Category Archives: FPS
Imagine the distant future of the year 2007. The second Vietnam War has ended with a scorched earth policy. America has nuked Canada to end the war, and now the cleanup has begun. The post-war economy is boom-bust. Why use a VHS when a disc can hold twice as much data? Why send a letter when an e-mail can make its way halfway across the world in less than 30 minutes? Why recruit soldiers when you can just resurrect the ones who died in the field?
Be it Dinosaur or Human, there are things that you have to learn about your respective classes, strategies and a few tips and tricks to cope better both in groups and alone. The aim of this Guide is to provide some basic information on Primal Carnage, its classes and all the other tid-bits that you might be interested in. While I will not tell you how to “win” (there is never a formula for that) I hope that you will gain something new from this guide, or if you are new to Primal Carnage some basic, yet crucial, information. Let us begin by jumping into the basic controls. Jump ahead for into on different classes or to the far end for some Hints and Tips.
Bioshock: Infinite is the third hit from Irrational Games, and frankly the weakest of the three. I know saying that has just ignited a lynch mob and is bound to fill the comment section with people screaming STFU, but please hear me out.
I acknowledge wholeheartedly that Irrational has created a sweeping experience that slowly carries the player from a place of ignorance to one of enlightenment. It’s a long series of carefully placed clues intertwined with a satisfying story to bring us to the story’s twist (just as there was in Bioshock). And we as players get so bent on looking for and anticipating that moment of revelation that we’re willing to forgive and forget a lot, but it has to be said that the experience Bioshock: Infinite presents is simply not as solid as its forebears.
First, I’ll sing the game’s praises and hopefully tiptoe through the explanation of its weakpoints without giving away any spoilers. So allow me to give a stream of consciousness regarding my first few moments playing.
RAGE at paid day 1 DLC. I already paid a fucking arm and leg for the game, Xbox, and TV. I’m not throwing more money out for the DLC, Xbox Live, and internet when there was no reason other than greed on earth, heaven, and in hell for this business practice—Wow, cool music video! Fuck the season pass store! Rowing, rowing, rowing, learning I’m playing as Booker Dewitt, an ex-cavalryman who served at Wounded Knee. Being talked about like I’m not there by a couple of bickering Brits. Now I’m being stranded. Now I’m reading a threatening note from a creditor that can’t possibly have been placed in such a remote area by anyone other than an inhabitant. Find religious tripe. Repeatedly. Then, oh blue fucking Jesus, a man’s been tortured to death…which I suppose is historically appropriate for religion too. Alright, stuffed into a rocket, then shot into the sky—Where I find the sublime dream of an America that never was in gold, white, and blue. Is this heaven? Crap. They’re all Christian fanatics and I’m seeing triptychs and iconography reminding me of a combination of several cults and architecture pulled from major churches of the Latter Day Saints… This won’t end well.
Columbia, the city in the sky, is a metaphor (both in the glories presented and the evils hidden) of a society governed entirely by a unified religion. It’s a metaphor for the promised land that was the American Dream, and our character is a metaphor for the lowly immigrant who ventures across dangerous waters and uncertain circumstances for the hope that the dream is a reality. It contrasts sharply with Rapture from Bioshock, a forward thinking society that had cast out all religion. The subtext of Columbia, whether implied or just plain unavoidable, is that adherence to any one creed in word and not in deed brings about the same earthly evils as any society with or without a religion. The joke whose intentions I’m still questioning is that adhering to any creed in deed will bring about horrors of a different but equally terrible nature. It maintains both capitalist and segregationist overtones while presenting its citizens in a fashion that I think qualifies as uncanny valley.
Unlike in Bioshock, where you arrive to find Rapture already in ruin and are left to piece together in your mind the splendor of yesteryear, Columbia is filled with living, breathing citizens. They say a few words as you pass by. But you can’t respond. And their mood is both so peaceful and bland (reminding me of the Eloi from The Time Machine) that you realize the entire city (with its peoples) is based on The American Adventure pavilion at Epcot Center. There’s even an homage to it with an animatronic George Washington at the floating boardwalk. That in itself could be enough of a hook to pull us in. Sadly, it doesn’t really go anywhere. They all simply disappear when the shooting starts. There are no murmurs of dissent or slowly changing popular opinion as the game progresses and the city spirals further into dystopian ruin. It’s simply a stage early in the game that’s just as easily forgotten, and to match as gripping an experience as the first Bioshock requires that each element of the story and stage of the game lock together to create a tapestry that flows and moves, each piece of the utmost important to the whole.
