Posts Tagged ‘Video Games’

DC Universe has gone Free to Play: It’s about damn time

DC Universe Online goes Free To Play

Around this time last year we were very excited to hear about a release of an MMORPG on the PS3. We had never had one before and it was about time we got to put the system through it’s paces. Once the beta was released we were beyond underwhelmed. This isn’t to say that it was a bad game, it was just incredibly underwhelming. It strikes me as a bad idea to pay $15 a month to do the job of a DC Universe superhero while they stand back and watch. Sure sometimes they jump in to help but most of the time they just told you to run along and stop crime. While you paid them to do it. Bastards. Most of us wanted to play with the superheros not around them.

However now it seems that enough people had gotten bored with DC Universe Online to open it up to everyone. It’s not completely free to play mind you, there is just a free to play option. While some MMORPGs will hinder your abilities or advancements DC Universe Online doesn’t seem to be doing this. They just somewhat limit your options in a way that means you can’t do/carry/say as much.

According to the DC Universe Online Website:

 Legendary DCUO

 Premium DCUO

 Free to Play DCUO

Access the game,
plus DLC Expansion Packs.
Maximum game features unlocked!
Access the game and
earn bonus features.
Access the game
for free!
Game Updates Free Free Free
DLC Expansion Packs Free access * Purchase Optional Purchase Optional
Character Slots 16
(can purchase more)
6
(can purchase more)
2
(can purchase more)
Inventory Slots 63
(can purchase more)
42
(can purchase more)
28
(can purchase more)
Auction Slots 20
(can purchase more)
5
(can purchase more)
0
(can purchase more)
Bank Slots 48
(can purchase more)
24
(can purchase more)
12
(can purchase more)
Trading Items and cash Items only None
In-game Currency Unlimited 2000 Max 1500 Max
Chat Unlimited Proximity (voice) chat, 6 text chat messages per 30 seconds 6 text chat messages per 30 seconds
Send Mail Text, items and cash Text and items Text only
Vault Tickets One free ticket per day One free ticket every 3 days One free ticket per week
Players Leagues Can form or join Can join Can join

So as you can tell you can still suit up and superhero the hell out of whatever city you care to join, however you just won’t be able to carry as much. It’s really not that big of a hinderance to the cause. Granted the button mashing style of gameplay will still be there as will the “see how fast I can hit level 30″ routine.

If you’re curious about how to go about playing all you have to do is fire up the PS3, log into the PSN, download it, let it install and then fire that puppy up and let your cape billow in the breeze.

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Grand Theft Auto V: Welcome to Vinewood

Grand Theft Auto V Logo

Recently Rockstar began to tease Grand Theft Auto V without giving anyone any real information as to where the game was to be located. In it’s fifth outing rumors and speculation began to flutter wildly around the interwebz as to where the new Grand Theft Auto V would be. Would it be Washington DC, New York, LA, Shanghai? People began to dissect the logo looking at every minute detail of it to try to glean some new information from it to break the “code”. Well ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to Vinewood.

What we see is an idyllic Hollywood style town called Vinewood. It starts off with the narrator talking about how he wanted to live a perfect life, to retire and become one of the good guys. He wanted to start a family and be a dad. However life doesn’t always go as planned. But Vinewood is only part of the greater world. It seems that San Andreas is once more our stomping grounds for GTAV. The question now is “Will  San Andreas in GTAV be as large as it was in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas?”

What’s interesting about the Grand Theft Auto V trailer, and maybe it’s just  me here, but I can swear that we see Niko as a hobo at 0:58, CJ running at 1:06, and Tommy Vercetti 0:39. We can almost be certain that Grand Theft Auto 5 will have it’s share of cameos, but are they going all out in Vinewood? Has everyone come out west for a piece of the San Andreas Pie?

Now even though Rocstar was just a publisher for L.A. Noire I’m curious to see how much the map is similar. I mean they have the map why not try to get some more use out of it. A great deal of care and effort went into creating it; just make a few changes and let ‘er back out there. It will be interesting to see if this is the case though. Will the Grand Theft Auto V map be the an updated L.A. Noire? I might actually find that relatively enjoyable.

Also am I the only one who thinks the person talking sounds like Uncle Kracker?

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Syndicate 4-Player Co-op Trailer: That’s more like it!

