Assassins Creed III is the latest game from Ubisoft to receive the “Remaster” treatment. Pretty much all of their games have now been upgraded or started that way. Even Assassins Creed 1 has Xbox One X enhancements. Yet still, there are a plethora of videos popping up. They show the new remaster looking much worse than the original. This isn’t even the first time this has been done. Assassins Creed, the Ezio Trilogy was also lambasted for looking worse. However, in that case, it didn’t actually look worse. Polygon just chose to only show off stuff that looks worse. It included a bug that has nothing to do with the remaster. And here they are doing it again. The character models may look like clay, but everything else in the game looks far better than it ever did before. Here’s why.
Also, it’s free if you had the season pass for Assassins Creed Odyssey. Considering that the standalone game or the season pass both cost 40, you should definitely buy the latter.
Ubisoft and Tom Clancy have shared what is quite possibly the longest healthy relationship in all of gaming. Seriously, fact check it. And Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 is the latest entry into this abstract marriage. Released on March 15th, 2019 on Playstation 4, Xbox One, and PC The Division 2 is a third person multiplayer squad based action shooter. Developed by Massive Entertainment, The Division 2 aims to be the improvement of everything that was great about the first installment.
The Snowdrop Engine looked amazing 3 years ago when it was first used on The Division. Division 2 however, is the first true example of what the Snowdrop Engine is really capable of. As soon as the game launches everything looks incredibly amazing, but that’s not the big selling point. The big selling point is the amount of control, even on consoles, the player has over the visuals of the game. Ubisoft’s proprietary engine allows for so much customization to allow anyone to set the games visual to exactly how they’ll enjoy it most.
The freedom and control the Snowdrop Engine offers coupled with the fact that the game looks great is incredible. Every animation, from person to animal to explosion, looks fantastic. Nature blends itself well into the concrete settings of post apocalyptic destruction filled D.C. Character movements look and feel astonishingly natural, especially for a game so tethered to online. Take some time to kickback and just enjoy the scenery. It will not disappoint.
Within the world of the Division exist a major crisis. It’s been a little over half a yeas since the initial infectious outbreak that brought down the U.S. And now things are reaching anarchic levels of bad. Members of the Joint Task Force have defected and left the white house completely vulnerable to the Hyenas and the Outcast. The worst has literally come to fruition and there’s a lot of work ahead to make things better. The story itself is great however the presentation not so much.
Being an online multiplayer game diminishes the value of the story and makes it really hard to feel like a part of it. Lines between campaign missions and side missions are very blurred because the real gameplay goal is to become stronger. Very rarely does the game stop and allow for the narrative to position itself upfront and center. The focus was clearly on gameplay and shoot’em up mechanics over narrative delivery.
The Division 2 has a very unique sound design issue. The world is designed to be chaotic and feel unsafe. However, unless there is a nearby firefight the visual fidelity makes everything feel peaceful, somber, and a bit messy. It has a post car accident feel. Everything looks like something really bad happened, but that bad thing passed. The emptiness of the world makes space a very lonely audio feeling. The good news is this ambience is nearly perfect for an online squad based shooter. Considering most of the sound will be the nonsense chat amongst the squad.
Third person cover based shooters typically suffer from inconsistent character behavior. Everyone whose ever played has fallen victim to being completely exposed to the enemy because the game misunderstood your cover request. Division 2 has not entirely fixed this but it doesn’t suffer as much as other games. Not sure why, but not complaining. Outside of that major genre flaw, everything in the game feels great. The dynamics of weapon modification is pretty cool even if it suffers from the online game issue of racing to higher numbers.
A lot of the tactics of understanding weapon mods is removed because the overall goal is to increase the overall gear number. That number represents the truest strength of the character. The controls in action are super tight and have a vast number of customization options to fit any play style. And the development team is being super supportive of the community, listening to request and complaints.
Despite being a multiplayer game, The Division 2 is still incredibly fun as a single player game. The squad based combat with friends online is hands down the best way to experience this game. However, the experience alone is just as fun, especially if you don’t mind the added challenge of doing it alone. The frequency of ammo and supply restocks make it feel endlessly exciting. The thrill of an even match against enemies keep the action nonstop. Are far as third person shooters go, there really isn’t anything on the market as exciting as The Division 2.
