Black Ops 2 / Hitman: Absolution

What's up duders?

I just pulled the wrap off of my Call of Duty Black Ops HE and tore into the Multiplayer because I just wanted to shoot some fools. I'm not an advocate of a new Call of Duty being cranked out every year but I do keep buying them. I guess I'm part of the problem. Kinda? I only buy them for the Campaigns. I feel like they're completely bombastic and insane and that's the reason I love them. I expect BLOPS2 to be just as insane as the first one was. I find the Modern Warfare grouping of COD feels more militaristic and tactical in nature and I love them for that aspect but BLOPS is more of a twisted-weave of a cool stories all intertwined by some psycho plot. Love it.

As I said before, I don't play COD for the Multiplayer but I've been hearing that the focus of BLOPS2 is more of a livestream/MLG/hardcore focus and I wanted to experience that before I hopped into the campaign. My first game I went 18-2 and felt pretty damn good considering I haven't played online for at least 6 months. I'm really enthusiastic about this installment but I haven't tore into the campaign (will be doing that right after this post)

What are your thoughts/experiences with the COD franchise and where it could be headed in the future?

Finally, Hitman: Absolution. Totally stoked. But worried. I've beaten all the Hitman games (including Contracts) and definitely enjoy the over-arcing story that ties them all together. I am worried about Absolution because it's been made quite clear that Diana is killed off in the first Prologue Mission by 47. I think Diana is one of the cornerstones of this entire franchise. We were all excited when she saved us at the end of BloodMoney and at the end of Contracts when she was on the plane with 47. Now she's just going to be killed off?

What do you guys think about Diana being killed?

Also, has anyone played the Sniper Challenge? If so what's your score. I've been tinkering and unlocked all the Challenges but can't come close to the current record of 7-8 Million. Hints and Tips?

Happy Gaming Duders.

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Crysis Clearing #1

I've been playing randomly throughout the last month and I've made it to what I can only think of as "Act 2". I'm beginning to make a move against the KPA with the US Assaulting the Island. So far the game has been a lot of sneakin' and peekin' but some frustrating bits have definitely been rearing their heads. After your first encounter with the "Doctor and the Fossil" you have to take a boat down to a VTOL extraction point. I spent about 30 minutes getting owned by a helicopter before I searched the nearby buildings and found a Missile Launcher. The chopper went down in 2 hits and had no idea where the shots came from, felt pretty epic.

The first encounter with the KPA Nano-Suits (ambushed by four of them) was pretty thrilling, even though I tore through them with four perfect shotgun blasts from behind and the side. The feeling of being stalked, or stalking an enemy is what I'm hoping to get in Crysis 3's "Hunter Mode".

I look forward to the conclusion of Crysis and moving onto Crysis: WarHead!

Any cool experiences with Crysis? Tips/Hints? Throw em out to me!

Happy Gaming :)

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The Walking Dead - A New Adventure Part #1

I've never seen an episode of the Walking Dead. People tell me I'd love it. But I've never just had the time nor the inclination to sit down and actually do it. I've also never read the graphic novels/comics. I know these are almost mainstays in any gamer/geek's lifestyle but I just haven't done it.

There. That's out of the way...

During this Steam Summer Sale they knocked the price of the Walking Dead from TellTale Games down 50% or so. I decided it's finally time to dive into the franchise and what better way to do it than through my favorite hobby. Gaming!

This blog will simply layout how I played the game and explain the decisions I made, and what those decisions ultimately led to during my run through of these episodic adventures. I have played TellTale adventure games before including Jurassic Park and Back to the Future. I'm going into this with and open mind and I hope you enjoy our little adventure together!

Part 1 - A New Adventure Turns Into A New Nightmare (Episode 1 - A New Day)

Afternoon. Somewhere outside of a large Georgian city, possibly Atlanta. I sit in the back of a police car wearing street clothes and handcuffs. The older officer in the front of the cruiser is talking about taking me to jail for a crime I possibly didn't commit. From the sounds of it I apparently killed my wife. This officer really likes to talk but doesn't pay too much attention to the road. The radio chatter is apparently annoying to him because he shuts it off after various requests for backup due to a riot in the city. A few helicopters cruise by on their way to the city followed by other police cruisers and ambulances.

The mindless bantering coming from this officer is finally getting to me and I'd love to just tell him to fuck off, but I bite my tongue. I don't need any more trouble. Suddenly, I scream out as the officer crashes into someone walking across the highway. Who the hell walks across the highway!? The car immediately cuts through the person and then the guardrail and careens into a large ditch beside the road. The car rolls six or seven times and I'm knocked un-concious as I feel something cut through my leg. I can vaguely here groaning and possibly some sort of animal growling. I think it might be eating the chatty police officer judging by the muffled screams coming from the front seat. I black out.

