Armada’s E3 picks: Civilization – Beyond Earth (10/24/2014)

 

You know people I’ll be console monkey til I die, one of the reasons is that my computer back in the day wasn’t powerful enough to play most PC games. However there were two PC games from my childhood that I did have the good fortune to play: Age of Empires & Civilizations. Well all I’m glad to report that a new Civilizations’ game will be out this fall. Titled Civilization – Beyond Earth it feature man ultimate next step in our development: space. Like most Civilization games you are defacto leader of a civilization, it is up to you to lead and build your people to prominence. However being in the final frontier there are a few new challenges players will have to face this time; aliens, space age technology, rival colonies with different agendas, even quests. Beyond Earth will provide that long term gamer with plenty of hours of things to see, do, and conquer for October – let’s just hope there won’t be any Sim Cityese (2013) problems at launch. I think PC player rage is finally starting to die down over that one, no need for history to repeat itself here.

 

 

 

Armada’s E3 picks: Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel (10/14/14)

 

Yeah, October is going to be a very busy month for gamers, I mean who wouldn’t want to find out the secret origin story of Handsome Jack’s rise to power and well as playing four new character (including for the first time ever Claptrap)  to beat down enemies using new weapons, vehicles and abilities – on the moon. This is the easiest multiple choice question ever because Answer is nobody people, and everyone A+’s all around.

 

 

 

This just in (Or not) – Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel announced

 

Seriously guys, what is up with all the mutant words lately? I mean first Sprint and they’re new ‘Framily’ plan is showing up everywhere and now Pre-Sequel? Geez its like AD companies don’t want to work for something unique and original anymore and instead want to throw crap together and see if it sticks. Well I can at least forgive Gearbox because Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel is actually a pretty good idea for a game (or stand alone DLC depending on who you talk too) when you look past the stupid title. Basally it’s the story on how Handsome Jack rose to power and became the main bad guy in Borderlands 2. With him are four character classes  players will be  able to chose from, and more than some of them will be familiar to harden Borderlands fans. There will be more information the closer we get to release but this game will only be available on last gen systems (PS3, 360 & PC), which I think is a mistake, but I’m sure they’ll be available for direct to download on current gen systems at a latter date.

 

 

 

The End – BioShock Infinite ending

BioShock-Infinite-(The-End)

 

Hmmm… Well it looks like 2013 is going to be the year of firsts for Armada as well because we’re going to unleash another new segment here called ‘The End’ where we give you our opinion about the ending of a work of a story – primarily video games. And what better game to first talk about then BioShock Infinite’s ending. Now it’s been a couple weeks now so I’m safe to assume the majority of players bought the game and seen the ending already. However if you’re one of two people who has not seen the ending and doesn’t want it ruined for you please leave come back when you’re ready. For the rest of us, here’s the ending recap:

 

 

 

I’ve enjoy the game immensely, I’ve reviewed it to that effect but to be honest – this was the worst ending of all three games so far… Why? Because I saw nearly the entire plot coming: I knew Anna DeWitt / Elizabeth was Booker’s daughter, I knew Vox Populi would turn against me in the second half of the game, I knew the Lutece twins weren’t twins but alternate reality versions of themselves (and that they would never make sense in the story), and of course Booker DeWitt was in fact alternate reality Zachary Hale Comstock. How did I see this coming? Because not only did they borrow heavy from the BioShock games but other entertainment medias. What non-BioShock elements did they borrow from, well let’s see, there’s Lost, Sliders, the Jet Li Movie ‘The One’ and even Hypertime from the DC Universe. I’m sure there are more examples out there but these are enough. Where these other works did their take the whole ‘alternate realities’ in a somewhat the original way; BioShock Infinite ending just mashed all these elements in, added some questionable (and confusing) science, and called it a conclusion. And you know what, I’ve could have ignored all of that because fiction has a habit of copying other fiction (intentionally or not), but what I can’t condone is the fact the Infinite was the original and the sequel uninspiredly retold.

 

The original BioShock’s reveal

 

The first game’s outcome was brilliant, a masterwork of storytelling that questions whether we are our choices or are we choices made by others. The characters are awesome, just an enjoyable in general. The sequel characters were less memorable but the main baddie wanted to convert her daughter into a powerful symbol of her ideals (sounds familiar right). Also the main character in the sequel, named Delta, want’s to save the daughter from her fate and in turn the daughter sees Delta as a father figure (again familiar right). Its ending was less epic than the first but, I left satisfied. Infinite sums up like this: let make rapture again, but in the sky this time, and have only one little sister but make her the literal daughter of the main character and the antagonist at the same time, have nearly all the plot secondary characters killed off very easily like Andrew Ryan but without important subtext on the why, and finally end on the high note of lighthouses, magic science, and a non-noble sacrifice that, in the grand scheme of infinite parallel universes, is pointless.