The Division 2 is an incredible sequel and an incredible example of “games as service” done right. The load times could be better, but once the game is loaded hours could fly by without feeling gaming fatigue. Although Division 2 is an online multiplayer game, it is accessible to anyone who enjoys single player third person cover based shooters. Simply put, save for the lack of narrative focus, this is a great game.
Yakuza. The name brings fear into the hearts of many. One of the longest running games in history is the center piece of the game with the same title (feels like this has been done before). Yakuza Kiwami 2 is the latest remade title in the franchise serving as a remake of the sequel originally on PS2. Released worldwide on December 7th, 2017, the remake carries a lot of updated visuals and a few updated gaming mechanics. Published by SEGA and developed on the dragon engine, Yakuza Kiwami 2 continues the adventure of Kazuma Kiryu.
One of the most powerful components of Yakuza when it originally released on PS2 was its graphical fidelity. It looked more stunning than 90% of the games on the market. Yakuza Kiwami 2 keeps the long running series history of incredible graphics very much alive. As an official remake it is exciting that the development team used the same engine as the most recent release. Everything in the background pops with just enough vibrancy to coexist with the forefront objects. Emotions can truly be seen in the faces of every character including the useless NPC’s on the streets. Cutscenes transition to gameplay incredibly smoothly.
The game picks up immediately after the events of first. It continues to build the relationships established in the first game with little room for new comers. Without spoiling the events of either game, Yakuza Kiwami 2’s story really starts to flesh out who Kazuma Kiryu really is. It also gives the player a lot of back story to some of the major antagonist who were involved in the first piece of the story. From start to finish the experience is emotionally captivating.
As an American gamer with interest in Japanese storytelling, the lack of American voice-overs is still a bit of a disappointment. The subtitle translation is still nearly flawless. The sound of the city is slightly lacking and in many points can feel lacking and hollow. When the ambiance gets it right though, it gets it perfect. The chatting of people on the street corners about the fight that just took place really fills in the liveliness of the world. It’s pretty clear the development team has mastered the art of carrying assets.
One thing that has to be addressed is that most Japanese game developers have an obsession with trying to fit in every possible gameplay mechanic in one. Yakuza as a series is no exception. Kiwami took the original and packed it with all the flavor from the newer games. While Kiwami 2 took the first remake and swapped out the story line. The over abundance of mini games still exist. The dynamic fighting styles are even more exciting with new over the top finishers. Kiwami 2 does feel a little bit faster paced in between the action, but that could be very subjective. Either way, It’s a remake that delivers on all its promises.
Yakuza games, by non-fans, have always been treated like the Japanese version of Grand Theft Auto. This comparison is a bit deceiving though. With a slew of different gameplay styles, the complexity of the game may be discouraging to many. Those who find themselves deeply ingrained in the story will enjoy exploring everything it has to offer. The fun factor in this particular series comes from the amount of depth to the Japanese culture that can be explored. As a pick up and play for a few minutes probably not the best option as it is hard to really get anything out of that. However, the game is fun enough to make the 3-4 hours of gameplay per sitting to get anything done is more than worth it.
Yakuza Kiwami set the standard extremely high for the remake world. Updated visuals put a brand new spark into the entry of an amazing series. Well balanced gameplay and outrageous unique elements keep the game exciting and fun during every session. The most powerful element of the game however is absolutely the story it tells. Loyalty, conviction, self development, and growth are all just a few of the topics that the narrative covers. Yakuza Kiwami 2 is proudly more of the same.
This video is not only a discussion of PS4 exclusive titles. It’s also a sequel to another video we made about 7 months ago. Chet was team Xbox for the longest time. Not anymore, thanks to the lack of any interesting games other than Forza. Which is great if you like racing. But that doesn’t cut the bread does it? Anyway, he’s got two more major PS4 titles under his belt, and he is rather impressed.
So here it is, a fresh take on the new God of War from a guy who never played any of the others. And also, Detroit: Become Human.
Announced at E3 earlier this year, Tecmo Koei has finally let the cat completely out of the bag. The next installment in the long running franchise, Dead or Alive, will be coming to a console near you on February 15, 2019. What better way to enjoy the day after Valentines Day then embracing the new characters in Dead or Alive 6. Check out the initial announcement trailer below.