That doesn’t happen here. You run across segregationists and ant-segregationists, and just leave them as you found them. The same with a floating version of the Ku Klux Klan that hails John Wilkes Booth as the slayer of the Great Tyrant. You are pulled in as a sort of Anti-Christ figure in their religious mythology, but you’re never given a choice. And since one of the major themes in Bioshock: Infinite centers around the choices we make and their consequences, being railroaded throughout the game just doesn’t make any sense. You are presented with a macrocosm of ideas, possibilities, and ideologies, but have only one way of doing things.
Take for example theft. There are areas in the game where you are guilty of theft and attacked if you pick up things off the ground. In other areas it’s considered scavenging and perfectly fine. I would happily pay for the items rather than steal them, but I’m not given the option. So I’ve gotta be branded a thief and kill a bunch of people unnecessarily.
On the other hand, I have many options when it comes to using my Vigors, Columbia’s version of Rapture’s plasmids. But I only use whichever one I currently have equipped since they all pretty much do the same thing. I can fling them directly at the enemy or use them as booby traps, firing with my gun all the while.
Gameplay in Bioshock: Infinite is diminished due to a lack of strategy. Your enemies all have guns. They shoot at you. That’s it. In Rapture my enemies were armed, unarmed, acrobatic, heavily-armored, navigating a maze of ruined art deco buildings and half-flooded apartments. My ammo was limited and my plasmids at best put me on even terms with the enemy. I had to hack cameras, turrets, and other gadgets and take advantage of semi-destructible environmental items to stay a step ahead of the hordes of crazies who wanted to use my skin as a dressing gown. Here I frequent a lot of docks and loading bays and shoot a lot of people screaming prayers, which is what people tend to scream when you’re walking around shooting at random. There’s no strategy. No puzzle-solving. And no story engagement since I don’t ever identify or get to know my enemies. In Rapture I almost pitied the psychotic splicers who had been driven over the edge of sanity by their own warped science.
The only time Bioshock: Infinite breaks from this mold is when you take the skyrails, mixing high-flying rollercoasters with shooting in a fashion I think was done first in the film Zombieland. Still fun as all get out, though. I restarted several times just to play the skyrails over again.
Since Vigors are not used to their full potential, there needs to be a game-changing element here. That element, or so I thought for the first half-hour, was Elizabeth, the quasi-dimensional Tails to your silent and repetitive Sonic. This is the closest to puzzle-solving that you run across. Elizabeth can open portals to other dimensions. She brings you money, salts, and ammunition. And she can even bring into this reality objects and architecture from other realities. But why, if we’re looking at an infinite number of outrageous possibilities, does this boil down to sentry turrets and skyhooks? A year before Bioshock: Infinite was released, Irrational claimed that Elizabeth would be doing crazy things like dropping freight trains onto enemy’s heads and knocking down walls with speeding firetrucks popping out of thin air. They’re working with quantum mechanics and postulating the infinite universes theory here. They could literally pull from anything their sick, twisted little imaginations come up with, and the best they can do is sentry turrets? That’s throwing pearls before swine!
