I’m back from my first Comic Con now and I literally saw so much stuff that I can’t even begin to cover it all. Fortunately, Jeff was there too so hopefully he remembers to cover all the stuff I’ve forgotten. Like he already has with here. So, to keep this post from being a giant wall of text I’m going to focus on just the video games I actually played or saw a demo for. That means I’m leaving out stuff like DMC (Devil May Cry), Hitman, and Aliens: Colonial Marines which I just watched others play. If you have questions about any of these ask them in the comments and I’ll try to answer.
Transformers: Fall of Cybertron – I was browsing the exhibit floor and there was a system open for Transformers: Fall of Cybertron so I jumped on. The first thing that really stood out to me was how the levels were structured. There are parts where I had to fly to progress and then other areas where I needed to be in robot form to deal with the enemies and obstacles. I really like that it was not just here is a vehicle level and next there is a robot level. The way the sections moved from one gameplay type to the next made it feel less like a game and more like I was in Cybertron. The game play was pretty fun once I found the controls settings and change flying to be inverted. IDW also announced at SDCC that there will be a set of preview comics released before the game that tie in directly with Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. I’m looking forward to seeing how those to mediums work together to tell one story.
Assassin’s Creed 3 – I saw both the single player preview that Ubisoft was showing and played a few matches of multiplayer. The campaign looks like it will be really fun. In the mission they were showing you have the option of going a stealthy route or strait through a battle with all the enemies to get to your target. I like that they are giving that choice now based on the path you take to get to your target. The animations, especially for the combat and traversal, look really good. Combat is a lot less about blocking and instead allows you to take on multiple enemies at once as almost every weapon can be dual wielded in combination with the other weapons. The multiplayer mode I got to try was Dominion where there are 3 points to try and capture and hold. This led to some fun strategies in a 4v4 match. Do you keep a person at each point and have the extra guy float where needed, or do you run in 2 pairs trying to keep ahead of the enemy team. There were all new characters and abilities, but also a lot of the best ones from the last 2 games returning to again. I enjoyed the Assassin’s Creed multiplayer before but now it seems even better with more depth and options.
Borderlands 2 – I think most gamers are already looking forward to this sequel based on of he first, but there is so much more packed into Borderlands 2 that makes the first game pail in comparison. The visuals are brighter and more colorful. The weapons all have a distinct look and feel. Even each gun’s reload is different. I tried about every gun I could find while playing and they all were different enough that I could tell them apart easily. I played as the Gunzerker class. I was not really expecting it to be my preferred class, but after dual wielding a rocket launcher and an assault rifle I was sold. The skill trees have some really fun and unique upgrades that allow you to make your dual wielding special last longer and be even more powerful. If you have not already pre-ordered Borderlands 2 you really should.
Tomb Raider – Maybe it was the section of the game they were demoing but I found the new Tomb Raider kind of boring. It looks really nice graphically but I got bored before even finishing the demo. A sprint option to help get around faster would have helped, but even then I don’t want to be just camping and hunting for survival. I want to be progressing through the story, kicking butt and looking for lost treasures. Instead I was limping around looking for a place to sleep and then for some food. I’m not sold on Tomb Raider and unless something changes I’ll probably skip it.
Lost Planet 3 -The videos and screenshots that Capcom has release do not do just to how stunning Lost Planet 3 looks. They were only talking about and showing the single player but they did confirm there will be a full multiplayer mode as well. In Lost Planet 3 you will have access to your utility mech throughout the campaign. Since it is yours you can upgrade and take care of it. Unlike previous games you don’t have to collect T-Gen just to survive, but what you do collect can be used as currency. So, in battles with non-boss enemies you have to decide if you are going to jump out of your mech and take them on on foot. This get you easy access to all their T-Gen before it can fade away. Or, you can fight them in your mech. This makes the fight easier but also you run the risk of possibly missing some of the T-Gen. The demo had a few moments where you get tackled but instead of using quick time events the came continues and you have to fight your way out by properly aiming and timing your melee attacks. This little change is one that I really appreciate as it keeps me immersed in the game. The campaign is not a strait linear shot this time around either. There will be areas to explore and side missions to complete.
Gears of War Judgement – I’ve been looking forward to seeing how OverRun mode plays. The merging of Horde and Beast into a verses mode actually fits really well. As the COG you have different classes to pick form. The Soldier has a lancer and boom shot and can drop ammo crates for everyone on the team to use. The Engineer has a gnasher and a torch to repair damaged defenses with. He also can throw down a auto-turret. I did not get to get to try the other 2 classes but the Scout had the option to toss a grenade that revealed all of the enemy locations within range. If you played Gears of War 3 then you’ll be right at home playing Judgement. The COG are charged with defending the base from the Locust. I found that pretty much every match the Locust were able to destroy the base. I think once the game is out and people can pick any class instead of having it assigned by the station you are playing on will help with that. When both teams destroy the station through on their turn attacking then the team who is faster wins. On the attacking Locust side you can start as a ticker, wretch, drone or kantus. Each of these play similar to how they did in Beast mode in Gears of War 3. Personally, I was able to rack up a ton of XP by running around as a ticker destroying defenses and then switching to kantus and keeping my team healed. Once you earn enough points in the match the bloodmount, corpser, serapedes or berserker. If the attackign team can work together and get a couple berserkers with a kantus backing them up that combo is virtually unstoppable. I think the balancing will get some adjustments before release because the Engineer class felt a little weak with just a gnasher, but we’ll have to see how Epic decides to handle that. No matter what they decide Gears of War Judgement is shaping up to be another great Gears game.