Aliens Colonial Marines – The Review

So before you read this thing:

I have just got done reviewing DUKE NUKEM FOREVER and that was horrible. The game was painful to review and I did not want to finish it. I then switch to ALIENS COLONIAL MARINES for our GEARBOX review series but that was a terrible mistake. I don’t like ACM. I love the Aliens films but this game really disappointed. Instead I am just going to publish the list of notes I made while playing the review.

I realize how unprofessional this is but this is honestly better than reviewing the game.

I apologize.

My final score for this game is a 0/5.

ALIENS COLONIAL MARINES

The BasicGamers Review

NOTES

-all other difficulties feel like you are just walking through

They make me feel like DR. MANHATTAN in Vietnam

-Bad health system, a full regenerative health system would have been better. This one felt half assed/like a lousy attempt to make the game harder

-Terrible checkpoints = chapters feel too lengthy because of this

-Running/walking feels really good

-Pickups should be walk bys (except collectibles) again this felt like a bad attempt to make it harder

-Aiming feels like a cheap version of MW1 (the game looks a bit worse than MW1)

+/-Shotgun is way to powerful

-Why am I able to jump?

-AI is beyond idiotic

-Aliens are not scary

Story isn’t convincing and has to many holes.

Spoiler: your buddy in the intro kills himself because an alien emerges from his chest

But then later you are confronted by face huggers and can kill them with one shot

Why didn’t we just shoot the emerging alien in the beginning instead blowing up the only walk way to safety?

Tutorials are easily missed but incredibly insightful

If you see em DO NOT PRESS A (X on PS3) READ FIRST

I am probably going to give this game a 1. Maybe a 1.5 but I highly doubt it.

NOTE TO SELF

Ask Chad about giving a game a 0.

By Wylie

Duke Nukem Forever – The Review

Duke Nukem Forever

The BasicGamers Review

By Wylie Tilson

“Duke, you’re a relic from a different era.”

First off, I’m skipping past all the “WE WAITED YEARS FOR THIS!” issues. The game is bad. Really bad. Even if you didn’t wait X amount of years for it. The game opens up wit you taking a piss. I’m not kidding. You hold RT (R2 for PS3) and he just starts pissing. You can then walk about the bathroom you are in and find other stuff like ummmmmmmm a piece of shit, which is about the equivelent of finding a copy of this game with in the game. Oh and it gives you an achievement for that. I kind of get it though. The game is built around a character who is basically a human form of “GOD” but waaaay more cocky and abusive towards women. Duke Nukem Forever is a game about going really fast 110% of the time, cursing at the most innapropriate moments and making really terrible comments about women. It’s Duke Nukem alright, but maybe Duke should have been left alone..

Side Note: The game makes fun of itself.

After completing the opening “boss” fight you find yourself inside of Duke’s mansion recieving head from two pop stars. When they come up one of them asks about the game you were playing and “is it good?” Duke replies “After 12 fucking years it better be!”

Gameplay

The gameplay in Duke Nukem Forever is lacking. I don’t know how else to say it. The controls are all over the place, majority of the time sequences boil down to “press one button to win” and leaves a boring taste in your mouth. Boss fights aren’t anything special and gun play is unimaginative. It feels like DUKE NUKEM 3D but has a better looking engine and to some, that may be great! But more than likely, you’re gonna hate it.

Note: The driving sequences in this game give a welcome break from the repetitive shooting, however, even those driving portions feel like they go on far to long to be anywhere near enjoyable.

Gameplay: 1/5

Audio

It sounds like Duke. Maybe because it is? In a weird way it sounds like “Duke” too much. Try to understand that thought before you bash me. Duke Nukem 3D is a GREAT sounding game for it’s time, the vocals could have done with an update. I understand that having that voice in the game is important to the fans and that’s fine it just becomes an annoyance as you get through the game. The guns sound “soft” and boring. Nothing to interesting and nothing that stands out.