 

BioShock 2 endings

 

 

Even that, that, is something I could give a pass to, but, and I mean it this time, the true issue I have against Infinite is the lack of choice. BioShock 1 & 2 allowed me to choose in key moments various outcomes (mainly good or evil, but still) that would affect the overall outcome.  In Infinite the choices are stupid, pointless, and had very little to no bearing in the story at all. For BioShock that’s freaken ridiculous. So what I’m supposed to accept fate as is, there’s no changing in so let your multiple dimensional daughters drown you in a baptismal pool for the good of the world? No, no BioShock Infinite, ending failure. In the end we have the power to transverse time and space and to see infinite number of worlds, outcomes, and choices and the story chooses to settle on one solution – the dumbest one possible because the plot demanded it. No. BioShock I expect better out of you, I expect, when it comes to story, you bring it – you didn’t this time. The game is great but its story’s a letdown and even though there’s DLCs in the future I’m not quite sure how they’ll be used story wise (my guess would be they just unlock new areas to explore).

 

I’m sorry if I went off the deep end there, but I wanted BioShock Infinite to be the next great chapter in the series. Not some reboot/rewrite of the first two games with an ending that’s equally lazy. It robs the player of being part of the BioShock universe (multiverse) and lacks the satisfactions of doing something meaningful in their world. Sadly like Halo 4 and WWE 13, BioShock Infinite will be one game that does everything right accept the most important thing, and what that thing is depends on the game, for Infinite it’s the ending and the outlining story. Not much to do now but to trade the game in and hope the next BioShock returns to form.

 

 

 

 

 

Trailer-Rama: BioShock Infinite Industrial Revolution Trailer

 

You all know BioShock Infinite is coming out March 26. Of course you do. You all know that this takes place in a Steampunk flying city where two equally crazy factions are tearing that  city a new one. Of course you do. You all know that its our job to wade through that civil war, braving the dangers of a slowly deteriorating city, and fight man made and mystical monsters to save a girl of unbelievable power. Of course you do. Did you know that if you pre-order BioShock Infinite now you can get the Industrial Revolution Pack which can boost the combat abilities of your character (as well as other interesting goodies)? Well you know now, check out the trailer.

 

 

 

Gameroween 2012/ Trailer-rama *special*– Video Game Characters that make awesome costumes (Day 10)

 

 

Ok this is another Gameroween & Trailer-rama tie-in but I swear its all game, a game that’s not out yet, but game still: The Songbird from the upcoming BioShock Infinite title. The only thing pretty about Songbird is the name – everything else is 100% Frankenstein. Made by twisted pseudo science this dark protector was created for one purpose and one purpose only: to protect Elizabeth, the heroine of the game. Once the main character takes her from her prison Songbird goes on a rampage to get her back. In a flying island where internal conflicts are constant and filled with peoples, cyborgs, and creatures both fantastic and deadly: Songbird is the one they all fear. Dressing up as him will instill some of that same fear this Halloween, but I’ll be honest I have no idea how to go about it. If some inventive reader out there does figure it out, sent us a pic, we’ll make you famous (well minimal internet famous anyway).

 

 

 

 

To help those who are willing to make the costume I found this blueprint at The Real Redneck Geek website by Kevin Martin. Choose to follow it or get crazy – you know what I would add? Rocket launchers. Everything’s better with rocket launchers.

 

 

 

This just in (Or not) – Borderlands 2 DLC Available (Already?!)

 

 

You know I’ve satisfied with Borderlands 2 everyday I’ve played it (which is most days); and Gaige the Mechromancer is an awesome addition to the game but I’ll be honest people – I didn’t expect anymore til the next year and that would have been fine. But Gearbox in their infinite excellence just released a new DLC full of new locals, enemies, characters, and of course guns. Entitled ‘Captain Scarlett and her Pirate’s Booty’ (add your own joke here) this adventure takes the vault hunters to dusty dunes of Oasis to hunt down a legendary pirate. Sadly Oasis guarded by crazies and monsters (natch) and the treasure has been lost over the ages; so players will have to work with the completely untrustworthy Captain Scarlett. Will the vault hunters brave the dangers and find an actual treasure that’s not a monster or a trap? Will the Captain Scarlett predictably betray you and try to take the treasure for herself. There’s only one way to find out, buy the DLC today.

