G4Tv has announced that Gears of War 3 has been Delayed. Bummer. It’s not just a few months, rather it is a full year! The new release date for Gears of War 3 will be sometime in FALL 2011. >.< In a press release from Microsoft they go on to state:
“Gears of War 3 promises to be the biggest entertainment launch of 2011. The teams at Microsoft Game Studios and Epic Games have done great work thus far readying the title for release in the Spring of 2011. However, we’ve elected to move the launch of Gears of War 3 until Fall 2011 to make it the marquee title for the holiday season.”
It could be the marquee for national pants day – it doesnt matter. Gears is a HUGE franchise no matter when it’s released. I am hopeful that they’ll have more time to polish it’s playability. As Richie and I have said many times on the Podcast we appreciate the time it takes to release a game and it’s subsequent effort involved. Don’t RUSH IT. DON’T PANIC. Just please don’t release a 3d version of this game. Or something Kinect related. I’ll fucking vomit.
The last Halo game to be made by Halo’s creators, Bungie. Now that’s not to say there won’t be anymore Halo games, Microsoft owns that franchise and will milk it for what it’s worth. They just don’t own Bungie anymore and those guys are ready for something new. They even say goodbye to the franchise and thank the fans in the credits. Do they go out with a bang? Hellz yes they do! Currently sitting with a well deserved 92 on metacritic, I’m gonna go with a solid 9/10. I’ll be talking about single player mode of course. I might go a little longer than usual with this one 😉
The Good – First off, I gotta mention some technical stuff here. The thing I noticed when I 1st booted it up, was how fast it loaded, in comparison to pt. 3 and ODST of course. Those games were painful to boot up if they weren’t in your cache or whatever those guys did. It’s just smooth how quick I’m able to get up and going when I turn it on. Second, that new graphics engine….man, it’s sweet. Halo 3 & ODST were some really good looking games, but IMO, there was something about them, maybe the way they meshed with everything else….just felt, I dunno, out of date. Especially when you look at the Gears games. Now I wouldn’t say Reach looks as good as a Gears, but it holds it’s own with it’s own style, and pushes the fact that we don’t need new gen consoles just yet. Even the cutscenes are all in game, done way better than in the past, all keeping a fluidity to the presentation. Detail is definitely improved, and colors have a more realistic tone to them. There are times when you’re on a cliff, you look over and there’s war going on in the distance, it really gives an epic feel to the situation.
With Halo, or any other game for that matter, you come for the presentation, then stay for the gameplay. Yeah son, it delivers big time. If you’re a long time Halo fan, then you’ll feel right at home. Bungie took the ‘if ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ approach for the most part, like usual. Though they did add some improvements. Riding the Warthog feels so much smoother than it did before. Since you don’t dual wield in this one, they put the reload button back on X, and they put melee on the RB, which feels just right. Grenade switching with the B button is a little weird though. Honestly, I don’t miss dual wielding, the lack of it worked fine in ODST and here as well. Sneaking up on foes and holding melee provides a damn satisfying stealth kill with a knife. And as with any new Halo game, some new weapons are thrown in for good measure. As m’man Jamie mentioned in his previous post, the weapons list is ridiculous, so I’ll just highlight a few that I really liked. The concussion rifle, the covenant’s answer to a grenade launcher, makes short work of anything in it’s path, it makes me feel safe when I have it. The plasma repeater, I’ve always loved the plasma gun, this is sort of bigger brother to it, unfortunately it became a bit ineffective towards the end for me, but I’ll get to that later. There’s a few more goodies there too. Throughout the campaign, I felt they mixed up the selection pretty well, so I was able to get a good feel to most of the weapons this time around. It kept the action fresh for me.