The graphics are breathtaking, and Bioshock: Infinite modulates the mood impeccably, especially when it has a nasty surprise in store, but there are thematic inconsistencies which taint what would otherwise be a satisfying experience. In Rapture, their entire society was based on casting aside their past and full steam ahead to a bright, unfettered future. That future came in the form of plasmids: a substance which could change your genetic makeup and give you unbelievable powers. Rapture’s rise, politics, economics, warring factions, and eventual downfall all revolved around plasmids. In Bioshock: Infinite, the presence of Vigors is not explained. They have no demonstrable impact on society. What’s worse, considering how hidebound and traditional Columbia’s society is, gamechanging elements such as Vigors should’ve been eschewed. Throw in quantum physics, religion, ancestor worship, capitalism, segregation, and there is, in other words, no singular lore to which Bioshock: Infinite ascribes in order to maintain a tight, cohesive world. Your storyline might move along quickly, but in order to plant the seeds of doubt in the player’s mind which anticipates the inevitable twist it sacrifices substance for glitz. Your voxophones, which are recordings you pick up that are meant to give you a greater scope of the world you find yourself in, only encompass a few main characters rather than helping to give the player a grassroots perspective of the situation.
Make no mistake; Bioshock: Infinite does many things well. The voice-overs and dialogue are toe-curlingly good. The character designs are tight. Animations flow believably. The storyline as a whole is radically different from the norm. It will be very hard for any newcomers to take the title from what’s rapidly shaping up to be game of the year. But it doesn’t top the original Bioshock.
And it makes you think in a bad way. While Bioshock made you spend a quiet afternoon pondering hidden meanings, Bioshock: Infinite will have you pounding your head against a wall trying to make sense out of pieces that don’t comfortably fit.
Lampoons our own preconceived notions of America.
|Cons:||Combat becomes repetitive. |
No unifying theme.
Elizabeth is a resource squandered.
|Game producer's website:||Irrational Games|
|Official website:||Bioshock: Infinite|
|Game available at:|
I normally do not like MMORPGs with a monthly fee, but I decided to finally give Eve Online a go and I signed up for the two week trial. Thus far this is the only game that I will buy a monthly subscription for, because it is just that good. I will provide an article on my experiences in Eve Online once the Trial is over, but my attention was caught on something different, Dust 514. Dust 514 is a Playstation 3 FPS that aims to give just as big an experience as Eve Online, while also “cooperate” with Eve Online gamers. I did not follow Dust 514 at all, as I was not a Playstation 3 gamer, and since it was not coming out for the PC I was not interested in it. However I then decided to watch the Trailers and Gameplay Videos and with a huge exclamation mark I noted, “This is what Planetside 2 was meant to be!”. Now, there will always be certain differences between the style of gameplay in Dust 514 and Planetside 2, but let me give you a few reasons why Dust 514 might end up being more popular than Planetside 2.
As a child of the late eighties and early nineties, there are a few horror franchises which stick in my mind. Though I was probably too young to be exposed to them, and hence the nightmares, I recall such villains as Freddy Krueger, Jason Voorhees, Pinhead, and the nameless xenomorph from Aliens. Somehow, knowing the nature of the creatures made them less dangerous. I could sleep at night because the horror of these abominations had been expounded upon and defined.
Except the alien. Its sheer otherness never ceased to send chills down my spine. I suspect it’s much the same with others, accounting for the massive fanbase which the Aliens franchise has maintained since 1979. At the arcade, it was always plain to see that the dark, brooding quality of the unknown xenomorph appealed to other gamers; the line was usually three nerds deep.
Aliens: Colonial Marines was first announced in 2001. It’s been quite a wait. And now that I’ve had a chance to play it, I know the nightmares that tormented my sleep have eased their way on ichorous talons into the waking world. And not in a good way.
Story: You play as USCM member Corporal Christopher Winter, a jarhead who is thawed out of cryostasis along with your task force on the Sephora. Your story takes place following the events of Aliens 3 and is considered official Aliens universe canon. A distress signal sent by an unknown Marine on the planet LV426, late of the USCM vessel Sulaco, claims the initial Marine contingent sent to LV426 to investigate allegations of a xenomorph infestation is entirely KIA. Once you begin to board the Sulaco, you and your fellow Marines find yourselves neck deep in it when you are attacked by Weyland-Yutani PMC mercenaries for (404 error: plot point not found).
With your own task force facing heavy casualties, you, your constant smartgunner companion O’Neil, and a few other survivors (despite there being hundreds of other Marines aboard the Sephora, you never see them) do what Marines do best and work to stay alive while being heavily outgunned by PMCs and hunted by the ever-present danger of xenomorphs. The shooting eventually takes you down to the surface of LV426 where you tread where the heroes of the film Aliens once trod in a vain attempt to make some sense of the situation.