 

 

 

Ding! –– Mechromancer is live in Borderlands 2

Meet Gaige the Mechromancer: if she’s not killing you with a big robot then she’s killing  you a with a big gun. She’ll fit in just fine in Pandora.

 

That’s right Gaige, also known as the ‘girlfriend’ class (because of the ease of the character’s playing style), is now available for download and play Borderlands 2. Now if you all were like me and pre-ordered the game you were instantly joined into the Borderlands 2Premier Club; which got you not only Gearbox golden guns, a vault hunter relic, and a golden key but the ability to download the Mechromancer class for free. Sadly if you did not pre order the game you might have put some bills down to get this technological terror. I’ve spend some one on one time with her and I must admit having Deathtrap (her action skill) alone does make the game easier by comparison. That rocket powered rumbler is amazing; he can fly, hunt down enemies and destroy them almost single handedly. He even invincible and only is truly defeated when his 60 sec timer runs out. However what saves this class from being over powered is that the class tress themselves are double edged. For example the ‘Ordered Chaos’ tree is all about buffs and single DPS but at the cost of other stats and even health. The ‘Best Friends Forever’ tree is a safer choice for those not feeling daring but don’t expect to any real damage without Deathtrap. Finally the ‘Little Big Trouble Tree’ is all about status pain – if you like burning, melting, slagging or electrocuting this is the tree for you. These three trees here are for the experts, choosing which abilities will work best will separate the bots mastsa from the bot ‘last’sas. As for me; Gunzerking was fun, but I’m due for a change and Gaige has the right tools for the job. 2nd play through here I come.

 

 

 

 

Game Review – Borderlands 2

 

Now it’s time for the long awaited Borderlands 2 review. To be honest I planed on posting this last week but I got laid up in the hospital (long story). However I used those extra days to give this game a thorough play through and I’ve come to the conclusion that this sequel is a tough, unforgiving, adventure into a world of contain conflict and strife. At a drop of a hat you’ll eat dirt by some monster 5 lvls ahead of you because your weapons are 5 lvls below yours. Your enemies are unrelenting, the trials you face are fierce and the hazards are many but ladies and gentlemen – you’ll love every minute of it. Let us begin.

 

 

 

 

The story for the first game went like this: kill things, open a door to awesome treasure, fight the beastie inside the treasure door (no treasure inside either by the by), watch opened ended ending, the end. Sure there were DLCs here and there, but that was basically it. Fortunately Borderlands 2 is more than willing to fill in the gaps on what happened to the original vault hunter group and Pandora after the vault opening – sadly it’s not good. Apparently, and how exactly I don’t know, a character known as Handsome Jack took the credit of opening the vault on Pandora and in turn was credited on finding a new and power element called Eridium. This discovery made him rich and the company he owns, Hyperion, a serious force in the galaxy. Now they all but own the planet now and driven the original team underground. Jack however doesn’t plan to stop there, he want to grab ultimate power and believe its on planet somewhere. To make sure he’s the only one to find it, he’s been luring new vault hunters to the planet and killing them. Which is there our new cast comes from, all hailing from different walks of life and having their own reasons to finding the new vault. Axton, thrill seeking soldier looking for the next big challenge; Maya, a powerful siren who wants to find her true purpose on the chaotic world; Zer0, cybernetic ninja/sniper who’s goals are his own; and Salvador, he shoots things –a lot. These four were the next in line of the Handsome Jack slaughter tour, but they survived and got away. So now the new vault hunters have a tall laundry list to address: find the new vault, find the old vault hunters, destroy Hyperion, save Pandora, and of course kill Handsome Jack – a lot.

 

 

Borderlands 2 is the grand love child of adventuring, role playing (somewhat), and first person shooter genres. While most of the time you’ll be shooting something, this game has tons of hidden gems to keep you busy – such as customization. For each character players have three different skill trees to work with. They can finely tune different abilities within the trees to make the perfect character for their play style. Players can also change the look of their character class, because what’s the use of setting people on fire with your mind if you can’t look good doing it. As an added bonus, certain costume pieces (and weapons) can change what the character says (or does) in battle. The world of Pandora is larger and more varied than it was first game; acid swaps, frigid cliffs, desert junkyards and more awaiting an eager vault hunter who wants to see sights and kill the things living there. Speaking of which – the enemies this times around are the sheez. I’m serious no two types are enemies fight the same, each one has their own tactics, tricks, and abilities that make shooting mobs challenging and enjoyable. And just to break the routine they’ll throw a ‘b@d a$$’ version of an enemy that are big, stronger, less vulnerable, and always fun to put down. Finally the weapons – they’re awesome! Most FPSes try to change up their weapons in unique ways or create new ones from the ground up however a shotgun is a shotgun no matter what. However in Borderlands 2, who makes the weapon (the Weapon Manufacturers, eight in all) will radically effect how the weapon functions. You’ll wish for more hours in the day to discover the countless ways of dealing damage. All this and a Co-Op and Game + options.