The power ups. What. an. improvement. Seriously, they introduced these in Halo 3, problem was, they were weird icons where I didn’t know what did what. I dunno if I’m alone on this one, but I pretty much didn’t use them cuz in the heat of battle, I don’t have time to figure out what the apple core looking thing does. Here, it’s all money. Huge color specific icons when you go to pick them up, that show a pic of what the soldier does. If it’s fast running, there’s a dude running, if it’s armor, there’s a dude crouching in a huddle position, if it’s a jetpack….well, you get the idea. Speaking of jetpacks, how can you not love those things. There’s an awesome strategy thrown in, in which the powers are for a limited time, but do recharge quickly. Which means you can’t just fly through the whole level, but it gets you to some spots easier than just running up there, or my favorite, in the heat of battle. I can’t tell you how many times a Brute would come rushing at me with his 1-hit kill hammer, I would boost away, shooting while looking down, screaming at the TV as he keeled over. It’s pretty awesome. No matter how you cut it or slice it, this is Halo 4 with a prequel story. This one definitely has my favorite gameplay and fighting out of all the Halo games. And it’s definitely the best Halo package well worth the 60 bux I’ll put down on it. Sorry, I really dug ODST, but it was an EXPANSION to Halo 3 that should’ve been cheaper, they lied and charged full price. But anyways, I can go on all day about how cool it was to do this, or do that, but the gushing has to come to end folks. Time to touch up on what I feel are some of the flaws.
The Bad – As with most games, I like to play on normal mode, for I feel this is how I think the developer wanted the player to experience their creation the first time through. A solid challenge is what makes a game fun to play to me….do you know what doesn’t make it fun? When that challenge becomes ball-punching abuse. Reach’s campaign is crazy awesome fun, then at the last couple levels, things get knocked a little out of balance as you’ll get to areas where you’re too overwhelmed with enemies. You’ll get to sections with Hunters where instead of a fun battle, they’re just a pain in the ass cuz you’ll die so much, yes I know they were always toughies, but you will unload MANY clips. Some of the elites come flying through with frickin almost invincible armor. Maybe I’m exaggerating a little, but when I have to reload more than twice, and their shields still aren’t down, it gets annoying. I know it’s supposed to be the last hurrah and all that good stuff, but there’s other ways of making a battle feel epic without just making enemies too strong.
There’s a space ship flying section…..which is actually pretty cool, but there are times there, restarting a checkpoint for a 6th time, just pissed me the hell off. I felt the game took maybe an hour or so to really get going, I mean, I’m all excited when I 1st fire it up…..then I sit there like, ok, it’s Halo….basically, some of the new stuff could’ve been introduced a little quicker. The story, ah yes…..titanic syndrome, since much has been made about the book Reach is based on, we know the planet goes down in the end. So no surprises there…..while the cutscenes look awesome, again, maybe I’m alone in this, but I can’t tell you what the hell just happened…they didn’t exactly engage me, it’s like, ok, get me to the next level. They shoulda brought some of that cool storytelling style from ODST over. Some of the new weapons aren’t really given a chance to flesh out their potential to gameplay…..how many times did we get to use the target locator? Halo’s own hammer of dawn, once I think?
The Ugly – There are some dark moments in this one….when you first come back to the planet after the covenant has ravished everything….buildings burning in the background, bodies all over the place, it’s a creepy site. Either that or I ran out of steam and didn’t know what to put in this section 😉
I’m no stranger to really cool collector’s editions of games that I really like, yes, I have the Master Chief helmet from Halo 3(quit laughin at me Jamie), but it don’t fit :-\ Obviously I’m joking, it’s not meant to….we’ll see if my witch doctor has anything to say about that though…..Anyways, I’m not one to jump on any collector’s console bundles, most don’t look that special in my opinion, see-Modern Warfare 2 bundle, and who can afford em either. But this Halo: Reach set just looks downright sexy to me. While I wasn’t too big on the 360’s new look, there’s something about that sleek greyish look on this one that I can’t keep my eyes off. Especially the controllers…..I WANT ONE!! Check out Kotaku or your favorite game blog for more upcoming pics….now excuse me while I pull out my Halo fanboy card that I’ll wear proudly when Reach drops.
*Comes out September 14th at $399
If anything, Sony kicked things off days ago with trailers for some of their upcoming games. But on the official tip, Microsoft got down and dirty to promote their ‘camera that makes body a controller’ device, the then Project Natal, now officially called Kinect. Man, MS is promoting this as a family device, hard. Joystiq has all the inital details. What may be coming soon, that rumored 360 slim, it looks to be true, waiting on better pics and stuff though. Kinect on the other hand, should be out this November.