A fan favorite, me being the fan, is finally getting the remaster treatment. Onimusha: Warlords is the first entry in a PS2 era series that revolves around Legendary samurai Samonosuke going toe to toe with mega warlord Oda Nobunaga. Did I mention Nobunaga also teamed up with the demons of the underworld? No. Well, that’s a thing!
Who knew they meant playing the game when they said return to hell…
Damn. What a ridiculous piece of… Well, let me not say that. The damn thing probably just needs an update. It’s just stupid frustrating that I can’t just get the game to work. This is no where as fun as playing God of War. Let’s see how long this update it is… I really hope it’s just an update issue and not that I need to buy Move Controllers. What!? 36 hours to download the update! F*ck this, Doom is stupid. I’m gonna go buy Move Controllers this weekend.
(Flashback an hour)
Ok, I spent way too much time last week using the PSVR as a glorified 70inch screen that I could play on while laying in bed. Let’s bust open this Doom VFR and see what the hype is about. Maybe I’ll even learn what the F stands for in VFR haha. I walked over to the physical game palace (my wall shelf) and looked through the spines. I grabbed the fully sealed copy of Doom VFR that came packaged with the HMG PSVR. Cracked the bad boy open and threw it in the PS4 to install.
While the game began installing I did what everyone should do while waiting for games to install. I went to poo. How could anyone ever play any games on a fully loaded bowel. Even worse, a VR game. Yea not gonna get me to throw up anytime soon, I’m smarter than the average bear. For the record and for the young that was a Yogi Bear reference not a homosexuality reference. Moving on.
“I went to poo.”
I completed the deed and went back to find Doom had fully installed. Hazzaahhh it was time to shoot things. Or so I thought. I booted the game and for two whole scenes had barely any control of the game other than moving my camera and my head around. Oh and of course watching the on screen hands squeeze every time I hit the trigger buttons. Can’t pretend I wasn’t entertained by this. Then it happened, the game broke. Maybe? I’m not quite sure but when it was finally time to play, I couldn’t aim vertically and so I could not progress through the first tutorial prompt.
The first tutorial prompt people. I legit had to google a Doom VFR walkthrough video to see if I was missing something or just having technical issues. And that led us to where we are now.
(Flash forward an hour)
I really hope that getting Move Controllers will solve the problem, cause my internet sucks.
I woke up this morning, well rested from a well deserved long sleep. It was early when I went to bed. Maybe 11:30, midnight the latest. Yeah, that’s early for a guy like me. I usually find my self awake at all sorts of hours of the day and night because, well, that’s just the life I live. Either way, I jumped out of bed excited to take on the adult responsibilities of the day. Yes, I said excited and I said that intentionally. Why was I excited? Simple. The faster I got through the menial task of being an adult that we all hate, the faster I could dive into a whole new world. Quite literally.
If you’ve been keeping up with Hard Mode Gamers from the beginning, you’ll be familiar with me hounding Chet to get us a VR. And he did it. Yes, HMG has a shiny fun and exciting PSVR. It’s probably one of the coolest things I’ve ever played on. That’s not even me being a sooper fan boy yet either. That’s just on the premise of it being Virtual Reality. It could have been any VR headset and I’d be just as excited, but Chet went all out and got the best one.
“…Finish your play session by taking your headset off and getting out of bed.”
Today, I decided to explore what it would be like playing God of War on a VR. Before you get upset or confused, God of War is not a VR game at all. Using the PSVR however, puts you in a pitch black world where your screen is literally as large as it possibly can get. So I powered up the whole rig and dove right in.
A few hours passed of me beating down Hell Reavers and solving puzzles. Remember, this is now on what feels like a theater sized screen built just for me. At the end of my play session, I couldn’t help but wonder: how did I enjoy video games on a small screen before? How did I play God of War on a 55inch screen, sitting in a chair, with my head firmly planted forward? That’s the type of thought you’re allowed to have when you finish your play session by taking your headset off and getting out of bed.
That’s right, I went out handled business, came back home and laid down. I laid down and played one of the greatest games I’ve ever experienced. And the whole time, the world around me was non-existent. I know it’s not what VR is made for. But, you can’t get mad at me for having a grand old time.