. What some people may fail to understand is that I had long since accustomed myself to Mr. Ezio playing like a parkour (free-running) steamroller from Assassin’s Creed II instead of an everyday bystander needlessly thrashing about with a pair fancy switchblades in Brotherhood. To be fair, Brotherhood’s added layer of technicality was indeed appreciated after the uber-accesssbile and almost TOO simplified gameplay that Creed II provided. Furthermore, the revelations that await, the story to be continued, the characters at stake, and the scores to be settled leave no doubt that there may be no better time for Ezio and his band of brothers to take their rightful place in the Warpath to come. That is, until something “shocking” happens . . .
After wisely dodging the multiplayer-hyped follow-up to its plot-twisting predecessor, there was an uncertainty as to whether I’d ever aspire to play a Bioshock game again. Thankfully, the developers thought the same and decided to start from scratch and up, up, and away from all the underwater blah blah. To say that Bioshock Infinite is aiming high would be an understatement. More appropriately, Irrational Games (the developer) is rolling the dice with this one. With nowhere to go but down (no pun intended) it can only be hoped that whatever story-telling/gameplay trickery that is brought to the forefront will hold up under all the expectation. After all, how bad can it be up in the sky and above all the BLAM and POW below? Maybe, the sky really is the limit for this franchise? To take it to the next level, why not to the stars? Ya know, with a lightsaber . . .
Talk about expectations. Before I became a Mass Effect maniac, there was Knights of the Old Republic and it remains one of the greatest games I’ve ever played. With the Old Republic series taking to the MMO side of RPG, it looks as if Bioware aims to shake things up a bit. While I personally have had very minute experience with World of Warcraft-ish RPG-ing, I eagerly look forward to this next-year release in all its Star Wars glory. There’s very little to be said about this title as only the smallest of details have been scattered about the internet; however, all that’s been seen definitely hints at an epic in the making. So, with all the hooplah thus far, you may start to wonder if there could possibly be ANYTHING that could hold its own against such potential blockbusters let alone maintain the Warpath of dominance into the releases that follow. Well, I’m glad you asked . . .
I only wish this post could contain the anticipation I have for this goliath of gaming. No doubt everyone uniquely defines what they consider to be good/bad/great gaming but Mass Effect is truly in a league of its own. Where some games barely hold a story together, Mass Effect masterfully crafts epics with beautiful pace and stylish flair. Where some titles struggle to maintain continuity, Mass Effect allows the player to directly transfer decisions and plot elements from prequel-to-sequel to ensure that story never falters into irrelevance. Where most games barely get by with shallow finales, Mass Effect raises the stakes more than ever and continues to incorporate player input in the midst of life-and-death scenarios that could either reveal a shroud of hope or mark the beginning of the end. Make no mistake, I expect NOTHING to stand in the way of Commander Shepard’s Warpath. As much as I would love to be proven wrong (hell, even if only surprised) the problem is . . . I don’t think it’s possible.
Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “WHAT?!? NO SKYRIM OR BATTLEFIELD 3?!?” Let me assure you that I couldn’t agree more that the people behind both these soon-to-be successful launches deserve all the praise they can get. However, my focus lies elsewhere and I won’t have the drive (or time) to put enough input into either of these fine products to be able to give them an honest critique. For now, the first on the Path will be MW3. As time goes on post-MW3′s launch and critique, I will begin to judge its standing amongst its peers and eventually see how it ends up after all is said and done. To make it interesting, I’m considering attempting this project in the form of video reviews. A little editing here, there, and we’ve got ourselves a good show. Look forward to more SIYM’s in the future and, as always, Powah to the players!
-Fifth Fleet Out-