Audio: 1/5

Graphics

Sadly the graphics don’t hold up well either. The game looks fine in passing and maybe in screenshots but majority of the time the game looks weirdly wet. Gearbox gave us Borderlands, which is great, and has it’s own style. Duke Nukem Forever doesn’t. I’m not saying “WE NEED CELL SHADING ON DUKE NOW” but I am saying it would have been nice if the game had it’s own look. A lot of the time enemy types, weapons, vehicles and a number of other assets look like wet clay models. This isn’t due to load times or because of how large a map is (none are that large) but simply because they were either left that or way or are directly intended to look like shit..

Graphics: 2/5

What very few assets look good, look really good. I’d hate for this review to become ‘DNF SUCKS” and in no way do I actually think that, it was fun for a very small amount of time, but it’s not something I’d recommend to a friend or even my worst enemy. This game is sad in a very serious way. The story is bad and full of very horrible voice acting. The gameplay is boring and overall a washed down version of decent FPS controls. DNF looks oddly bad to be running on UNREAL.

I’m giving Duke Nukem Forever a 1/5. If you are really itching to play a Duke Nukem, stick with Duke Nukem 3D. Also, get DN3D for PC, there are an insane amount of mods and add ons for that game developed by fans. Multiplayer, skins, weapons, it’s fantastic.

DNF: 1/5

-Wylie Dean

How does the scale for reviews work?

1-Don’t Buy

2-HARDCORE FANS COULD BUY AND POSSIBLY ENJOY

3-The Average, The Rental, The One Night Stand

4-You get exactly what you pay for

5-Fantastic. Went above expectations.

Borderlands 2 – The Review

Borderlands 2 Review
by Chad

Borderlands 2, the sequel to the 2008 hit genre hybrid Borderlands, improves on just about every
aspect of its predecessor. There are more guns, new kickass classes to play as, and a whole lot
more, so let’s get right into it.

Plot:

Set five years after the original, Handsome Jack, new dictator/president of the Hyperion Corporation, has declared himself ruler of Pandora and even took the credit for discovering the Vault from the last game. He’s positioned his giant Hyperion ship in front of the moon, which is a constant
presence throughout the game, reminding you of your ultimate goal. Which is to kill him and restore
“peace” to Pandora. With new threats come new heroes, including the Assassin Zero, the Commando
Axton, the Gunzerker Salvador, with the only returning class being the Siren, although it’s not
Lilith anymore, it’s some blue haired girl who’s name I don’t remember. There are also dlc characters,
Gaige the Mechromancer, and Krieg the Psycho. The original characters make a comeback as well, but
only as NPCs. After your character is discovered by Claptrap after the opening cutscene, you
and the hilariously sad robot make your way to Sanctuary, the only city free of Hyperion influence, but not before killing a LOT of bandits and bullymongs (imagine a yeti/gorilla with four arms) along the way. The story is… well, my friend boosted my character to level cap and blasting through everything just got boring after a while, to be honest. As a result, I cannot properly review the plot. I will, however, rate what I have played through.

Synopsis? After following Claptrap back to his hideout, he is mauled by a huge bullymong called Knuckledragger, losing his eye in the process. Afterwards, you get your first gun, and get to go out into the world… Almost. Claptrap needs you to help him find his eye and kill Knuckledragger (which of course, you do). Then the AI from the last game helps you hack a door in order to get through a Hyperion gate to the next town, which is being harassed by bandits AND bullymongs. A gentlemen named Sir Hammerlock hails you on your ECHO device and requests you deal with the trouble. Once that’s finished, he’ll repair Claptrap’s eye and from there you can do some sidequests before you move on to taking on the bandits and their leader, Captain Flynt, who’s ship you need in order get to Sanctuary. There is humor in this one, much like the last game and just as good. The sheer amount of references and jokes is astounding!

Gameplay:

The gameplay is essentially the same as the first game, just run and shoot everything hostile
while doing quests. I personally had a bit of trouble hitting certain enemies on my PC version, but
that’s more than likely just me sucking. There are also an abundance of customization options for your character, which you unlock by either finding them, as quest rewards, or completing certain challenges. There is a Diablo-esque stash (which you unlock after doing a quest for Claptrap), in which you can put weapons into for any other characters of yours that could use them. This allows you to beef lower level characters up with super ridiculously powerful weapons (as long as they’re high enough level to use them, that is). You can also do challenges for “badass rank”, which is a stat leveling system. You get a point each time your rank goes up and get to spend it on 5 randomized stats to increase. The selection of stats differs each time, which is to avoid people pouring all their points in one stat, I guess. There’s also a trading system now that wasn’t in the first game, so you don’t have to drop weapons and risk people you don’t want taking them.

