It was a good year to be alive. We didn’t see the world end in 2012, but we did witness some apocalyptic forces of nature, one of the most explosive political climates in recent memory, economic failure on a global scale, and the Cowboys fail to make the playoffs. All this, and we’re still alive! Gamers like us have even more to be grateful for: we had a kick-fucking-ass year of gaming. 2012 started strong with great DLC for the best games of 2011 and peaked with a shit-ton of AAA titles to end the year with a bang. The 2Old2Play writing staff is proud to present the best, and worst, of what we played in 2012.
The end of the year is rapidly approaching: the time of the year when gaming news centers around Game of the Year, or rating what has already been published with numbers, stars, or thumbs to help consumers decide if that game is stocking-worthy. I say get the little bastards a game card and let them get what they want. Once you hit the age of eligibility for 2O2P your grasp on what’s cool is probably gone anyway. Oh, about the new releases this week...there is no new tangible software to be had. However, there are a few new downloads to take in, which means you don’t even have to leave the couch to enjoy what’s new this week, you lucky devil!
Halo 4 Crimson Map Pack
The newest DLC for GOTY contender Halo 4 arrives early this week. To be honest, a couple of the maps looks like the co-op maps already in the game. Shatter, Harvest, and Wreckage are here to stifle the incessant “I’m sick of this map” whining and provide some new real estate for Halo players to bitch about. So go get a 4-pack of Monsters, or a keg of Dew, because it’s gonna be a late-night kinda week on Requiem. Available exclusively for the Xbox 360, starting December 10.
Hawken is a first-person mech warfare free-to-play download from Adhesive Games for that FPS/Mech/cheap-ass PC gamer niche. Hawken utilizes the Unreal 3 engine, so the action is relatively stutter-free. I was fully prepared to blast the game sight-unseen, but the trailer looks pretty damn cool, and the price is right for any budget. There are already rumors of a movie deal...maybe that will be free-to-see. PC gamers can digitally download Hawken starting 12/12/12.
Dishonored: Dunwall City Trials
Arkane and Bethesda are bringing Dishonored it’s first lease on life this week with the Dunwall City Trials DLC. While the new DLC does not necessarily add to the Dishonored storyline, it does give players a chance to wreak havoc in environments that will not impact the main quest by increasing Corvo’s chaos level. Instead of adding story missions, Arkane has provided ten new time trial and high score missions, separate from the story. Will it be enough to fill the empty space where actual game should have been? Find out, on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC on December 11.
I know what you’re thinking. Hell, I even thought it myself: all the good shit was already released for the year and we can lay back, take it easy, and wait for Santa’s fat ass to drop a sackful of loot under the tree. Well, amigo, ol’ Sarcasmo still has a trick or two up his sleeve and if you choose to let this new release article pass by unread then some hot chick is going to ask you “Hey gamer nerd, what’s new in gameland this week?” You won’t know because you didn’t bother to find out, so you make some crazy shit up, she totally busts you, and then she throws her eggnog in your face. So, if your improvisational skills are far superior to mine, or you like eggnog facials, then read no further. As for the rest of us? We return to Skyrim on the leathery wings of DLC, take our third tour of Pirate Island, Sony and Nintendo play catch-up, and the PC gets another high-flying pirate adventure.
The AAA titles are hitting shelves in such abundance that publishers could completely slack off and release nothing between now and Christmas and there still would be plenty of Game of the Year candidates to go under the tree. Since October we have seen the release of Dishonored, Halo 4, Black Ops 2, Assassin’s Creed 3, and Hitman: Absolution. The good news? Several highly anticipated games such as Grand Theft Auto V, Far Cry 3, Crimson Map Pack DLC for Halo 4, Forza Horizon Rally Expansion Pack, and the Skyrim Dragonborn DLC all drop before the end of the year. The bad news? There ain’t jack shit this week. The games that promised to release in the dead zone that is the week following Black Friday were either pushed back again or find themselves vying for a vaporware award. I have, however, found one notable exception: a game that is actually releasing early!
Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition
The 2Old2Play HD Makeover Game of the Week utilizes the AD&D 2nd Edition Rules and is set in the Forgotten Realms. The original Baldur’s Gate released in 1998 and was developed by BioWare, who later went on to develop KOTOR, the Mass Effect Trilogy, Dragon Age, and Jade Empire. Beamdog is responsible for the remake, and founder, Trent Oster, was a co-founder of BioWare. Oster claims over 400 improvements to the original including a new interface, cinematics, online multiplayer, and classes and sub-races that were not introduced until the sequel. Available for the Mac, PC, iPad, and Android tablets on November 28th, and on iOS shortly thereafter.
Borderlands 2’s newest DLC-Mr. Torgue’s Campaign of Carnage-hits consoles and PC today! Campaign of Carnage features more Borderlands 2 goodness-new quests, achievements, character skins, currency and lots of new areas to get your loot on!
There’s a new vault in Pandora. Opening the vault-located in the Badass Crater of Badassitude-merely requires the champion of Pandora to “feed it the blood of the ultimate coward.” So you yearn to be the champion of Pandora and feed the vault its cowardly blood sacrifice, do you? Meet Mr. Torgue. His corporation-cleverly named The Torgue Corporation-is setting up a tournament to find Pandora’s “number one badass.” Carnage features new baddies, several new bosses such as Badassaurus Rex and the return of Mad Moxxi, Tiny Tina and Tannis.
Players scavenge Torgue Tokens, Campaign of Carnage’s currency, from dead baddies. Redeeming tokens at Carnage’s vending machines nets you some badass Torgue weaponry. Vending machines in Carnage always feature a legendary weapon in their Item of the Day slot.
Campaign of Carnage is available on the Xbox, PS3 and PC for $9.99 (800 Microsoft points).
Go get your loot on!
Is that turkey I smell? Another holiday is right around the corner and the jolly fat man in a red suit with a sackful of credit card bills is next in line. With roughly 400 video games and a new game system dropping this holiday season, Christmas lists will be rather lengthy this year. This week saw the release of a new Nintendo portable complete with launch titles, Sony bites back with an exclusive fighter, 47 takes a babysitting gig, Dreamworks saves Christmas so they can ruin it themselves, Persona leaves the arena, and PC gamers play catch up.
Nintendo reminds players that it pioneered post-Atari console gaming. The Wii U dropped on Sunday and will be the hottest piece of hardware on your Christmas list. The distinguishing feature of the Wii U is not the horsepower, graphical acuity, or processing speed: it’s the controller. Nintendo has developed a very high-tech controller, complete with capabilities borrowed from its portable line, like touch screen, and incorporated it into a new console. One of the cooler features of the Wii U is the ability to keep playing on the controller even if dad takes over the tv to watch the Cowboys try to play football. The price of admission for the Wii U is $299.99. Three bills will buy you the console, 8 gigs of internal storage, the controller, sensor bars, AC adapter, and HDMI cables. Throw in an extra $50 and Nintendo bumps your storage to 32 GB, provides a cradle for charging the controller, and a stand for the tablet, and a copy of Nintendo Land. Time to ask the boss for a raise.
Nintendo will be dropping Wii U titles by the truckload from now until Christmas and beyond. Expect Aliens: Colonial Marines, 007 Legends, Bayonetta 2, and many more games very soon.
Playstation All Stars Battle Royale
Perhaps taking a cue from Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros, Sony has taken some of their more prominent game characters and pitted them against each other Marvel vs Capcom style. Pit Metal Gear’s Raiden against Big Daddy from Bioshock. Have Kratos kick the living shit out of Sackboy. Roll over Nathan Drake with Sweet Tooth. 22 characters will be available at launch with DLC additions likely. PS3 and Vita compatibility is featured on this title, which drops November 20.
Assassin’s Creed 3
The war between the Templars and Assassins continues against the backdrop of the Revolutionary War. Ezio’s time is gone and the game focuses on a new protagonist named Connor Kenway.