I wake up to the sun in my face. I'm crumpled up in the back of the cruiser. I look around and can see the elderly police officer, shotgun by his side. He's face down about twenty feet from the car. It looks like he's been attacked and dragged. He's an awful shade of grey. How long have I been out?

With my hands still in cuffs I won't be able to accomplish to much. I look around and decide to try and kick out the back window of the cruiser. After four or five tries I manage to pull myself out of the window and fall onto my shoulder. I have to get these cuffs off and get some help for this leg. I stumble around the cruiser and pick up a lone shotgun shell but can't hold the actual shotgun until I get the handcuffs off. I shamble over to the officer and realize that he is most certainly dead. He smells terrible and it seems like he's been dead for hours. I reach down and grab the handcuff keys off his patrol belt. I fumble with the keys and after dropping them a few times manage to get them off. It feels good to be free again.

Immediately the "dead" officer lunges at me. I fall backwards and kick wildly at him. He looks like he has rabies, but he also looks dead. What the fuck is going on? I crawl backwards and feel the shotgun behind me. I grab for it and stumble to load the lone shell into the gun. Of course I drop it, my hands are shaking. This "thing" keeps coming at me, frothing at the mouth, growling, and snapping at me. I keep crawling back and feel the cruiser behind me. Nowhere else to go. I finally push the shell into the gun and slam it home. I beg for the officer to stop but my instincts tell me it's not going to happen. I aim the shotgun at his face, close my eyes, and pull the trigger. Half of the officers head to pink mist and the rest drips out all over the ground in front of me. He finally stops moving...

What the fuck is going on!?

Steam Achievement Unlocked - Out Of The Frying Pan.

End Part 1 Episode 1...

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Spec Ops: The Line - Demo Impressions (360)

Just wanted to throw up a quick impression of the Spec Ops: The Line Demo for the 360 as I just got around to playing through it this evening.

As just a quick reminder from the start, I played this demo on the 360, not the PS3.

Spec Ops: The Line - Demo Impressions (360)

It's been 10 years since Gotham Games brought Playstation 1 owners the latest rendition of the Spec Ops franchise "Airborne Commando". Though not a critical success it emphasized a more tactical approach to video games. Unlike modern day run and gun shooters such as Call of Duty the Spec Ops franchise has praised itself on being just a little more realistic in nature. While some faint echo of that tactical nature is present in YAGER's newest release "The Line" you can definitely feel the modern day military shooter being impressed upon you as soon as you start up the game.

The demo to The Line begins with a heavily scripted helicopter mounted mini-gun chase sequence where the player, commanding Captain Martin Walker (Voiced by Nolan North) of a small three-man Delta Force unit shoots droves of enemy-filled Mini-Bird Attack choppers out of the skies over Dubai. These helicopters miraculously crash into the biggest, explosive set pieces on location and many a near miss later your chopper is finally downed after flying into a sandstorm.

Cut to a different chapter of the game where Walker leads his three-man team through a sandstorm to the outskirts of Dubai. The games narrative explains that they have been "unofficially" sent into Dubai to search for survivors after an apocalyptic scale sandstorm tears through the city. As the game progresses from a gridlocked corpse and sand-filled highway to the tops of skyscrapers the narrative explains that a civil war has broken out between the survivors of an American Army unit and the survivors of the city. Each side being puppeteered by a nameless DJ on the radio who seems to have a personal connection with Captain Walker. Once the CIA gets involved it turns into a modern day version of Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" and the player learns that they must track down the Colonel leading the rogue Army unit before all out civil war threatens the entire region.

The game play in the 360 version of the demo is action packed, without much down time. Enemies attack in droves and the action moves horizontally and vertically as the player attempts to gain a tactical advantage over the enemy. Your three man Delta team consists of a light-machine gunner carrying an M249 Squad Automatic Weapons (SAW) and a Sniper. The player can carry up to two weapons as well as a selection of grenade styles from stun to frags. Silencers are available (by hitting the D-Pad UP) but are unnecessary in the demo. The gun play is satisfying, and different weapons behave as they would in real life. Players who pull off heads hots are rewarded with a split-second of slow motion but not enough to pull off anything exciting. Perhaps this well be more impressive in the retail version. Executing downed enemies is akin to a Gears of War style curb stomp or a bullet to the forehead. The animations repeat extremely quickly and I only noticed 3 distinct executions during my play through of the demo.

