Ben’s Tip of the Day: Get the Bulletstorm Demo!

Trust me when I say this, get the Bulletstorm Demo. It is amazing. In my opinion it is the most fun I’ve had on a demo since, probably the PS1’s demo discs. The whole laid back feel that it has going for it gives it a great experience as you don’t feel restricted to a certain action, even though it is just showing you the ropes. The skill shots are brilliant, with the variety and actions that can be performed at a staggering amount. Add me on Xbox Live and send me a message so I can try and beat your high scores… if I haven’t already…..

I’m so glad I’ve got my Epic Edition pre-ordered now ^_^

PS. I’m back. More blog posts coming up this week.
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First Impressions on Madden NFL 11

Madden NFL 11 is the latest of EA’s officially licensed American Football in a long line of annual installments. Madden NFL has improved year after year, and has definitely continued the tradition by adding some innovative new features, including “Gameflow” and the ability to use the Xbox Live headset as a Coach in your ear. Online team play is also included in the game.

Well, where to start with Madden? I suppose the best place to start is the exhibition match mode. You can choose any of the 32 NFL teams from the NFC or AFC, or any of the AFL teams, which, as compared to a game such as FIFA has over 30 Leagues to pick from, it makes a good addition. With gameflow enabled the game is able to run at a reasonable pace unlike in previous encounters I’ve had with Madden games.

The soundtrack of Madden 11 is amazing. Truly amazing. Here’s the listing of the original songs that are heard in-game:

  • AC/DC – Thunderstruck 
  • Archie Eversole – We Ready
  • Blur – Song 2
  • Bush – Machinehead
  • Guns N’ Roses – Welcome to the Jungle
  • Kevin Rudolf featuring Lil’ Wayne – Let It Rock
  • Kiss – Rock and Roll All Nite
  • Ozzy Osbourne – Let Me Hear You Scream
  • Ozzy Osbourne – Crazy Train
  • The Hives – Tick Tick Boom
  • Todd Rundgren – Bang the Drum
  • Ying Yang Twins featuring Homebwoi – Halftime

Also included in the soundtrack are “Team Fight Songs” such as “Bear Down Chicago Bears” and my personal favourite “Go Packers Go”.

The detail that EA have gone into on the character models is astounding.  The lighting has improved tremendously, even from last year’s game. The shadows on the field, the stands is brilliant. The improvements that have been made can be easily be seen in the screenshot from Madden 11 below.

The online for Madden has had a major update with there now being an up to 3v3 online team play mode that can be played with friends or by searching for a game online. The ultimate team mode that I have known from FIFA 09 is in this game, and the team’s that you create in this mode can be used in an online match, which is a great feature that I will need to test out as soon as someone on my friends list gets the game.

Overall, Madden 11 is the best American Football game to date in the franchise’s history. If you enjoy watching NFL, then this game is for you. If you want to get into the game, and learn what it’s all about, then this is a great stepping stone. I highly recommend this game to someone who is 50/50 on whether to get this game, as even if you struggle to get the game at first, it is very easy to pick up and play, and the Instant Replay mode will keep you occupied for hours.

First Impressions on Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood MP

I reckon that as Level 15 on Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood’s Multiplayer mode, I’m able to
give my views on the good and bad points of the Online Experience.

The premise of the multiplayer modes comes down to two different factors. How many points you can get for one kill, and how long can you hide for. These give off a certain amount of bonus points and add up at the end. The individual or team depending on the game type with the highest score at the end of the game wins. There are currently 6 different playlists live on Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood. Wanted, Manhunt, Alliance, and an Advanced Variant of the playlist which doesn’t tell you whether you enemy is above or below your position.

Wanted is an 8 player mode which puts all 8 Abstergo agents into a free for all environment in which you are given another player to hunt down and kill, whilst you have a target on your head. In theory, at the start of the game, P1 is hunting P2, P2 > P3, P3 > P4, and so on. Once you kill your target, kill a civilian or give your position away and lose chase, the computer automatically selects you a new target. The wanted playlist is possibly the only free for all playlist I would be willing to continue playing with friends, as it can never be taken personally as the selection is at random. All you are doing is hunting down a target at random.

Manhunt is a 8 player playlist currently available, pitting 2 teams of 4 against each other in a game of cat and mouse. The game takes place over 2 rounds, with each team having a go at attacking and defending. The first round has Team 1 attacking and hunting down Team 2 whilst the 2nd round has Team 2 on offence. When hunting, you have the ability to kill the enemy, but when defending you can only stun the targets in hope to escape. The tracker in Manhunt, along with alliance, allows the player to switch between targets by pressing left/right on the D-Pad to flick through. Manhunt becomes a game based around team strategy. Are you going to run along rooftops hoping to catch your enemy or are you going to be subtle and just walk behind your enemy and softly assassinate them? Are you going to stick in a pack hoping to stun the enemies one at a time? It all becomes a race to gain the most points and can become very frantic very fast. 

Alliance is the 6 player multi-team playlist, in essence, Wanted with a partner. The game takes place over 2 rounds of 5 minutes long. Team 1 hunts Team 2, Team 2 hunts Team 3, Team 3 hunts Team 1. The overall of this game type is great, but can become a bit dull if you’re hunting a team with either a really good or selfish teammate or keep running into your pursuers quite often.