Agent 47 is back and appears to be at the top of his game. A new instinct feature highlights items and people of interest, which effectively eliminates the radar-watching of previous games. Players can choose the sneaky route or roll in guns blazing Matrix-style. The story centers around 47’s promise to watch after a girl, a deal which apparently goes sour. He’s a great assassin, not so great at babysitting. The sitter gig goes south and turns into a reclamation and revenge story...hell yeah! Every trailer I have seen indicated that 47 is very pissed off: he’s leaner, meaner, and his facial features are a bit darker than in previous offerings...mood lighting, gotta love it. Start your killing spree November 20 on Xbox 360, PS3, and PC.
Rise of the Guardians
This is the video game tie-in of the Dreamworks movie. Unless it’s different than every other movie tie-in title, I would expect poor quality, low immersion, non-existent replay, and that ol’ rushed into production feel. I could be wrong about this one...but I’m not. Drops like a turd on the PS3 and Xbox 360 on November 20. The trailer for the movie was 2 1/2 minutes, the video game trailer was 37 seconds long. On the bright side, the movie comes out Wednesday and it looks pretty good.
Ok, lets face it, there is only one release this week that the majority of us care about. We saw the commercials, we watched the trailers, we dug through press releases and now it’s here! My daughters are so stoked for Monster High: Skultimate Roller Maze but that pales in comparison to my excitement over LEGO The Lord of the Rings! Guiding little LEGO Frodo through the mines of Moria has long been a dream of mine and I finally get to make it happen!
Halloween is over, and while the rest of the world focuses on the dysfunctional American electoral system, 2Old2Play is going to focus on getting its game on. If you're 2Old2Play, then you’re old enough to vote on Tuesday. Afterwards you should reward your participation in American politics by shopping for a new release at your favorite game boutique. This week we have the long-awaited sequel in the series that launched 2 consoles, cars driving in circles, Dragon balls, paper plumbers, we go back to Deponia, General Patton get his own game, and we visit Ragnarok...no, not that Ragnarok.
Halo was Microsoft’s launch title for the Xbox, and Halo 2 launched the Xbox 360. Halo 4 is going to launch the 2Old2Play Chicago LAN. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take advantage of the two days you will have with Halo 4 before the LAN to get familiar with the game. I would suggest taking those days off from work and buying a bottle of tequila, so you can practice drunk to simulate LAN playing conditions. Make a shot, take a shot. It releases exclusively for the Xbox 360, on November 6...at midnight. Some of you are already waiting in line for this...and that’s just sad.
Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance
The newest Metal Gear was supposed to release Tuesday, but Master Chief scared Raiden off...we won’t see him until February.
Unlike Ragnarok Online, this spin-off is more of a tactical RPG than anything. The nomenclature is misleading, as there are no Viking or Norse Gods apparent in any reference material I researched. Players customize and the develop their character through battle experience on a digitized grid, just like folks have been doing for decades, so nothing new there. What is new, however, is the Japanese apparent misinterpretation of Norse Mythology...so expect anything. Ragnarok Tactics his the PSP exclusively, on November 6.
Paper Mario: Sticker Star
The newest entry in the Paper Mario series has a bit of a sticky twist. Stickers are used as collectibles, interactive environmentals, and weapons. Collect stickers and add them to Mario’s sticky book of plumberly warfare. Different weapons work with different enemies, so a bit of tactical cleverness is required to progress. Paper Mario: Sticker Stars hits the Nintendo 3DS, on November 11. What is the deal with Nintendo and Sunday releases?
Deponia 2: Chaos on Deponia
The abrupt ending to Deponia left little doubt to Daedalic Entertainment’s sequel ambitions. The wisecracking protagonist, Rufus, has grown a bit wiser and is full of questions: will his luck ever improve, will he give up training torpedo dolphins, and of course, why did the last game have such a crappy ending? Can Rufus overcome his egocentric behavior, piece his girlfriend back together, and save Deponia from chaos? PC gamers can go back to Deponia for answers, for about $20, starting November 6.
