Although i never really planned for a month of gaming, it happened kinda as the month went on. I was stuck at home by a small surgical procedure on my foot and i couldn’t wear shoes for a few weeks. This was, combined with some awesome game releases, actually a perfect set up for a Month of Gaming.
The month started of with the end of one of this, and last, years top titles, the Final DLC for the critically acclaimed Battlefield 3. One of the most fun i had in an FPS shooter since Battlefield 1942, Call of Duty: United Offensive and Call of Duty 2. The Last DLC, conveniently named End Game, marked the return of Capture The Flag to the game as well as the new Air Superiority mode, in which you only play with jets and fight for air domination. Like in every DLC it came with 4 new maps, which are pretty awesome and well worth the game time. The end game DLC was a worthy way to end the games life cycle and push on to Battlefield 4.
Battlefield 3: End Game (PC) - Released March 2nd 2013 - Hours Played During MoG: 3
The next Big Release was Tomb Raider. Now i was a bit skeptic at first, the previous releases in the Tomb Raider series where well below par. The new game promised a new and fresh look on the genre and sort off acted like a prequel, with a younger Lara who just was learning the ropes in treasure hunting and avoiding bullets. The game was actually pretty good… well…. the single player was, the multiplayer… meh.
The one thing that was a bit of a downer for me is that Lara, with all her good intentions, was just a character and nothing more, there was nothing that would make anyone relate to the character, and it de-humanized her quite alot. but overall this game is really worth playing. With tombs to explore and treasures to recover and weapons to upgrade, anyone looking for a game with at least 20 hours game time will be well pleased.
Tomb Raider (PC) - Released March 5th 2013 - Hours Played During MoG: 13
And on to the next game we went, not even 2 days later, the new SimCity came out, and boy was there a hype around it. I was already lucky enough to be in the Beta, which sadly only allowed for 1 hour of play time. when it was released i was pretty excited. While the launch didn’t go very smooth, and all the so called ‘serious’ game sites used this as a bad thing in their reviews, i personally don’t see the point in giving a negative score for a game which has launch problems, could it be avoided? yes, of course but to act like this is the only game with server/launch problems was kinda weird for me. Seriously, if you review a game, Review the game, not the connectivity issues. i have played many, many games with a lot of launch issues, and they never got bashed as much as this. Remember Diablo 3? Age of Conan? Warhammer Online? WoW Cataclysm? i’m just naming a few “top” titles who all had similar problems. I think the main reason for the whining is because a lot of casual gamers (once that wouldn’t purchase Diablo, AoC, Warhammer, WoW) and housewives jumped on this game.
The game itself, with a few bugs here and there which are already mostly patched out, is great fun to play, specially if you are able to join a group of friends or a open multiplayer game. Trading with players, developing different types of trade or city specializations add for a great diversity in the city’s needed to get to the point where you all can chip in to build a Great Works. the sense of accomplishment while watching your city flourish is great and there’s plenty of playtime in this game. Now the city sizes aren’t as big as the more hardcore players would have hoped, including myself, but it also prevents everyone from having every building in one city and force you to specialize one way or the other, thus making you have to work with your other cities, or players to get to unlock a Great Work.
Sim City (PC) - Released March 7th 2013 - Hours Played During MoG: 50
And on to the next game we went, Which is one of the great titles Sony has had as a PlayStation Exclusive and one of the best Hack&Slash games of the genre, God of War, this time with a Prequel to the original story titled Ascension. Now, i’ll start of with saying i’m not really a Button basher gamer ever since i raped my hands on Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo on the PlayStation 1. My thumbs still hurt just thinking about it. But God of War has a great story, along with enormous boss fights and well made game engine its a awesome game to play. Yes, my, and yours probably as well, fingers still get tired after some battles, but its not as “boring” as a Street Fighter game where your just pushing them for only 1 or 2 reasons, you need to think about what your doing, and you have to be precise with your combo’s and quick time events. If you own a PlayStation 3 and never played a God of War game then go and get either one of them.
God of War: Ascension (PS3) - Released March 13th 2013 - Hours Played During MoG: 14
While we didn’t even finish God of War at the time, the next game already was laying in front of us, We go from PlayStation Exclusive to Xbox360 Exclusive. Gears of War: Judgement. Surprisingly, although not really, also a pre-quel (that was nr 3 this month). The chronology of events in Gears of War: Judgment pre-dates that of the other releases in the franchise, and the prequel features Damon Baird and Augustus Cole as protagonists. The first thing i noticed when i installed this game on my Xbox and fired it up was the colors…. maybe that sounds weird to you that haven’t played the game, or any before this one, but Gears of War used to be known for its gritty grey colors and its depressing mood. This on the other hand, with a few more adjustments and tweaks to the game engine, looked very colorful and, to me, this was a great change.