Hey kiddo’s, it’s that time of year again. The time where our geeky selves get a taste of what’s on the way in the gaming world. The time where we get all giddy and squeal over cool trailers and the possibility of good games and stuff that should hopefully come out soon. Or get disappointed by it….Wii Music anyone? Ok, sorry Nintendo, that was cheap of me….but seriously….Wii Music?!? WTF were yall thinkin?!? You guys made up for it with Mario Galaxy 2 though, I’m lovin it 🙂 And on the honest side, it’s rare that I get disappointed by something I was blown away by at an E3. Now let’s see, what do I hope is gonna make a showing? Or not. I’m gonna stick to the big 3 on this. Off the domepiece 🙂
+ Halo Reach baby! Sure, multiplayer is cool for cats that are into it, but I wanna see some of that campaign. Since it’s supposed to be out in the fall, I don’t think an awesome trailer is outta the question.
+ Gears of War 3. This ain’t due till April of next year, but give us a taste MS. For realz.
+ Fable III. Yeah, I know I gotta get on part 2 and finish that jawn. But the possibilities of being a king and affecting the world around you, depending on your rule style? Should be interesting.
– Project Natal. Yeah, we’ve went over the cool possibilities of this, so far, unnamed, contraption. But I’m really not interested. After being burned by the Wii, I just don’t give a damn about motion control stuff too much. Besides, I don’t have the space to jump around my room just to do something a button press can accomplish…..Make me eat my words MS.
+ The Last Guardian. We’ve put up trailers and all that good stuff….just don’t know when it’s due. I’m praying for a fall release, c’mon Sony. Make it happen!…Or take your time till it’s right, I don’t want a broken game LOL.
+ Killzone 3. This just got announced. Won’t drop till next year, but I loved 2. It has it’s flaws though. Hopefully 3 is a smoother experience.
+ A new Jak & Daxter. This is just outta thin air, not even a hint if it’s being made, but those games were awesome on the PS2. The guys behind the awesome Uncharted games made them, so c’mon. Take what you learned there, and apply it here, should be good.
– Playstation Move. Like the Wii, but supposed to be better. See above. I know you guys want some of that soccer mom/senior citizen money that Nintendo gets, but stick to what you’re good at. Motion controls?…..zzzzzzz
+ New Zelda. Show me something that’s gonna excite me. I know I’m in the minority here, but the 3d Zelda’s just don’t do it for me….and Twilight Princess? Puts me to sleep man. I’m hoping for something awesome.
+ New console. No I don’t want a new Microsoft or Sony system yet. But Nintendo? Just gimme something that smooths out jaggies and displays in HD. Mario Galaxy 2 looks great, but it can look AMAZING. And make sure it’s cheap too!
– Vitality sensor? Add that to the list of peripherals I don’t care about. Who knows. Maybe they’ll do something cool with it *snicker*
3rd Party Stuff
+ Dead Space 2. I loved the first game. It looked gorgeous, sounded incredible, and really brought the creeps.
+ New Silent Hill. Konami announced a part 2 reboot. I guess sort of like they did with the last game. Which I thought kinda sucked…but this one’s in another developer’s hands. I’m hoping for the best.
+ Rock Band 3. I used to be nuts about the music genre. But the endless Guitar Heros and band specific games just made it boring. Maybe Harmonix will give us something to be excited about again….and I can dust off my plastic guitars 🙂
While it hasn’t even been announced yet, Edge-online has the good word through the rumor mill when this epic should be happening. April 2011 is the time frame. It kinda makes sense since Microsoft has Halo: Reach dropping this year, they’re not one to have major franchises in the same genre battling it out at the same time for sales. E3 is happening in June, we’re pretty sure some info about Gears 3 is gonna happen, so we’ll know for sure by then. Stay tuned.
Man, I won’t even pretend to know what this game’s about. I just know they’ve been teasing it since before the 360 came out, and it looks damn interesting. Not only that, I thought I’d have to wait till the fall/winter to play it. It comes out May 18th! I’m pumped…enjoy the little trailer here.
Here’s a ‘dev diary’ about Fable III. Peter Molyneux and crew talk a little bit about what’s new and changed for the new game. Which reminds me, I gotta get back on Fable II and complete that!