Syndicate 4-player co-op

When the new Syndicate was announced we advised people to give it the benefit of the doubt. It was a game with a history beloved by video gamers and fans of RTS the world over. It was one of the better parts of video game history and as such Starbreeze Studios has some rather big shoes to fill. As the trailers and screenshots and gameplay tailers came out we began to get a little worried that some of the elements that made Syndicate so great were being left out in favor of other, more modern, elements. With this trailer many of these fears have been put to rest:

I don’t know what it is about a team of 4 Syndicate agents in long coats that makes me shudder with delight, but I’ll be damned if it doesn’t do it every time. While this doesn’t clue us into every gameplay element in the 4-player co-op in Syndicate it does let us know a few things.

Syndicate Staples

For starters we know that they are maintaining the integrity of 4 member teams in Syndicate. This is good because it will allow you to plan and strategize without simply just trying to overwhelm. In this light it won’t be a standard online FPS.  Additionally they’ve carried over the “trench coat” style from the original Syndicate. While this isn’t something that will make or break the game it’s still nice to see it carried through. There’s a thematic styling that should be maintained and Starbreeze seems to be attempting to do just that.

Around 0:37 into the clip we see an agent pick up a package. This lets us know that the there will be more than deathmatch style gameplay in this FPS co-op. Not every mission in Syndicate was about killing other agents. There were assassinations, recon, and personnel acquisition. Each of these elements could play an interesting role in the online multiplayer. We suspect (or at least hope) that what we witnessed was a piece of intelligence gathering or reconnaissance.

Syndicate Changes

While we catch a glimpse of my personal favorite weapon from Syndicate (the minigun) we still don’t see any use of a Persuadetron. However we have yet to see any real use for it. The other thing we notice is that this seems to be directed at direct combat in some form of corridor. The nice thing about Syndicate was that it was open, there was life, people, and random things to blow up. The “only us vs. them” approach is not what Syndicate was about.

Syndicate 4 player co-op trailer

There has to be people somewhere that aren't shooting at us

Open the map up and throw some civilians in it. Allow agents to blend in, persuade people to be human shields, and wreak untold havoc. Agents didn’t always notice you and that’s what made it fun. When you’re the only thing on the board moving around you pretty much know you’re going to get shot. Think more Assassins Creed: Brotherhood less CoD.

In fact that lack of true tactics was not all we didn’t see. Vehicles were nice in Syndicate because they allowed you to blend in. They also allowed you to drive around 150 of your closest persuaded friends. We see them littering the landscape but nothing interactive or engaging. It’s this element that helped make the original Syndicate so much fun.

However just because we didn’t see it doesn’t mean it isn’t there, it just means that it wasn’t in this 1:43 gameplay trailer. Starbreeze Stuidios have themselves  a very  interesting video game on their hands. If done properly their online co-op could create a whole new style of online play for first person shooters. Or they could just shoot for average run of the mill co-op. Only time will tell what they have in store for us, but we’re waiting with our hopes held high.

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Skyrim Poll: Kat Needs Your Help

The Ultimate Decision

If you were to know anything about Kat, she’d… well, she certainly wouldn’t want her indecisiveness to be that one thing.  However, it’s the truth.  On top of being a huge BioWare fan and a Scaredy-Kat and a number of other things, she can be very indecisive.  As of right now she’s having a lot of trouble deciding what console to buy the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim for.

That’s not to say Kat isn’t excited for Skyrim.  She is.  She’s so excited she can barely contain herself.  Calendars with November 11th boldly circled in red haunt her dreams.  She finds herself humming the Elder Scrolls theme song at random times of the day.  She even wrote a post about tearing up over the beauty of Skyrim’s graphics alone.

Kat Needs You!

Kat needs you. Err, your help.

But the fact is that her indecisiveness has left her with a choice:  what system should she get Skyrim for?  She goes back and forth in her mind, one moment thinking that the 360 will be better as Skyrim was developed on it specifically, but the next minute thinking that the blu-ray capabilities might make the PS3 run Skyrim better.  She likes the 360 better in terms of achievements, but the extra PS3 controller triggers might mean she can have quick access to more attacks & spells in game.  What’s a gamer girl to choose?!

That’s where you come in.  That’s right, Console Polishers, Kat needs YOU.