I loved going through the game feeling like a My Little Pony instead of feeling like a mental patient on anti depressants. The new addition of on the fly difficulty settings where you can activate a harder setting when starting a new area in which your only supplied with certain guns, low ammo, or bad sight is a great addition, specially because you don’t have to do them, you will not be penalized if you just play it normally. The story however, was a bit short, it didn’t take long for me to finish it and it was a bit of a disappointment not the quality of the story, no just the time. Of course there plenty of fun playing this game Co-Op with 1 or even 3 friends, and the various multiplayer modes will add to the playtime you will get out of this title as well. There’s also an added bonus of a separate story called Aftermath, which tells the story of the events leading up to Gears of War 3. although this mode runs on the “older” GoW3 engine, fans will no doubt like this addition.
Gears of War: Judgement (Xbox360) - Released March 22nd 2013 - Hours Played During MoG: 8
Next up yet another Classic and much anticipated release, Bioshock Infinite. oh how we had been waiting for this. I sometimes still playback the trailer that was first released with the song Beast by Nico Vega. just because it was that awesome. And yes, Grand Theft Auto 5 will have to bring something special if it wants to beat this game for the Game of the Year award. the graphics are amazing, the art style and the early 1900′s setting make for a truly remarkable game experience with a great story that will have you replay the game for weeks after you have finished it. Yes this game lacks multiplayer and just because of that it will have the younger generation pass on this, but this is really one game one shouldn’t pass on. i don’t have more to say on this game, other then that you should go get this, because you will miss one of the best games of the year.
Bioshock: Infinite (PC) - Released March 26th 2013 - Hours Played During MoG: 12
And so, after that, was there anything that could top that game, as i said, bioshock is one heck of an awesome game. and our next game that we where presented with was somewhat… strange. We where presented Lego City: Undercover, a WiiU exclusive title. Now i haven’t been much of a fan of the Lego games, most of the time because i didn’t feel the need to play a Lego version of Batman, Star Wars, Harry potter or Indiana Jones, but this game had me intrigued for some reason. This game is the first Non-Themed Lego game with its own story, and takes place inside Lego City. A Free Roam Lego game…. great. Although people might pull out the “GTA” card straight away, this isn’t completely accurate, i guess its like comparing GTA with Saints Row, which are 2 completely different games who only have the free roam part in common.
Lego City undercover which of course is a child friendly rated game, is surprisingly fun. The first comment i made on this game was that it reminded me of Lethal Weapon, without the swearing and violence. The jokes are funny and will have even the older gamers laughing, and the classic movie references in both speech and visuals are a good addition to the free roam game play. The kids absolutely love this game right from the start, its easy to control and makes good use of the WiiU game pad. The game makes full use of the extra memory and cpu power the WiiU has over the PS3 and Xbox360 and it shows it off in the graphics, although this game isn’t running on a fancy engine most triple A games run on, its still an achievement getting this big world to look as good as it does while maintaining a steady framerate.
Lego City Undercover (WiiU) - Released March 28th 2013 - Hours Played During MoG: 6
Now what one can ask himself after a month of gaming, Does the time played reflects the quality of a game? well yes and no. Of course time played is an indication of how much you might like a game, it also tells you how much time is “in” the game. of course a MMO will have way more playtime then a strictly Single Player story driven game (except for RPG”s of course) For example, we racked up nearly 50 hours in SimCity (yes, bring the waiting for server jokes) but i wouldn’t say that its a better game then BioShock. Its Different and i will be playing a lot more of SimCity because its a game you can spend hours and hours in it which i wouldn’t in BioShock because after the 3rd play through (not including new DLC’s) i will be bored with it and seen it all. on the other side we have only 3 hours of play time racked up in Battlefield 3 End game. This has its reasons as well, for me Battlefield is the kind of game i merely play for Multiplayer, and every month i play it for a few hours, it doesn’t mean that its a bad game. over the last year we racked up over 300 hours of play in all the BF3 DLC’s.
Just be careful and don’t let your choice of what games to get be based on Gamespot reviews, or for that matter, any reviews but your own. its good to read what some of the popular gaming sites have to say about the game, but most of the time they use factors to judge a game that don’t even apply to you. 9 out of 10 games these days get 8, 9 , 10 scores. which is ridiculous. without going into details here is how i would rate these games we have played.
- Battlefield 3: End Game – Phosseh Score 7
- Tomb Raider - Phosseh Score 7.6
- SimCity – Phosseh Score 7.8
- God of War: Ascension – Phosseh Score 7.5
- Gears of War: Judgement – Phosseh Score 7
- Bioshock Infinite – Phosseh Score – 8.8
- Lego City Undercover – Phosseh Score 7.8
With that all over with, its time to celebrate Easter, and cook some feasts. I can now finally wear my shoes again, so playtime is over.