 

 

 

         Ranking

 

 

Yeah this is a no brainer here; Borderlands 2 is like the original but 87 bazillion times better. Better story, better weapons, better enemies, better settings, better characters (slightly), better action, better game. Play this game whenever you can and buy it as soon as possible, don’t even wait for Christmas – it’s that good. My only ‘one’ compliant is that I wish the game was longer, but hey that’s what DLCs (and Game +) are for. Thank you Gearbox, for once again affirming my love for video games let your creatively never end.

 

 

 

Vid Tips – Pandora Survival in the Borderlands

Vid-Tips

 

Well people today D day, meaning the day to pick up your copy of Borderlands 2 (yes!), which is something I’ll be doing the first change I get. However there are a bunch of players giving the Borderlands series a try for the first time. Pandora’s a trip and coming to it for the first time can be very painful without a little guidance, so the following here are some of my collected knowledge & strategy of my time spent in the first game. Yes, I know the 2nd game maybe different from the first, but from what I researched the core mechanics are still there so these tips are good. If nothing else it will help you die less.

 

Know your character classes: Seriously, this is more important now than it was in the first game. In Borderlands the classes were different sure but they were only good for dealing damage. Which is good and bad for many reasons; however in this sequel the classes are finely tuned and actually have roles on the battlefield. The Gunzerker can bring the pain but also tank enemies to keep the team protected; the Siren is a controller keeping enemies suppressed or confused but she’s also a decent healer if spec’ed correctly; Commando is a true DPS taking out mobs of enemies with his turret(s) – heck he can upgrade it with a nuke effect every time its deployed so yeah there you go; but of course no classed based game would be complete without  a massive single DPS assassin which the game also has (funny enough you can choose to take that role up close or through a sniper scope). Find a class that resonates with you and go for it, just make sure you know what you’re getting into.

 

 

Know your Gun: With 87 Bazillion Guns at our disposal this should be obvious, but again people just want to use the most powerful they can, not realizing the difference of the guns and the Manufacturers who made them. The difference between a Jakobs shotgun and one from Maliwan can make all the difference in a fire fight. Jakobs is the higher caliber weapon on paper; however Maliwan attaches elemental effects to all their weapons and that’s a definite plus against enemies’ resistance to non-elemental damage. Fortunately for us players we get up to four weapon slots to customize our arsenal with; so for the love all things good and awesome don’t be a brand loyalist – try new things!

 

Know your mods: Like the guns, the Manufacturers also affect the mods you use. Mods, if you didn’t know, enhance your grenades, energy shields, and even your class stats in unique, sometimes unexpected, ways. You got to decide which is most useful to you and your combat roles because you’ll need every advantage you can get as the weight of Pandora starts bearing down on you.

 

https://i1.wp.com/download.gamezone.com/uploads/image/data/1104405/Borderlands2_feature.jpg

 

 

Kill, kill, kill!: Now most guns you can buy from the venders or get as rewards for completing quests. We all know however all the really deadly goodies are hidden on or in the baddies we take down. What’s more the higher level monsters often have the best gear to loot. So the bigger and badder the beastie is, the more likely your get that purple, gold (not orange, gold), or dare I say, pearlescent item of your dreams. Of course in order to get those high valve targets, more often, you’ll have to join with others players online. Which brings me to…

 

Putting the Co-Op back into the Co-Op: Now I know everyone want to show everyone else online that they are quote/unquote ‘Badass’, but running into a pack superbad midget psychos, popping to off your abilities (not spec’ed well might I add) too soon, then dying doesn’t nothing for the team but leading the little anklebiters to us. And since we’re a lame man down we die too – thanks a lot! You want to avoid this then work with your team, know what they’re capable of, watch each other’s backs, communicate, avoid being petty with loot and you’ll go far. Mass rage quits are the #1 killers of online play, don’t let this happen to you.

 

Keep this tips in mind and you too can survive to horrors of Pandora, the find the new vault and put Handsome Jack in his place.