During most firefights there is usually a key moment where shooting a weak looking piece of glass will introduce the enemy to the games highly acclaimed sand-physics. Either drowning enemies in sand or causing them to fall through floors to their deaths. The same happens to the player during scripted events in the demo and it's satisfying to watch and engage in. Unfortunately the game's acclaimed sand physics also mean that there is sand everywhere, from inside downed planes, to the tops of buildings, it's everywhere. This makes the entire game brown. The color palette is extremely limited and environmental effects are limited in the demo release. I found the most exciting visual aspect of the demo to be the lens flare from the glaring sun. Otherwise the game seemed lacking in graphics department especially where anti-aliasing is involved. Most characters and environments are covered in the dreaded jaggies that PC gamers fear.

Other than graphics, and gun-play, the game uses squad tactics surprisingly well. Controlling your team-mates with a click of the Right Bumper will cause them to react accordingly to the situation and either use long or short range tactics as well as flanking. Path-finding was average and my team-maters were able to flank enemies that had me pinned down a few times during my play-through. Downed allies can be healed by the "magical" adrenaline filled syringes that most modern day video game soldiers carry around in their pockets and health is regenerating. The games difficulty on Normal was well balanced and while I didn't die, I found myself flanked and pinned down in various situations which was satisfying.

Overall "The Line" felt more like an average military shooter from today's game libraries than what it's predecessors used to feel like. I don't think I'll pay full price for this one when it hits store shelves June 26th of this year.

Game: Spec Ops: The Line

Version: Demo

Console: XBOX 360

Difficulty: Normal

Length: Approximately 25 Minutes for Demo Completion

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Batman Completed! Part 2?

Hey Guys,

Another day and another update from the game room in the basement.

I finished up Batman Arkham Asylum on October 20th and have been chipping away at the Side-Quests, Riddles, and Challenges Rooms non-stop since then. I figured today would be a good day to make a post as no more than five minutes ago I tracked down the last of the Catwoman Riddles netting me the "Sphinx Riddle" achievement. This means that I've finshed up all the Side-Quests, Completed all the RIddles, and have finished the main storyline once.

I am currently on the first Joker encounter in New-Story Plus and have around 20 medals in the Batman Challenge Rooms (haven't started with the Catwoman ones yet). The only Storyline achievements that I don't have yet are "Twice Nightly" which is for completing New Game Plus, "Storyteller" for having 12 dates with Calendar Man (which I may do tonight by unplugging the Internet), and finally "Perfect Knight Day 2" for Completing Everything and then New Game Plus.

My favourite achievement from Arkham Asylum would have to be "Pay Your Respects". It may only be worth a measly five points, but it's such an awesome cinematic experience to watch a fully grown Bruce Wayne kneel down at the spot where his parents were killed and just reflect. The music is both haunting and inspirational. Kudos to RockSteady for adding in this excellent piece.

Other than Batman I've downloaded the Back To The Future Episodes off of Steam for 10 bucks, so I'll probably pick my way through that over the next couple weeks in anticipation for Jurassic Park from TellTale.

My girlfriend picked up her copy of Battlefield 3 for the 360 early this morning so she'll be chomping down on that while I try and finish up Batman!

What are you guys playing this week!? I'm sure to see a lot of Battlefield 3. Make sure you tell me if it's on PC or 360!

Happy Gaming!

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Batman Completed! Achievement Updates

Hey guys! Been a quiet week around here, just lots of homework and papers for school but I've been playing some different games for the 360, trying to churn out some more achievements and chip away at the massive pile growing behind me.

Some updates!

I managed to finally get the last two achievements "Freeflow Gold" by finished Rumble In The Jungle with 56,400 points. Which in turn gave me the "Perfect Knight" achievement which means I have completed Batman: Arkham Asylum and it's now up on the Completed Shelf. I can honestly say I've been working on that one level for months and I finally sat down today, determined to beat it. It is done. Whew.

Some other achievements from this week's gaming...

Batman: Arkham Asylum - Freeflow Gold - Achieve 24 medals on Combat Challenges - 50G

Batman: Arkham Asylum - Perfect Knight - 100% Complete - 75G

Gears of War 3 - Respect For The Dead - Your respect for the dead earned you access to Griffin's special weapons stash - 5G

Gears of War 3 - It's All About The Loot! - Earned the Bronze "Loot Courtesan" medal - 25G

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - Kaboom! - Destroy the Tank - 20G

Assassin's Creed Brotherhood - Principessa in Another Castello - Completed DNA Sequence 4 - 20G

RAGE - Open Minded - Get 10 Headshots with the Sniper Rifle - 15G

Tomorrow I'll be working on Assassin's Creed Brotherhood with the girlfriend here helping me find flags, feathers, and telling me where to send out my assassin brothers on missions. I might stick RAGE in right now to see what I can chisel off of that beautiful looking game.