As you’re shooting across Pandora, you may come across chests with loot. Some of these chests
can be booby-trapped with a live grenade, or even someone who wants to kill you. You would think they’d be grateful for
getting them out… There’s also new currency in the form of glowy-purple rocks called Eridium.
They can be used to buy inventory and weapon ammo capacity upgrades from a certain shop in Sanctuary. Speaking of weapons,
there are 8 weapon manufacturers in this game, each with their own “gimmick”. Bandit guns (they start making their own this time)
have very large clips at the cost of increased reload times and generally below average stats. They have a DIY look to them,
with exposed bolts, screws and tape and their names are generally misspelled. The returning manufacturers include
Dahl, whose weapons change fire rate depending whether you’re aiming or shooting from the hip, Hyperion, whose accuracy gets better the more you shoot, Jakobs, the good ol’ non-elemental sniper rifles(save a few), Maliwan, whose weapons are all elemental, Tediore, which you throw like a grenade upon reloading, Torgue, which are high damage explosives (and my personal favorite)
and Vladof, which typically have high fire rates that increase the longer you shoot. Eridium weapons from the last game have been replaced with E-Tech, which are incredibly rare and powerful weapons that are typically found as quest rewards or in the Golden Chest in Sanctuary. The key component of an E-tech weapon is the iconic barrel, which is hexagonal in shape with glowy parts on the inside that open when you fire.

Borderlands 2 is fun, but even more so when you play with friends. I cannot tell you how many hours
I’ve spent running and gunning with buddies and never getting bored. The difficulty increases the more friends are
with you, which makes it even more fun (for me anyway). The classes all feel unique, just as they did the last time, all with their
own weapon preferences and abilites. The Commando borrows a lot of abilities from the soldier class, including his special, the Scorpio Turret. The Assassin is a hunter-like class, with a little more emphasis on melee attacks, although he can still use any weapon. His special ability involves making a hologram of himself to distract enemies while picking them off. The Gunzerker is my personal favorite, because he gets TWO guns with his special, effectively living up to the class’ name. Finally, the Siren, which I personally have 0 experience with, is the mage-type class. She can phaselock enemies, which is a stun that locks enemies into place for easy killing. As far as the DLC classes go, I’ve only really put enough time into the Psycho. His special is a Berserker-type rampage but instead of running around punching everything, you get a buzz axe (which is a sawblade on a stick, basically) to rip your enemies to shreds for a limited time with. There is also a skill tree that increases your damage output while you are on FIRE. LITERALLY. The Mechromancer I also have 0 experience with, but gets a cool robot guardian called the D374-TP, or Deathtrap, so once I’m done writing this, I am trying that out.

Graphics:
First off, I highly reccomend getting the PC version if you’re a graphics nut, for it has the most
options for all sorts of aesthetic mumbo jumbo. The world is absolutely breathtaking, with areas that are more varied
and less bland than the first game, where almost everything in the world was some shade of brown, you now have to fight through
ice caverns, across frozen wastelands, and tree-laden tundras. It retains the comic book art style from the first game which has,
of course, been improved and looks much better than it did back then. Textures can take a bit to load sometimes, but it’s forgivable.
Overall, its an incredibly beautiful game.

Conclusion: I love Borderlands 2. It is exactly what I expected from a sequel to this ridiculously awesome franchise, an improvement
of just about every aspect from the first game with a refreshing set of classes and content. If you haven’t played this game yet,
you might want to play the first one if you haven’t already before hitting this one. I guarantee you won’t have a reason to play the first one after playing this, its just that good. I give Borderlands 2 a very shiny gold sticker.

4.5/5

Prototype 2 Review – An Upgrade

Prototype 2 Review
by Wylie Dean

I’ll start this off with a little story. The original Prototype was one of the very few games I had purchased for my PS3. I was so excited for that game, all the little memory based events and the shapeshifting gameplay just seemed so amazing to me. So when the game finally came out I played it non stop for a couple days. It was flawed and lacking because of how much they were trying to do. The city felt hollow and everything was brown. Needless to say, I was let down.