For reasons never fully understood, your task force was lured to the surface of LV426, where the Weyland-Yutani corporation has set up shop and been studying the xenomorphs for their own cruel yet unexplained purposes.
And then you fight your way back onto a ship headed offworld, where the credits roll before you ever have a sense of just what the hell happened.
Twelve years ago, this game was first conceived of. Six years ago, it went into production. You’d think someone would’ve sat down and thought about how best to portray events to galvanize players. No clear antagonist is ever established. No genuine purpose for your task force being attacked is given. It’s like you’ve just been through a thriller film and it ends before that all important moment where the hero explains the plot linking apparently unrelated events into a coherent narrative.
Repeatedly throughout the game the spirit and bravado of the Marines is called upon as the driving force for mortal men and women to face death and barrel headlong into it with a dirty grin. You spend the entire game being given orders by your CO and working to survive with O’Neil, but not once do these characters ever become more than two-dimensional archetypes. You don’t know their history. You never interact in a meaningful way. Feats of heroism and sacrifice abound, but without the depth of humanistic qualities to give it all a reason, it passes by the player without inducing a single thought or genuine emotion. Millions of dollars and countless man hours were spent on this production, and it all amounts to the death of storytelling in video games.
Gameplay: In a word: terrible. What could be a survival horror masterpiece, facing the unknown terrors of the xenomorphs and the merciless onslaught of PMCs, constantly on the back foot, running, gunning, using your head, constantly a step away from death, amounts to a one-player version of Quake.
The AI is beyond trash. Xenomorphs, those needle-toothed deathbringers that terrified us on the silver screen, are reduced to zerg rushing players. They don’t use walls or ceilings. They don’t use camoflauge. They simply charge you on sight and allow you to gun them down en-masse, making for an enemy slightly less dangerous than the old-school zombies from Doom. And that’s in cases where they don’t get hung up on the environment or blip across the screen. PMCs, your only other enemy in the game, have got about the same level of skill, either running forward to blast you at close quarters or falling over themselves trying to turtle behind cover. They would be easy to overcome if the AI of your own allies weren’t as equally abysmal.
You can imagine my surprise when I was looking over my Steam page and the very first thing that caught my attention was a recent News Feed from Steam titled, “The WarZ Now Available for Purchase“. Since I was already sitting I could not fall down into my chair and wonder just how short a time-span does Steam think people have? It has been only two months since the WarZ Steam Scandal with false advertisement and right now it is back. The question that crawled on my mind was, “Did anything change?”.
PlanetSide 2 is a huge MMOFPS. You play as a soldier for one of the three Factions in the game and your task is simple, conquer. You can try being a single soldiers, and help out wherever you are needed. You can join a Platoon or Outfit to better coordinate attacks and defenses at different regions. You could be a Pilot, Tanker, Scout, Frontline Soldier, Medic, Mechanic, Sniper or anything else for that matter. Each class typically has multiple things you can do with it and as such numerous ways how you can help your team. This Guide however focuses on the essential part of your “work” in PlanetSide 2, taking over locations. The basic premise is simple. Take over “flags” and hold them until you “Cap” the entire location. That is your very basic idea on what you have to do. If you desire to learn more, read on.
While I heard of PlanetSide 2 before I was never sufficiently tempted to play it. Recently that temptation appeared and I sat down to download the client and register my “Station” with Sony. I watched different Videos, read comments but I was by no stretch informed on what the game is about. Or should I say, “How do I win in this?”. When I started the game I had a choice between three factions. My head told me, “It’s the same thing, they just look differently and some have cooler music.”. I looked at my limited choices and went for the one that did not seem that popular with the Streamers I have been watching, the Vanu Sovereignty. These purple chaps had a thing going for them, in regards to technology. Although the Terrans were very tempting with their “Dakka Dakka” guns I went for the “Scientists”.