Brotherhood uses a levelling up system of Experience points, that can be earned in games by doing specific actions or challenges within a matchmaking game. These can range from performing multi-kills, performing an assassination from within a hay bale or even as much as hiding in a crowd of people. After a game has finished, your EXP. is listed and detailed on-screen, with at time of writing, the most I have ever picked up post game is just short of 5000 EXP, after a game of Manhunt.

I find the maps on offer amazing, I really do. They seem to be overall some of the best maps I’ve played an online game on. With so many corridors and paths it can be hard to tell which way is the best to attack your enemy from. On the maps themselves there are AI, that resemble the multiplayer models you can choose from, with my personal choice being “the Courtesan”, but these also include “the Executioner”, “the Barber”, and “Harlequin”.

The HUD is a very important part of a multiplayer game, and the HUD in Brotherhood is an example of how should be done right. Your character model is in the centre of the screen, bottom left is your perks that can be activated with each the shoulder buttons, these can vary from added Sprint for 5 seconds or a 90 second to reload pistol. Top right of your screen is your target, who you’re hunting down. How close you are can be gauged from the compass in the bottom middle of your screen. When your target is by you, the compass fills up, and goes down when you are further away, but shows you the direction in which they are. When they are in your sights, the compass glows and the blue bar almost turns to white. The centre circle of the compass tells you whether the target is above or below you. In the advanced game modes, this feature is turned off.

Brotherhood’s multiplayer mode is one that I know I’ll be spending much of 2011 playing and enjoying. With only a few down points such as the fact that some people’s connection allow them to get the kill before I stun them, or that occasionally the ability for me to connect to a couple of the games is lost, that shouldn’t detract from the overall game, as it one of the most solid multiplayer games of the last 12 months. The incentive to reach level 50 and unlock more perks and character models that I’ll go over at a later date, once I unlock more and progress deeper into the online experience. Until then, I highly recommend Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, for both the offline single player story and for the online experience.

Upcoming Feature. I’m after your feedback.

I’m going to be writing an article for a competition on a gaming website but I need to pick a topic to write about. The full article will also be posted on here, but I’m posting this to see if I can get some other ideas before I “put pen to paper”, so to speak. If you could vote in the poll below letting me know which topic you think would generate a better response, or if you have a better idea for an article that I could write about please comment at the foot of the page, I’d greatly appreciate it.

Here are the two topics I’ve come up with,

Thanks, ♥ rollo

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2011!

After 2 weeks being at my Grandad’s for the Christmas period, I’m back, and it’s now 2011.

So, what have I been playing without the constant barrage of sound in my right ear? I’ll give you a quick run down, and be reviewing them in the weeks to come.

Guitar Hero (GH5 & GH:WoR)

Where do I start with these two games What a brilliant franchise Guitar Hero is. It’s just so simple to pick up these games and know exactly what to do.
Warriors of Rock gives a great soundtrack, from KISS to Slipknot, which suits my musical tastes quite nicely in all honesty but the main time I’ve spent on either Guitar Hero is on WoR’s Quest Mode. I’ve been mainly playing through, and managed to pick up the original Rock Band drum-kit so there’s just me and my brother playing away, in between the sound of the “click click click” of my guitar controller and him tapping away on the drums. We do manage to 5 Star the occasional song, now and again. All in all, both are great games.

Madden NFL ’11

Every time I pick up a Madden NFL game I find myself more immersed in the experience than I do in the FIFA games. Which is wrong, seeing as I should find my national sport more entertaining to simulate than the guys across the pond’s. But nevertheless the game is a worthy successor to continue the Madden NFL lineage, with the added Gameflow and Ultimate Team, it’s now the greatest American football game of all time.

Forza Motorsport 3

I’ve finally managed to 1000/1000 Gamerscore this game, just short of the 250 hour mark. This triumph is partly shared with the AI and the hire driver feature that, like I did, can be so easily exploited to allow a much more relaxed approach to completing the game. Plus, there’s nothing like rebelling and driving a Delorean at 90MPH and staying on the road.

Microsoft Kinect (Kinect Adventures & Kinect Hub)

Having only seeing this device when I was at the Eurogamer Expo in Earls Court last Autumn, I had no idea how well the Kinect would measure up to all the hype that it was receiving. I’m glad to say that it measures up amazingly. The sensitivity is perfect and having only used the Hub and the in boxed Kinect Adventures it is definitely the future of gaming. I look forward to being able to pick up either Joyride or Kinect Sports, to test the limits of the sensor.

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood 

This has to be my favourite game of the last year. I know in an earlier post of mine I said that Bad Company 2 was my GOTY. Brotherhood has taken it’s rightful spot as my Game of the Year 2010. The single player is spot on in terms of dialogue and action. The story is progressing a steady pace where I am at the moment. The multiplayer is possibly my favourite multiplayer experience, even going as far as say surpassing Halo 3. I had a high expectation for the this game after playing it at Eurogamer Expo, and this has blown my expectations away as far as I can see. I can’t wait to review this game.

Nothing is true. Everything is permitted.

“So you did miss me.” Cortana, Halo.