And then PROTOTYPE 2 CAME ALONG!

Prototype 2 is an open world action adventure game that lets you take control soon to be ex military bad ass with a family/soon to be bulldozer with super powers JAMES HELLER!

Gameplay
The game is based around exacting revenge on BlackNet. Who is Black Net? They are a government corporation who feel weirdly similar to the Nazis. They try to kill you early on and that’s a good thing because it allows the game to start at 70% and build from there. The gameplay in Prototype 2 is simple. You get powers, you use powers to kill/consume bad dudes and a bad woman and that’s it. There are some real upgrades from the last game though. Radical Entertainment did away with awkward button combos and a “one of your choosing” weapon wheel. For Prototype 2, you still have that weapon wheel, except now it’s a much tighter mechanic that allows you to map powers to two of the available buttons instead of pre determined placement. Also done away with, is the huge upgrade menu. Prototype 2’s upgrade system is based on one upgrade per level, with another set of 5 mutations and that makes for a far more refined version of what we saw in the original Prototype.

Side Note: Vehicles control exactly how you think they would

The running around feels just as good as the first. The flying and sprint feel more precise but not slowed down and stealth consumes/sneaking become boring. At first the stealth missions provide for a fun and somewhat welcome slow down to the game,  but as they go on the missions devolve and become harder only because there are objects you’ll accidentally grab that are surrounding the person you need to consume. That being said, there are some other stealth missions around halfway through the game that provide a great variety, the best of which is fighting alongside other Black Watch soldiers in the ruined streets of New York against mutants. Which leads us to the gunplay. The gunplay in Prototype 2 is simple. Lock on. Hold trigger. Switch enemies, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. Aside from a small issue with where you are locking onto, the controls overall are a more than welcome upgrade to the first game.
Gameplay: 4.5/5

Sound
The sound of Prototype 2 is good. The city sounds alive, the military communications are great and believable, and the guns sound.. well they sound like guns. My only real issue with the sound design is the main character. James Heller. Often times more than not you’ll hear James cursing in places you’d think he would want to remain quiet, like when he’s trying to access a computer in a military base disguised as scientist. This part actually made me take light of Heller instead of taking the character seriously for the next few missions. However, the dialogue of enemies both military/mutant sound great. These monsters sound like they are actually monsters instead of just animals with an effect placed over.
Sound: 4/5

Looks
Prototype 2 is in no way a showcase of what the 360/PS3 can do. The game looks a little better than it’s predecessor but ultimately looks like nothing special. Cutscenes have a nice heightened black and white effect that I sometimes wished carried over into the gameplay just to give it a little something. The times it looked it’s best were actually during certain scenery. There was a point during the game where I was flying a helicopter through the Red Zone and saw a building leaning over onto another building. The grey ashy smoke was believable and the rain matched with the light on the specific damaged area of the building was truly fantastic and made the world more believable. A lot of the time, that’s what will set the tone of this game. Destroyed buildings, people dying in the streets and black watch patrolling the city.
Looks: 4/5

Ultimately, Prototype 2 is nothing to write home about. The game is fun but only for a short time. I personally went through it twice but that was just for the hardest difficulty achievement. With an at times unlikable character but fast paced gameplay, Prototype 2 makes for a great weekend binge game that’ll leave you wanting more. I highly recommend buying the first Prototype at the same time so you can finish both and feel satisfied.

4/5
A great single player experience

Games with Gold – The Dead Island Review

Dead Island is an action role playing game set in the early days of a zombie outbreak on a tropical paradise resort. So while gamers are no strangers to the zombie/infected enemy types, the quests of an rpg game and tropical setting add for some variety.

Gameplay
The gameplay in Dead Island has potential. The entirety of the game will be played from a first person perspective, which makes a lot of the melee weapons feel extremely satisfying but creates an odd detachment when firing pistols and rifles. The melee weapons in this game are fantastic! From your bare fists to an electrical katana, it is rare you will find yourself without the perfect tool for a job and even if you do, Dead Island features a weapon crafting system. This system allows you to create not only the Katana I mention, but much more if you have the right blueprints, and that’s the only downside. Because finding blueprints throughout the game served no real challenge, you’ll end up asking yourself “Why do I even need these?” It would have been smarter to have a crafting system like Dead Rising 2 where the only set up for a weapon is having the parts needed and finding a work bench.

