In the zombie apocalypse, your worst enemies might actually be humans.
The rules used to be simple: Don’t get bitten; destroy the brain. Zombie games like Left 4 Dead, Killing Floor, and Resident Evil shared a vaguely similar approach, even as they offered terrific takes on one of horror’s most ubiquitous subgenres.
Note: This article first appeared in the January issue of the magazine.
Stop your eye-rolling, it’s better than you expect
Everyone loves to roll their eyes a t the thought of a “new” Call of Duty game; after all, we’ve played games from this franchise a half-dozen times now, and the bloom is off the rose. But don’t be so quick to judge, because the newest installment of Call of Duty is the freshest version of an old favorite that we’ve played since Infinity Ward’s Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare. In addition to a majorly revamped main campaign with several welcome surprises, it also sports a reasonably improved multiplayer mode and an all-new zombie mode that is a bit cliché at this point, but still a lot of fun.
Note: This review originally appeared in the February 2013 issue of the magazine.
Absence makes the heart grow fonder. That, or tentacles – because it’s certainly not Sarah Kerrigan’s disposition that keeps cowboy-turned-space-marine Jim Raynor chasing after his queen in Blizzard’s Starcraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
We’re not spoiling anything you haven’t already seen on any of the game’s trailers – or box art. Kerrigan is back and ready to lead her squishy-sounding army of Zerg to victory once again, flattening out any speed bumps in her way within one of the three plots Blizzard knows how to write nowadays: The good old Revenge Quest.
Dishonored is a refreshingly stealthy change of pace in a first-person-shooter market crowded with Call of Battlefield-type games that seem like they were produced by Michael Bay. Don’t get us wrong—we love blowing stuff up, and we love killing terrorists, but sometimes we like to take a break from the frantic action and unwind with a night of stealthy throat slitting and neck snapping. After all, a man’s got to relax. This is what Dishonored delivers; a game based on stealth, tactics, and the delightful task of mastering a broad range of mystical abilities, providing us with a much-needed change of scenery in an FPS landscape dominated by desert warfare shooters, Borderlands 2 notwithstanding.
Note: This review was originally featured in the January 2013 issue of the magazine.
PC gaming is where you go for high-octane visuals, and the original Crysis was no exception when it dropped in 2007. The highly anticipated sequel in 2011, however, proved a less ambitious affair. We traded a vast, free-roam jungle for the relatively restricted avenues of a war-torn New York City. There was usually more than one route to take, but this more linear experience arrived with some seams showing: Its advanced graphical options were inaccessible, the AI did not impress, and it did not even use DirectX 11 (at first). Crysis 3 fares better in some ways, but not in others.
We loved the original Borderlands for all of its first-person-shooter action, varied gameplay (there was shooting people and driving over them, for example), and lots and lots of guns. In fact, the official claim from developer Gearbox Software was that the game offered 16,164,886 guns, which is almost as big as Gordon Mah Ung’s personal collection. Despite its glorious carnage, it also had a few glaring problems, foremost of which was a horrendous PC port that was so bad Gearbox publicly apologized (via a love letter written by the game’s annoying NPC Claptrap) and promised to make it right with Borderlands 2.
Note: This review was taken from the Holiday 2012 issue of the magazine.
We’ve all seen this pattern before, haven’t we? First the successful comic/graphic novel. Then the compromised, but still runaway movie based on said comic/graphic novel. Finally, you get a buggy, third-rate game that has been rushed out to meet some arbitrary marketing deadline.
America’s nerdiest hobby gets its annual digital update, but is it worthwhile?
If you’ve ever played (or tried to play) Magic: The Gathering, you know it can be tricky to get started. Between the complicated rules, intricate strategy, and the roster of more than 12,000 unique cards, it’s not a game that would traditionally be called “accessible.”
Max Payne is a man who’s insanely uncomfortable inside his own skin. He’s still haunted by the death of his family, and in Max Payne 3, his body—more so than any random member of Brazil’s criminal underbelly—is the target of his most vicious attacks. Booze. Pills. Booze. Pills. Booze. Pills. Perhaps the most self-destructive character gaming has ever seen, Max is a ticking time bomb of good intentions and life’s harsh realities. And, for better or worse, so is this game. It claws desperately at greatness in so many places—a gripping cinematic narrative, real character development, a Rockstar-worthy world, utterly sublime shooting—but narrowly manages to fall short every time. In slow-mo.
If this isn’t a tease of Diablo III’s expansion, we’ll eat our rare Wizard hats.
Like many of the one-sided NPCs that appear within Blizzard’s third summer-vacation‑to‑Hell, it sure feels as if there’s something special lurking beneath Diablo III—once you get behind all the odd trappings and poor design decisions, that is. If you’re new to the series, the game goes something like this: See evil, click on evil, kill evil. Repeat 100,000 times. That’s Diablo.