What is everyone else playing this week? Who is stoked for Arkham City!? Can't wait for Tuesday!

Happy Gaming!

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Pre-Order List

I just came out of my local video game shop after cancelling two of my pre-orders. The rep who assisted me in the store, told me I had the largest amount of games pre-ordered that he'd ever seen.

Now this isn't a dick-measuring contest, but I just wanted to see what the majority of people have been pre-ordering at this time of the year.

My receipt had on it...

  1. RAGE - Anarchy Edition (Already Purchased)
  2. Gears of War 3 - Epic Edition (Already Purchased)
  3. Batman Arkham City - Collector's Edition
  4. Battlefield 3 - Limited Edition (Cancelled Today)
  5. The Elder Scrolls 5: SkyRim (Cancelled Today)
  6. Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception - Collector's Edition
  7. Mass Effect 3 - Collector's Edition
  8. Dead Island (Already Purchased)
  9. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 - Hardened Edition
  10. Assassin's Creed: Revelations - Signature Edition
  11. The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword - Gold Edition

I cancelled BF3 due to my feelings toward the playability of the game, and had to cancel SkyRim due to time constraints on my part. Also due to the fact that I still haven't finished Fallout 3, New Vegas or the Elder Scrolls 4 yet =)

So people of the GB Community, what have you got pre-ordered!

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Are You Buying Battlefield 3 Day 1?

Hi. My name is Matt. I am a 24 year old gamer, with a career. I'm also a Full-Time economics student in Ottawa, Canada. I am not a pussy, 12 year old, idiot, moron, or countless other derogatory terms I've been labelled in the last couple days on sites such as JoyStiq.

I cancelled my Pre-Order of Battlefield 3 this morning before school. *Cue Explosion of OMGZ ITS JUST A BETA!!!!111!!*

Done? Good.

Yes, it's just a beta. A pre-release chunk of code and graphics that should not have been released by EA/Dice because it was not a finished product. But Ice, that's what a beta is, it's just a pre-release of a game so they can work out some issues. I know that, thank you. The problem is, my brain, along with many other people's brains, are hardwired to compare. When EA/Dice released this Pre-Alpha/Beta/Charlie whatever they want to call it to the public, they let thousands of people compare it to what they've been fed through various gaming media sites. Huge epic HD explosions, vehicles, tactics, story, scripted event. What we got on the 360 at least, was clipping, sound bugs, skating character models, awful looking textures, and no vehicles. Not one.

But Ice, some people were able to play on Caspian and they got to use vehicles and they said it was amazing. That's fine. I didn't.

So no, I'm not buying BF3 on launch. That isn't to say I won't pick it up at a later date if I'm wrong, and I will almost certainly post on my blog if I was wrong, and apologize to EA/Dice for comparing the product they showed me to the product they SHOWED me.

I think another reason that is nagging at me not to purchase this product, is this Origin thing. It seems pretty sketch, and with all the reports in the last few months about their EULA being screwy, and information they need to acquire to make your experience better seems to be pretty shameful. Especially on PC where the majority of people will be purchasing this game. Steam and EA not getting along is almost certainly going to cost them some customers on this title.

Oh well, rant over. Time will tell if my cancelling will be a good or bad idea. Fingers are crossed that I'm wrong.

What about you? Are you picking up BF3 on launch day?

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Seriously 3.0 FAQ

Hey guys, just thought I'd make a quick post about the "Seriously 3.0" Achievement in Gears of War 3. If you haven't heard about this enormous achievement then you're missing out on some hardcore achievement news.

Essentially the Seriously 3.0 achievement requires you to obtain all the Onyx Medals and reach Level 100 in Gears 3. This is a monumental task and can easily take many months to complete (although I've already seen many people with the achievement). People should know that this achievement will require hundreds, if not thousands of hours in Multiplayer and the Campaign to finally unlock this Beast.

That's not to say that you can't shave some time of this achievement by using some tips and tricks that I've found all over the web. I thought I'd share a few for those who are gonna attempt to go after this one...

#1 - You can unlock Ribbons and Medals in Private Bot Matches. Medals like the Weapon Kill Medals, The MVP Medals, and Field Service Medals can all be obtained through Versus with Bots. It may feel like cheesing now, but I'm sure a year down the road it'll be nice to be able to scratch away at Multiplayer achievements when the population of the servers dwindles down.

