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Battlefield One: The Devil’s Anvil

I’ve been experimenting with share factory lately. It’s an extremely interesting and effective piece of software for the PS4.  I recommend that anyone with the capabilities to do so, check it out.  This was m first edit longer than ten minutes, using the new operations map for battlefield one as footage.  Enjoy!

For Honor: First Impressions

For Honor is a new Ubisoft game, coming out on February 14th.  Ironic considering the day’s theme, and its contrast with the general object of the game.  For Honor has a fairly simple premise; standins for medieval england, Norway, and Japan are inexplicably thrust together.  The warriors of the nations must fight for their own survival, no matter how little sense this makes.  I, like many, am willing to excuse the poorly executed backstory, and merely revel in the fact that someone has actually created a game, where a dude with a broadsword, a battle-ax, and a katana can violently coexist.

The following is solely based on my experience with the game’s beta. I am aware, that many other features will be added, including playable characters.  Know that I am not jumping to conclusions about the final product, merely relaying and commenting upon my experience with the pre-release.

One major pro is the fact that for Honor has what may be the most excessive customization system of any game I’ve played in a long time.  Not only are multiple color schemes available, but loads of cosmetic options are offered for the individual personalization of one’s chain mail, bamboo armor, or bare chest (if you use a viking character).  In fact, all of the little details in the game are pretty perfect.  The many maps — though they have little effect on the battle’s outcome — are rendered to an immaculate resolution, and look about as good as a wide open area for bladed combat can.

Where for honor fails, is when it lazily tries to be like other multiplayers.  The dominion gamemode pits players against each other as they fight for zones A, B, and C (sound familiar?).  Where it is unique? You don’t get a gun.  It is next to impossible to combat more than two enemies at once; the game’s mechanic only allows you to lock on or block blows from one enemy.  So while you decide to be brave and take an enemy control zone, but happen upon two enemies, the result is your getting hacked and slashed to bits while scrambling to defend yourself.  That mode is positively maddening.

Conversely, the games Duel mode (1v1) is an absolute delight.  Two players duke it out in a series of five rounds, the winner being the one who wins more.  It is so simple, and yet, oh so complicated.  There is a rather steep learning curve to the game.  After being demolished by player after player who seemed to be light years ahead of my skill level, (curious considering the beta went live three days ago) suddenly something clicked.  Its all about the timing really.  Blocking your enemies blows at the right moment, and positioning strikes when he is off guard.  If your foe is a good blocker, use a guard breaker, slamming him with your shield, or in one particularly awesome instance, kicking them back with a Samurai Nobushi class.  For Honor’s combat system is easy to learn, but harder to master.

The graphics of combat as well as the mechanics are excellent.  Most exemplified on the games execution system, which allows players to finish their opponents off with an elaborate flourish, or brutal final stroke.  Looking like a page torn from a Frank Miller book, there is a strange beauty in the violent display.  The executions, and their variety are oddly poetic; whether the match was close, or the winner simply destroys the loser, these deft dispatches are a sight to behold.

I probably won’t buy For Honor right away.  $60 is a lot of money, especially when I already know that I won’t enjoy four of the 6 gamemodes.  With that said, it has the potential to be revolutionary.  This combat system that Ubisoft Montreal has concocted is the type of thing I’ve been wishing existed for years.  I have hope for this game, and I can;t wait to see what new features are included in the full release.

Battlefield 1: The Change of Pace the Gaming World Has Been Waiting For

Battlefield one is the excellent counter to Call of Duty’s infinite warfare, and a perfect answer to the longing of many gamers (myself included) to play a shooter that doesn’t cast them as a barely human cyborg, powered by cybernetic implants. It is the difficulty of BF1 that makes it so compelling. It is incredibly inconvenient every time you reload your weapon, and your character takes 30 seconds or so to do it, but at the same time, a little grin creeps on to my face each time it happens. Health is hard to regain, unless you have a medkit, and it is not uncommon to be unable to ADS because of the gasmask on your face, protecting you from a deadly cloud of mustard gas. It’s these little details, that make this game so compelling.
The story is incredibly powerful as well. From the opening sequence where you play as about 5 different characters, all of whom inevitably perish, the game powerfully conveys the hopelessness of a war where battlefield tactics had yet to catch up to the death dealing technologies of the period. The Short anthology type stories do a great job of highlighting specific aspects of the war. These stories are extremely moving, as they manage to connect you to the characters and create meaningful development over the course of only three or four levels.
BF1 also features an immensely fun multiplayer. The most enjoyable aspect of which is the new operations feature; a bit of a cross between domination, and rush, with the large scale chaos of conquest. One match will take about 3 rounds, and sometimes moves to a different map. Usually at least once in a course of a match, one side is reinforced by a zeppelin, train, or dreadnought battleship. The scope of the matches is monstrous. Each time you spawn in, the camera zooms into a spot on the map, speaking to how small, helpless, and inconsequential each soldier must have felt; especially when there are things like Zeppelins looming in the sky, raining death on all who dare to venture underneath.
Whether you are a hardcore fps gamer, or someone who is interested in history, and compelling heroism, Bf1 is a mightily entertaining experience.

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End; a Fitting Goodbye to a Beloved Franchise

Uncharted 4 is excellent, and to be perfectly honest, would be a great game even without its captivating narrative. The introduction of the rope to game-play, as well as some ante upping on stealth mode are wonderful additions. The game is perfectly paced. The intensity ramps up higher and higher as the story continues. Firefights are much rarer than past installments, and very unique. This game-play variety surprisingly adds a lot to the story. Nate no longer feels like an unstoppable killing machine, but more like an aging man, past his prime, simply doing his best.

Of course, without the story, Uncharted would just be…well.., it wouldn’t be AS amazing. But the cinematic plot does not disappoint. It incorporates flashbacks, without using them as a crutch, and unlike past games the plot progression continues even after the cut-scenes end. Those long walks through a path, awkward climbs up rustic buildings, and in this games case, drives through the desert now host interesting conversation rather than mindless, albeit often hilarious banter.

The set-pieces in the game are equally amazing. The breathtaking landscapes sometimes prompt a few minutes of inactivity where the player just stares at Naughty Dog’s meticulous attention to detail. And with the new photo mode, this is even more magnificent.

Reportedly, this is to be the last game in the Uncharted franchise. Prior to playing this game, I was disappointed. “I hope its good” I thought, resolving to spend my last few weeks with Nathan Drake and CO. as well as possible, relishing every moment. But A thieves end is different. It does something next to impossible for a gamer. It satisfies. That desire for more that the player felt after uncharted one, two, and three, is totally absent. I may never see Nathan Drake again, and I’m okay with that. From brutal brawls, to death-defying leaps; wide open mountains, to claustrophobic caves, this game is practically perfect in every away.