No doubt the multitudes who live and breathe “OMG Teh Haloz!” have already pre-ordered their copies of Halo 4, bitch-slapped the single-player campaign, and quickly jumped into the frag-frenzied quagmire that is online play with nary a thought for what enriching experiences they’ve shot through at breakneck speed in their underfull skulls. Writing a review for their benefit would be well after the fact—and writing one for yours would be equally asinine in the face of gameplay which is uncannily identical to its predecessor, Halo: Reach.
So, what I’d like to do, even though I know this will not likely be popular since it seeks to evoke free thought, is to look at the story Halo 4 presents—its nuances, its tropes, its plotholes, and the simultaneously laughable and almost impressive fact that it’s composed entirely of other stories.
To critique the story and expose roots going back centuries requires that I divulge the story, and for that reason I must warn you: Abandon hope, all ye who abstain from spoilers.
Following your near suicidal war with the ancient species known as the Forerunners, whom the Covenant worshipped as gods, Master Chief was left on the remains of the crippled frigate Forward Unto Dawn. Religion. With rescue unlikely, most of the frigate depressurized, and no chance of more hospitable accomodations, Chief allows himself to be put into cryogenic sleep, telling his trusty AI, Cortana, to “Wake me when I’m needed.” This presented developers with the opportunity to shoehorn another story into the Halo series should they decide that Halo 3 was not enough and be incapable of producing new intellectual property. Suspended Animation.
- Religion: What can I say? The Covenant are a race of warmongering fanatics dying and murdering in droves in the name of beings they don’t understand who care nothing for them. Seems like allegorical commentary to me.
- Suspended Animation: James Cameron has got this one sewn up tight. It’s a standard of science fiction and has been since the ‘20s.
When you awake at the beginning of Halo 4, four years have passed and the Forward Unto Dawn is currently being boarded by Covenent. Cortana initially assumes it’s a salvage crew considering the fact that you’re out in the ass end of space, but you soon learn your crippled vessel is being mauled by what appears to be an entire Covenent fleet whilst being pulled toward a mysterious planet composed entirely of metal.
The sidestory that immediately appears is that Cortana is past her sell by date (and her new model really needs the gap between her teeth fixed). Apparently AIs only live for seven years before suffering from Rampancy, a condition in which the amount of data an AI has absorbed over its lifespan reaches a threshold and causes the AI’s personality to replicate until its consciousness is ripped apart. Kind of like a computer with too much porn in it. This of course immediately begs the question of why Cortana didn’t enter stasis much like Master Chief in order to reduce the amount of information she was processing over her four listless years waiting for Chief to awaken.
I’m actually reminded of the entire Machinima series Red Vs. Blue, in which AIs, their creation, and subsequent decline into insanity features heavily. It also predates Halo 4, begging the question of where Halo 4’s writers got their lynchpin idea. I do believe a lawsuit may be in the offing. AI.
- AI: It stands to reason that if the brain is an engine for performing complex calculations, then something along the same lines can be replicated with a sufficiently complex computer. In its earliest form, the AI concept was a positronic computer used to operate robots whose functions were watched closely for aberrations or bits of random code that resulted in something along the lines of a human intelligence. In this case, human intelligence was dangerous because it was unstable. But once writers realized a legitimate disembodied voice in the main character’s head was useful for dialogue and developing a plot quickly, they immediately made AIs benevolent servants and friends of humanity, which seems to me to be an excellent example of man’s simultaneous xenophobia and willingness to accept something new if it looks like it will involve less work.
When asked to review Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, I was tempted to copy and paste from my last FPS review. I still would’ve done if my editor didn’t read through my work to make sure I don’t plagiarize myself—damn journalistic integrity. But after a night (or at least the four hours that I was conscious until the meds kicked in) with a copy of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, which shall henceforth be called CODBO2 because it’s a name longer than the flippin’ game, proved to me that Activision is making some tentative progress. It’s at a snail’s pace admittedly, but it’s still there.
To bring you up to speed, you play in the near future as David Mason, a Navy SEAL in a world where America is beset by terrorists and hostile nations at all fronts and has only stalwart men from the right, good, and Godly Christian heartland to defend it and bring freedom to the farthest reaches of the map—often by means of carpet-bombing.