Microsoft had their x10 show a little while back…their mini-E3 for all things Xbox360 if you will. With it came some cool trailers and announcements. Here’s a ‘ViDoc’ for Halo Reach….and it looks awesome, can’t wait till the fall when the game drops. Check the HD version of the video if you can, it’s worth it.
Coming 2yrs after the release of Halo 3 is this tight little expansion, Halo 3 ODST. If you’re a Halo fan, you know what to do, if not, this game won’t change your mind…..8/10.
The Good – More Halo, that’s really good to me, which means top notch console first person shooter action. The storyline is a fresh take on the usual formula, you get to see different takes from different character perspectives. It all takes place during Halo 2, basically experiencing a portion of what went down in New Mombasa. Tight, intense gunfights that keep you on your toes, are quite exhilarating. There’s a very cool semi-open world aspect that lets you approach enemies from different angles on some levels. Enemy AI is as smart as ever in a Halo game, no two battles are quite the same, even approaching a gunfight multiple times yields different, if even slight, experiences. Nighttime scenes have an air of creepiness. The graphics engine still looks good two years later. Audio is as good as it gets on the 360, high quality effects, well designed surround direction, and some pretty incredible music all add to another awesome Halo experience. The new Firefight mode is supposed to be pretty fun, along the lines of Gears of War 2’s horde mode, haven’t had the chance to try it myself, but I trust it’s a blast with friends. The multiplayer portion comes on it’s own disc with all the previous Halo 3 DLC maps with 3 new maps as well.
The Bad – The campaign is kinda short, it should’ve lasted at least another hour and a half since the main game is maybe 6-7hrs. While I’m happy to shell out for a new Halo game, there’s a reason why it’s called “Halo 3 ODST”, it’s just an expansion of Halo 3….not a new Halo game, probably should have been 40$ instead of 60$. Sure you got some expanded multiplayer, but it’s still Halo 3’s multiplayer, and I’m not an online multiplayer anymore, so that 2nd disc is gonna go to waste for me. You’re not Master Chief, and the characters you do play as are nowhere near as cool as he is, they’re pretty bland actually. While the overall graphics engine still looks great, you would think they’d update the face tech, the characters without their masks look pretty bad. I can be wrong, but I always remembered Halo autosaving, you have to “Save And Quit” to do this here, so if you turn off the box in mid game, you’re screwed.
The Ugly – When you go into the map/objectives screen, the game doesn’t pause, which means if you’re looking at the map, reading objectives or what have you, you can still get hit by enemies…..umm, hello? Pause?!?
I just read on joystiq, another 360 bundle is coming our way. Themed after the latest Call of Duty that’s coming soon, Modern Warfare 2, also shipping with a 250GB hard drive(!), 2 wireless controllers, and of course a copy of Modern Warfare 2, for $399. Maybe this is where that 250GB 360 rumor came from that we reported on many podcast moons ago. But it looks like Microsoft won’t be making that huge hard drive available separately anytime soon, they probably wanna gauge the demand, but since they’re screwing us on the 120gig’s price, I’d think it’s kinda hard to do that. Anyways, this awesome sounding limited edition package drops when the game does, 11/10/09, available for pre-order now.
….you bought all 5 of the Fallout 3 DLC expansions. On October 1st, Microsoft will be sending out a token to those cats who showed Fallout 3 that extra love, or let it make you it’s ho (like me!). On it’s own the theme is 240 Microsoft points on the Xbox Live Marketplace, which translates to 3 bux real ends I think….I dunno, I like the themes and all, but dang M$, that is steep.
Mad props to Kotaku, always quick to report on the movers and shakers in the industry….turns out that rumored new 360 revision(that comes with Natal), is happening after all. Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft, spoke at the Executive’s Club of Chicago today(whatever that is,rich people alert!), and confirmed it. No straight up details yet.You guys know we’ll be all over it once the deets are out.
So now Microsoft is saying there will be no new console…..well duh! I think it’s pretty safe to say that when Project Natal launches, it’s going to be a 360 device/peripheral/whateveryawannacallit. But chances are they’re gonna push them together as a package as well, whether the 360 gets updated hardware specs, it’ll still be a 360 platform. A’ight, this back and forth is really annoying, so I won’t be reporting on this again till they have something interesting to say about it.