NASCAR The Game: Inside Line
Three types of racers exist in the video game world: those who like cars, those who like car chases, and those who like driving in circles. NASCAR The Game: Inside Line, naturally, appeals to the circle-driving redneck in all of us. Faithful recreations of real-world NASCAR tracks, like The Brickyard, Texas Motor Speedway, and Talladega, are the shining stars in every NASCAR game, and Inside Line is no exception. The cars are essentially identical, so driving strategy and patience are the skills needed in the grueling world of mile and a half ovals and annoying crew chiefs. Xbox 360, PS3, and Wii players should drive cautiously to pick this one up, on November 6.
Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection
The 2Old2Play HD Makeover Game of the Week is is Dragon Ball Z Budokai HD Collection. 23 Dragon Ball characters beat the shit out of each other, just like they did back in the day, except now they fight in high definition. A collector’s edition offers ridiculous extras, like the anime series and music, for a ridiculous price. I like to describe HD makeovers as better looking versions of games that I have been sick of for a long time. Xbox 360 and PS3 players can relive their childhood, in HD, starting November 6. I hand-picked the shittiest trailer I could find to punctuate my disdain.
History: Legends of War Patton
Players assume the role of General George Patton just after the landing on Normandy Beach...sorry fellow gamers, that one has been done. Combining RTS and turn-based strategic elements is a novel approach by Maximum Games. The single player campaign develops over 35 strategic missions on the road to Berlin, and multiplayer features a head-to-head “Hotseat” mode. The History Channel branding insures that the cutscenes will be actual historical film clips. PS Vita, PS3, and Xbox 360 players have some very big shoes to fill, starting November 6.
It’s nearly Halloween and the holiday game season is upon us. Publishers and developers are all fighting for your cash and, in the spirit of the holiday, I say let them fight it out with chainsaws. This week we have some very big games, some HD releases of some games that used to be big, and a game based on a TV show, that was based on a toy which was big in the 1980s.
Reactor Online. Sensors Online. Weapons Online. All Systems Nominal.
Well not really, but close! The beta of MWO (Mechwarrior Online), the handsome child of Pirahna Games, will be available today, Monday, Oct.29th at 12pm PDT to everyone.
We will be granted full access to this open BETA, of the new Free-to-Play sensation that is MWO. The game is still not a complete representation of the final product but is getting very close and is PC-only. If you have been secretly crossing your fingers and hoping they don't screw it up, then I suggest you come take a wee looksy at http://mwomercs.com/
Everything you ever wanted in a Mech game is here, or is coming. We of course have beautiful and vibrant graphics thanks of course to use of Cryengine 3. Excellent physics and sound; creating believable Mech behemoths, that feel as heavy and huge as the real thing (whistles). There isn't a feeling out there to describe the joy one feels in their heart, as they hear the deep "buddb buddb" of their pulse lasers, and witness glory, as the glowing beams raise their adversaries armor plating past its melting point; in a bright glowing feast for the senses. Or watch the enemy's Mech recoil from the blast of a high velocity ballistic projectile and know that the sucker is experiencing shock and terror.
Part of creating the perfect atmosphere in a Mech game is having them feel like real giants, and having them react to the huge amounts of devastating weaponry we all know would be employed in battles such as this. This, Piranha does extremely well and I have experienced panic and doom first hand as my cockpit shook, alarms sounded, lights flashed, and the sound of armor twisting and tearing rang in my ears! Oh the horror! Rest assured these are only distractions and you are still very much in control of your Mech. They don't take that away from you till it explodes! Its just a matter of remaining calm.
A medium high speed Mecha called a Cicada, keeping watch.
Of course that is all pretty pretties, and not the foundation of the gameplay which is where the real meat is of course. We are talking now about Mech customization. To anyone who knows about the Battletech universe, this conjures up certain expectations which must be met! I am not an expert in the field, but have dabbled from time to time into this universe and from what we have seen today I expect you all to be quite satisfied. It unfortunately is not all there yet but will be coming soon, while most of it is there now, including the Endo-steel and Ferro-fibrous armors, XL-engines, Anti-missile systems and of course much more. There are the original chassis, so far we can only choose inner sphere ones and we are limited to either 2 or 3 types per weight class (light, medium, heavy, and assault) for the time being. Each chassis type does have different variants which masters of customization and/or commanders of the battlefield will need to learn very well. Though the amount of Mechs may seem limited now (well ten Mechs isn't really limited), remember, we are still in beta and more will come later. The only place the customization fails is the design of the editor itself. It is not intuitive, and with some possible beta bugs that may piss ya off from time to time. But when you figure it out, it ain't to bad and that is something they fix regularly. When you go in for the fist time ask a 2o2p guy for some help. If you visit the Mech forum on site here, there is voip service info. Join in the conversation, bunch of Mech vets in there who want to help. There is even an open-beta help channel in our raidcall. Check it out.