#2 - Kills in Horde 2.0 Mode do NOT count towards your Weapon Medals, but they DO count towards unlocking the weapon executions that come with the kill requirements for that weapon. Example: You can get 200 Kills with you Lancer in the Horde Mode, and will unlock the Lancer Execution for Multiplayer, but you will not unlock the Lancer Specialist Medal until you obtain the kills required in Multiplayer (Bots or Ranked/Unranked).

#3 - Currently the hardest medal to obtain is the 6th Medal on the 1st Row labelled "Vengeful". It requires you to Execute 75 Nemeses in Multiplayer to obtain just the Bronze version. To obtain a Vengeful ribbon (counting towards the 75 required) you must be killed 5 times by the same enemy in a match, and then execute that enemy. I find this medal frustrating as hell as I'm a lowly 27, with about 100 matches under my belt and I have 0/75 because I simply don't get killed by the same enemy 5 times in a match. Here's hoping they decide to tweak that one a bit.

#4 - Executions, Active Reloads, Target Designation, do not count towards their assigned medals when actions are done in Horde Mode. They DO however count when playing against Bots in Versus Mode.

Anyways, good hunting. Just wanted to throw some information out there since a lot of people are still confused by the way the Medal and Ribbon systems work.

Anyone wanting to crank out any multiplayer, horde or even beast mode are welcome to throw me a message on the 360 and I'll be sure to gang up on some Locust scum with them!

Happy Gaming =)

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Completing My Games #29 Gears of War 3 Edition Part #2 *Spoilers*

Well I just finished up the Gears of War 3 Campaign and my jaw is still on the floor. What an intense epicly awesome experience, and a stunning conclusion to the Gears of War Trilogy.

Warning Major Spoilers....NOW

I was expecting some major shock in this game, but nothing like the shock I got when Dom sacrificed himself for the team. The cinematic was so incredibly put together it brought a slight tear to my eye both when Dom visits the Flores grave and tells Maria that he'll see her soon, but Marcus needs him, and then when he sacrifices himself to save Marcus knowing he'll see Maria soon. Such an epic conclusion to Dom's storyline.

Also, the intensity of the door to door fighting in the 5 star hotel on Azura? Incredible. The orchestral Gears Theme just pounding away in the background as Lancer Rounds get lobbed down range at the endless torrent of Lambent and Locust. Epic has really outdone themselves on this one.

The twist with Marcus' father dying at the end was also a good shocker to finish it off (the scene where he literally catches the Cog Tags falling off his dead father's neck is brilliant and shocking), but the real icing on the cake was the Blade Marcus uses to finish off Queen Myrrah. If you pay close attention to the cinematics in Mercy, Dom gives Marcus the knife to open a door but as Marcus turns to hand it back to him, Dom has already sauntered off, almost as if he knew he was about to die. "This is from Dom" is one of the best lines in the entire game, let alone the entire series.

I am completely thrilled to be finished this epic trilogy, and can't wait to see what Cliffy B and the rest of the team from Epic can pull out of the Gears universe in the years to come!

Achievement Update for Gears of War 3!

  1. Okay, Now We Find Hoffman - Discovered the Location of Adam Fenix - 10G
  2. Oh Yeah, It's Pirate Time - Grabbed a Locust Gas Barge to travel to Anvil Gate - 10G
  3. Thanks For Flying Gasbag Airway - Arrived Safely, kinda, at Anvil Gate - 10G
  4. Anvil Gate's Last Resort - Defended Anvil Gate from the Locust siege - 10G
  5. Was it Good for You? - Defeated the Lambent Berserker - 10G
  6. Lost Your Good Driver Discount - Drove from Anvil Gate to Mercy - 10G
  7. Level 25 - Reached Level 25 - 25G
  8. Brothers To The End - Found and activated the fuel pump - 10G
  9. Think You Can Handle That? - Found enough fuel to get to Endeavor naval station - 10G
  10. Baird's Favourite Kind of Toy - Launched the Sub - 10G
  11. Welcome to -redacted- - Passed under the Maelstrom and found Azura - 10G
  12. Look At That, Instant Summer - Turned off the Maelstrom Device - 10G
  13. Ok. Faith. Got It. - Rescued Adam Fenix from captivity - 10G
  14. You're Dead. Now Stay Dead - Killed Myrrah - 10G
  15. Ain't My First Rodeo - Completed all Campaign Acts on Hardcore - 50G
  16. Ready For More - Completed all Campaign Acts on Casual or Normal - 50G

Progress 425/1000

On to Horde and Beast Mode!!!

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