Looks like Sony also wants to bite into some of Nintendo’s casual market share, today announcing their answer to motion controlling, sorry no cool names like ‘Project Natal’ or dates or pricing, just tech demoing on the E3 floor. Sure their pack in controllers on the PS3 has some motion sensing with the six-axis technology, but it’s nowhere near as intuitive as Nintendo’s Wiimote, or what Microsoft’s upcoming Project Natal seems to be. Here’s a little description from the joystiq post on it “The PlayStation Controller will work in conjunction with the PlayStation Eye, which will capture movements of the motion controller for “true one-to-one tracking.” Sony showed off a variety of tech demos for use of the motion controller, including sword swinging fantasy, tank-based third-person shooting, archery, tennis and drawing — all of which are meant only to demonstrate what is possible with the motion controller and is not the final software for the new peripheral (Those looking for a PS Sports title, sorry).” Kotaku posted some news about it as well, check it out.
*-This just a play on our usually weekly game review posts, Jamie and I are quite serious about our games, but we can also be goofs too. This is all in good fun and is only semi-serious on my opinions on things :-p
The Good – OMG, full body motion detection camera from Microsoft! Puts you in the game, Matrix here I come! I can’t wait to hang with Milo. Splinter Cell Conviction exclusive to 360, sweet. Metal Gear Solid series comes to the xbox platform once again. PSP Go! looks cool. God of War III, whoohoo! DJ Hero, my dreams finally come true in console form. Team Ico brings me “The Last Guardian”, yeah baby! New Super Mario Bros. 4 Wii, Super Mario Galaxy 2, hello, the kid in me is taking over!
The Bad – Awesome looking PS3 exclusives God of War III and Heavy Rain don’t come out till next year? Man are you serious?!? More like PSP Go Home! Hey Microsoft, how bout an idea of when I can get this ‘Project Natal’, and how much? Nintendo, you make me wet my pants with the Super Mario Galaxy 2 trailer, and tell me I can’t get it till next year? Are you just begging me to sell my Wii?? Oh yeah, how bout 17 more Guitar Heros while we’re at it Activision? New Tony Hawk with a board? cuz I just want more peripheral junk in my house!
The Ugly – Project Natal will make me physically tired of using the 360 interface….Wii Vitality wants to check my heart rate, how bout this-beeeeeeeep….Oh yeah, nice Sony, way to show a lame lookin prototype to motion control, it’s like the Wiimote and Project Natal had a really lame baby.
…Will this really work? This Project Natal? There was all kinds of announcements during the microsoft press conference at E3 today, constantly nipping at the Wii’s heels for some of that casual market money that they’ve gotten through the Wii Motion,and now they showed off their long rumored camera. A full body motion sensing camera, whoa. Check out the youtube vid below for the potential for gaming, as well as some updates to the 360’s system interface that allow you to control it kinda like that OS in Minority Report. Can it really work as well as their showing it off to be? Time will tell. Pricing and release date to be determined.
The Xbox360, an incredible gaming platform….pretty sweet library, the best online system of any of the consoles…can make any hardcore gamer all warm and tingly inside. But all is not milk and honey in that land, one of the biggest black eyes to any console ever, the red ring of death has crept up in many a gamer’s lives. Jamie and myself included, microsoft was good enough to extend the original 1yr. warranty to 3yrs, not bad. Ahh, there’s the rub….see, I’ve got my newer 360(with HDMI), and according to microsoft, newer 360s should be fine and reliable, which it has been, so no complaints. But I’ve got an older one that I keep for, ahem, playing some games earlier than most….this keeps me outta warranty, so when that older box eventually red ringed on me, I was able to fix it, more than once. Then I notice this creep up on the blogs a couple months back, something about an error 74….and finally, I get hit with it…some cats are able to get around it, seems most don’t. It’s related to the GPU and the scaler chip in the 360, from what I’ve gathered, one of the two went belly up in my machine…..trust me, I’ve troubleshooted it much. So people’s, make sure your 360 is registered, if you have problems, take advantage of that warranty. Don’t let it discourage you from owning a great platform…I’m just a little depressed right now is all.