Now Pilot customization. Well more like a light rpg style advancement, heightens your ability to pilot certain mechs and their variants. You gain experience for each Mech variant you pilot and can spend that experience to make you more efficient on the battlefield. When you are a master of many variants of a certain Mech you will be allowed to specialize further. It is all fun and rewarding. May i suggest saving up for anything that helps with reducing heat production. Most people who have enjoyed the current wave of FPS's will be used to this type of advancement and those who aren't, don't worry, its very easy!
A medium weight Mech known as a Hunchback, being outfitted with medium lasers in the Mechlab.
I can't think of a game that I have played, which has seemed more team centric then this. They said that unlike previous installments of Mechwarrior games, this one isn't just an arms race. They have been correct so far. Spotting targets and focusing fire are a dire necessity if you want to walk off the battlefield alive. An evening spent playing with a full team from 2o2p ended in many a match with eight casualties of the opposing team to our none! Your light (recon) mechs spot targets, lure adversaries into traps, or the firing range of your teams LRM Boats (long range missile endowed mecha). Your mediums are excellent Recon hunter/killers, and when properly outfitted have the speed and maneuverability as well as firepower options to really piss of the assaults. Heavys' are great specialists and Assaults are of course monsters that bring great amounts of firepower to bear at anything that crosses their path. When all working together, mixing recons, with hunter/killers, boats with brawlers, and communicating, your team will more likely come out victorious. This isn't a game where one person can dominate the battlefield. No, this game is all about team work. Bring it to bear bitches. Another note is that for now we only have four battlefields to play on. As time goes on we will get more but we are still in beta.
Free to Play is this games revenue model. I know it sounds scary, but while we have been in beta their free to play model has been up and running allowing gamers to buy benefits. You are probably thinking, "God no! What are these awful benefits they will give to adolescent punks who have parents with deep pockets" I am glad you asked. So far the answer has been paint jobs and somewhat faster progression. That means they can pay for reasonable experience point boost or they can pay with real cash for the Mech you are gonna get by earning the cash in game from a couple hours of kicking ass. It hasn't hurt my feelings yet. You will be amazed to see the game they have created with this model, and its open for them to expand upon. So far its been a good experience and I think you will agree.
Last but not least, resources, you are gonna need them. I imagine the MWO beta forums will open up monday as well. But as huge as they are, can be quite a bit daunting on the newcomer. Here at 2o2p we got a bunch of guys wanting to help you out in our Mech Forums. We have a VOIP client set up that we strongly recommend you joining to make MWO easier for you to play as well to meet friends as the games social networking feature is rather lacking. Don't worry about bothering anyone in VOIP, we want to hear you, whether you are just dabbling in mechlab or farting around with the basics. There is even a room set up in raidcall for open beta questions. Check it out. Also here is a youtube tutorial aimed at newcomers coming to the Open Beta. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mmtt6XiC3rA
So there it is, the open beta, a worthy time sink for anyone into large scale mayhem and destruction. http://mwomercs.com/
Minimum System Requirements
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo E6750 2.66 GHz or AMD Athlon II X2 245e
GPU: Nvidia GeForce 8800GT or AMD Radeon HD 5650
RAM: 4 GB
OS: Windows Vista 32-bit
HDD Space: 4 GB
CPU: Intel Core i3-2500 or AMD Athlon II X4 650
GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 or AMD Radeon HD 5830
RAM: 8 GB
OS: Windows 7 64-bit w/Service Pack 1
HDD Space: 4 GB