Side Note: You can also repair weapons at these work benches.

The gunplay is Dead Island is also a weird “reward and slap” element. The first time I came across a firearm in the game, I saw no use for it because of the amazing melee weapons. However, later in the game you will encounter human enemies which serve as an actual challenge and oddly instilled more fear in me than the infected. When fighting these humans you’ll find that the game has great gun play but an odd barrier to enjoying it. The camera does this unsteady hands movement with any fire arm you use but only in fine aim. Imagine if Call of Duty’s unsteady zoomed in sniper rifle was what you had to use but with every single gun in the game. It served as more of an annoyance than a provision of reality to the game.

The control of your character is great. I never felt cheated when trying to out run infected or humans. I did greatly enjoy the stamina bar in this game. It’s basically a sprint meter, but when in melee combat becomes an energy meter. It doesn’t make the game feel cheap but instead provides a fun mechanic for fighting. This stamina meter also creates some challenge in both gameplay and in the upgrade system. The upgrade system in Dead Island is smart and applies in different areas of the game. 4 levels for each melee weapon. 3 different branches of skills for your character and the ability to repair items.

Looks
Dead Island is, for the most part. pretty. Weather changes and bloodied enemies look somewhat realistic. The only time where the game starts to look bad is with character models and texture pop-in. Normally texture pop-in is easily forgiven in a game of this size but because of how frequent this occurs and how long it takes for textures to appear, it wasn’t something that went unnoticed. As for the characters in the game, the ones that you interact with all look plastic for some reason and sometimes under developed. The only real characters that are decent to look at are the 4 characters that you, and online friends, play as. The cars have a cool damage effect in that your windshield will shatter and obscure driving before your character punches out said windshield. The only other issue with the looks of this game is that it feels as if I’m playing with a really poor camera filter on for majority of the first act. I say first act because either the filter subsides or because I adjusted to it as I progressed.

Audio
The audio in this game is awful. Sadly most of the characters have accents that either sound fake or are too thick to understand. The only good thing about the audio in this game is the infected. They truly stand out and provided a nice scare but after a while became nothing more than audio cues to A. Change method of fighting or B. Haul ass out of there. The music in this game is decent at best mainly because it felt like it didn’t fit.

Also:
Before I give a final score I wanted to mention the hud. It’s done incredibly well. The durability of each weapon you’re using in the top right, the white and red health bar with a barely visible heart beat monitor inside it on the top left and the map in the bottom right make for an easy to understand user interface. The fact that enemy health bars and levels are also shown in this display makes for an awesome look and feel. My only downside to this is the tips that pop up usually when driving while trying to use the mini map. It’s almost not worth mentioning but again because of how much it occurred I could not let it go unstated.

My other side note is the co op in this game and way it presents itself. Dead Island has smart and simple drop in, drop out co op system. This is a true drop in, drop out gameplay mechanic. When other gamers (both on and off your friends list) are in the same area as you, it prompts you in a non interrupting way stating that “so and so is nearby, press <– to join!” and that’s it. This feature also plays both ways so other people online can see you and hop in. Don’t want that? Pause and drop out. It doesn’t mess up gameplay and doesn’t restart the whole mission over. It puts you exactly where you were when playing with that person. Additionally, you can turn off the feature all together. Developer TechLand really used some black magic on this one. It’s done so well.

Overall
Overall Dead Island is a fun game that provides a lot of replay value. Sadly, this can affected by poor camera options, odd character models and all to frequent texture pop-ins. So if you got the game on Xbox Live Gold, I highly recommend playing it and if you’re looking to buy it, I recommend buying used. Also, don’t buy Dead Island Riptide. It’s a sad sequel.

3.9 out of 5
I enjoyed it but beating infected/zombies to death can only be fun for a short while with these issues
+Replay
+Coop
+Melee Weapons
-Awkward Gun play
-Texture Issues

By Wylie Dean