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Veteran Member - Level 13
Hello fellow gamers. I know its been a while since I've written anything, I'm sorry about that. Life, my girlfriend, and school kept me a bit distracted. Most of you probably don't care that I was missing to begin with, but if you missed my writing, I have returned! Maybe not permanently, but I'm here now, and with that, I will start my first blog in four months.
Recently I received three titles that are potential Game of the Year winners in my book and in many people's opinion. In fact, one of these games has already won GOTY. These three games would be Borderlands 2, Assassin's Creed 3, and Halo 4. All of these games are wonderful, and picking a favorite is near impossible. I'm only borrowing Halo 4 and Borderlands 2, but I plan on purchasing them as soon as possible. I'll now give you all my first impressions (as in not a review) of these games...
I'm a bit of a Halo fan, most people would concur with that statement. I'll be the first to admit i was a bit skeptical of 343 Industries and their ability to produce a Halo game with the same quality that Bungie did. I was proven wrong. Halo 4 is above all of my expectations.
The story revives Master Chief, a move I was wary of from the beginning. He is an icon, and I was concerned with the way his story would go. Chief is waken by Cortana as the Forward unto Dawn is being swarmed by Covenant and heading on a crash course with a Forerunner planet known as Reqium. This is where the story starts, and in remarkable fashion. The first mission alone is gripping and takes some really interesting liberties, such as an Uncharted-esque climbing sequence and a low gravity firefight in space. It is also very cinematic and explosive, always keeping you on the edge of your seat. The audio is jaw dropping, I've never been so impressed by gun sounds... ever. And the music and other sound effects are just as brilliant.
The campaign, or at least the four missions I've played thus far, has not let up either. Every mission is fun and unique, as well as quite innovative in its approach. The set piece moments are spectacular, one in particular being an escape mission while riding a Ghost. The prometheans and their weaponry also make for a great addition to Halo. The variety of enemies and their variety of attack patterns really liven the gameplay up. Enemies that can throw grenades back and other enemies that can teleport and do tons of melee damage really mix it up. The scattershot is also one of my favorite Halo weapons now.
Of course Halo is all about the competitive multiplayer though, and this is where my opinion wavers a bit. I like the multiplayer a lot, it does a lot of things very closely to Reach and Halo 3, but some things bother me. i've always enjoyed Halo over other games for its originality.It's never used load outs, ordinance or Spartan points (or anything of the sort). The field of play was usually fair for anyone, no matter how new to the game they were. This feels slightly changed with the inclusion of load outs. The more you play, the quicker you level up, and the better guns you can start with. I've never liked that idea. At least you can still pick up the dropped weapons of your enemies and ordinance is based on your in-match performance, so these things help to balance the field again. The multiplayer still feels like Halo, which is very good.
Spartan Ops also brings a little bit variety to the table. For those that don't know what Spartan ops is, it is a episodic "campaign of sorts" that releases every week. Its five missions and they can be played solo or with friends/strangers online. These missions are very similar to campaign missions, but have a primary objective, such as rout the enemy. It also sets up a new, separate story than that of the campaign. This story has direct relevance to the campaign though.
In conclusion, Halo is one of the best games I've played this year, and easily gets my shooter of the year. Yes, even after playing Borderlands 2. This game easily exceeded all expectations. The story, gameplay, multiplayer, and even the graphics and audio have left me floored.
Speaking of Borderlands 2, what an incredible game. (Just a forewarning, I've played this one the least I think, or progressed the least, but I've played enough to give a valid opinion i think.) I was one of those people who never really heard of the original Borderlands, but got it from a friend's recommendation, and I loved every second of it. Granted, the story never kept me interested enough to finish, but I loved it.
That's one of the best things about Borderlands 2, the fact that the story is vastly improved upon, and I've only played a little bit of it. First off, there is a clear villain. Handsome Jack, who wants to rule Pandora with his vast supply of Eridium, is clearly your villain. And there is also a faction called the Crimson Raiders, who are clearly your allies. This game gives you more of a clear direction as to what your working towards.
As part of the story, the old vault hunters make a return, but never as playable characters. so far, Roland the Soldier, is the only main character I've met, that is super relevant. But the fact that those characters have returned gives the story and world a bit of familiarity.
As with the original Borderlands, the art style is cel-shaded, and it looks beautiful. Probably the most original looking game in a while, the characters and guns feel like they belong in this world. Everyone i just as colorful in personality as the game is. Borderlands 2 has a variety of landscapes, like tundra, and city structures. This is an improvement over the predominately original desert environment.
The game once again introduces 4 classes, but they are now different and have 3 separate skill trees. I have the most experience with Salvador, the Gunzerker. He is like an upgraded form of Brick, the Berzerker from the first game. His ability is also a variation of Brick's. Brick became a melee death machine, who punched everyone, but Salvador puts something in his hands, and that is 2 guns. he can dual wield whatever it is he is carrying, be it shotguns or rocket launchers.
Borderlands was advertised as the game with a million guns, but Borderlands increases this number. The awesome thing is that the guns don't feel as re-used as in the first game. I have a gun that literally blows up when you reload, its not the greatest, but it sure is an original idea.
To conclude, Borderlands 2 may not be my favorite shooter ever, but it certainly blends lots of game types together to create an awesome experience. Whether you like RPG's, Shooters, or Loot Fest, this game has something for everyone.
Assassin's Creed III
One had to wonder where Assassin's Creed was going after Revelations. The conclusion of the Altair and Ezio story left many fans yearning for more. So Ubisoft answered with a game that topples the last 4 Assassin's Creed games. Everything that you loved about the last games is once again prevalent, but now in the American Colonies.
The beginning of the game left me a bit surprised, since i began by playing as a character named Haytham. The game started, and it started with a bang. Haytham takes a trip on a boat to the New World, and this sequence shows off a lot of the power in this game. The stormy weather and things of that nature make the sequence riveting. You have to run around fixing the sails, rescuing crew members and things like that. This entire gameplay sequence culminates in an awesome bird's nest view of the Americas.
Fast forward a bit after some awesome story telling and interesting plot twist, and you begin to play as Connor. This is where the game opens up. You are now let loose into the frontier, the vast wilderness world so highly praised. It's praised for a good reason to. It is incredibly fun to travel in the trees and hunt animals. The hunting element is not forced, but its very highly encouraged. And i've had a lot of fun just hunting a few things.
The side quest are many, and the main quest seems like it will be very gripping. I'm not that far in, but just the story-telling thus far makes me really excited. It certainly seems a lot better than the last games. That transfers to the gameplay elements I've seen thus far.
Speaking of gameplay, combat is much more fluid than ever before. I'm not sure i really love it yet, but now you only need a few buttons to do a lot of tings. Counter is set to "b" and breaking guard is set to "a" and thats all you really need. You can also pick up weapons, shoot them and stab people with the guns bayonet. So its really fast moving, especially once you get to Connor with the tomahawk. Its incredibly fast and fluid. This also goes for the free-running mechanics. They are fast and fluid. You can now vault over fences and crates, as well as easily move through forests.
Multiplayer is still very similar, but now with an American revolution twist. I haven't really played it much, but its still a very thrilling experience. The game of cat and mouse that you play with the other assassins is really unique from most games, and it is only improved in this game.
So, in the end, do any of these games get Game of the Year for me? No, Mass Effect 3 takes that, but these games are the closest that any game got to beating it. They are all possibly the best game in their series, making many improvements and interesting story developments. Thank you for reading, and go pick up all these games, its worth it.