We here at Polish the Console decided to hold a poll.  You, the readers, will decide the fate of which system Kat gets Skyrim for.  Whichever system wins in the poll below, that will be the version of Skyrim she gets.  And here’s where it gets really fun: Kat won’t actually know which system won until her copy of Skyrim arrives in the mail.  Then, on November 11th, Kat will film a quick video to show which copy of Skyrim came in the mail and post it here on PtC.

The poll will close Wednesday, November 9th.  You can vote once a day, so keep coming back to vote for your favorite system!  So what’s it going to be?  What system do you want Kat to play Skyrim for?  …or what do you want to FORCE HER TO PLAY?

Be sure to check back on November 11th to see what Kat got!

 

-Kat

(it was strange writing in third person)

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Dark Souls: Playthrough Journal – Final Entry

Dark Souls Playthrough Journal Final Entry

In Part 1 and Part 2 of our Dark Souls Playthrough Journal we’ve taken you through a few initial elements in Dark Souls. This is a game that has taken what has worked so well in Demon’s Souls and made a few improvements on it. While we can’t stop playing we can’t ask all of you to contend with our updates about the required grinding. Dark Souls doesn’t stop when the console is turned off. It lives on. It invades our dreams and clouds our thoughts. Each waking moment is a time to reflect on what went wrong and how to correct it. It’s a game unlike most we have played and for that we are in love.

Similar to our absence from one another, the world of Dark Souls has continued on. While my character only progresses through my own actions the world continues to see new signs of life. Blue shadows of those who succeed and newly formed bloodstains of those that don’t appear and disappear like the ethereal apparitions that they are. However since last we found ourselves at the Firelink Shrine we have not laid dormant.

Dark Souls

Being overrun can also work to your advantage if you strike just right

In Dark Souls the controls are difficult to master but once you do you find them to be almost perfect. Save for a few niceties like a proper jumping mechanic they are absolutely wonderful. People don’t die in Dark Souls because they controls are imperfect. They die in Dark Souls because they themselves are imperfect. However taking any break from Dark Souls means that we will lose the precision and understanding that we have worked so hard to cultivate. So we press on. We become the spirits and stains that dot the landscape and hope that others begin to learn from us. We leave messages in the world to aide those that will follow so they may not be caught off guard.

As we fight the demons and the evils of the world we know that we will not be successful on our first attempt. But we press on because we know that the rewards are worth the price. As we fight these demons we’re struck with the sheer magnitude of evil stands before us each and every time. With each new demon we have a whole new challenge. Dark Souls isn’t there to help you win. Dark Souls knows how to defeat the demons. It’s your job to figure it out for yourself. However there is something that Dark Souls doesn’t know that is ultimately your greatest strength.

Dark Souls has no idea how to stop you. Granted it will throw almost everything imaginable at you in an attempt to stop you. In fact if you move too carelessly it will throw far more at you than you can handle and it will be successful in learning how to stop you. But then once you start over you then take this as a lesson of what not to do.

As we move through the world we care careful note of how many enemies there are and what they do. Not every enemy can be killed in the same way. While you could spend the entire game blocking this will just wear you and your equipment down. Sometimes it’s best the just charge in and other times it’s best to wait and snipe. You won’t know what the best course of action is, however, until you try. Sometimes a kind soul before you will have left a message to help you on your way.

Dark Souls Wallpaper

Nothing shows both the strength and despair of Dark Souls quite like this

Progression in Dark Souls is done slowly and this is the way they intended it to be. Not every enemy is one you can kill. Sometimes it’s best to run. Sometimes it’s best to just steer clear. Sometimes you run in swinging. You will only ever learn which is correct by trying. Once you know you keep doing it until you have it down to a science. You learn the strengths and weaknesses and exploit them. This is not your game. You don’t get to play it your way. The only way to survive is to play it their way.

As we work our way up from the Firelink Shrine and past the aqueduct we’re quickly finding that being overwhelmed is something that Dark Souls will throw at us time and time again. From enemies hanging off the side of a railing to metal covered bulls to a dragon that decimates everything in it’s path the onset of Dark Souls will not pull any punches. However the ways to beat Dark Souls are not always contained within the game. Sometime you must look elsewhere to find the solutions. Dark Souls lives outside of the console. It permeates the world around you and ceases to be an RPG and starts to become a part of your life. It’s like that pet that you tried to hide from you parents or that naughty magazine you also tried to hide from your parents. You don’t want to admit that you’re looking for help but it’s the only way to survive.

It is for this challenge and totally different gameplay that we give Dark Souls a 5 out of 5

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