Titanfall 2 Review

Titanfall 2 Review

Titanfall 2 Review

Jason Golling
Pros
  • The campaign is the best I have seen in quite some time.
  • Fast paced movement and action keeps the game moving.
  • With everything added the game world feels much more alive and full.
  • Much more customization for multiplayer (about double).
  • Many more game modes for multiplayer.
  • All DLC map packs are free.
Cons
  • While there are a lot of weapons they don’t feel very different.
  • Due to the bad timing of the release date the number of people online is nearly abysmal.
  • The single player campaign is a little short.

Titanfall 2 recently released and despite the surprisingly low sales, due to the fact they release so close to two other large titles, is an engaging and addicting game with a lot to offer. Unlike its predecessor, Titanfall 2 has a lot of customization and it has a single player campaign, both of which were large complaints about their first entry to the series.

Firstly I want to talk about the absolutely amazing campaign, without getting into any spoilers, you play as Jack Cooper who ends up being field promoted due to nearly all of the nearby friendlies being killed you are then tasked with finishing your mission with nothing but a titan named BT. The story is paced quite well, and you progress through areas both with and without your titan’s assistance. While the campaign is not too long (5-7 hours) it is engaging and it is the best single player campaign I have played since the Modern Warfare series or perhaps even Halo: Combat Evolved. All in all if you like single player missions this is for you.

The overall movement system of the game keeps everything moving fluidly and it does not feel at all forced. Basically the first Titanfall has some of the best movement and Titanfall 2 expands on it and makes the wall running and general movement feel great, after all why else would Call of Duty be trying to copy it since the first Titanfall. The better movement along with the campaign adding extra lore and the massive expansive single player levels helps to bring the world alive and feel more realistic as a whole.

Some of the most prominent issues and complaints were that the multiplayer did not bring enough customization and if you didn’t buy the season pass you wouldn’t play with the same people online. However while making Titanfall 2 Respawn Entertainment didn’t make the same mistake. Not only are all of the DLC maps going to be free to all users but there is much more customization to be done for both your titan and your pilot. This time around there are nearly twice as many customizable options for everything which adds much more playtime and will keep Titanfall interesting much much longer.

While there is a lot to like in Titanfall 2, as with every game, there are some things that aren’t that good, namely my biggest issue with the game is that while there are quite a few weapons to choose from they didn’t feel that different from each other. I never felt that one machine gun had any edge or different use over another. This goes for the machine guns and marksman rifles alike, both of those types felt nearly the same (with few exceptions), however the shotguns (while there are only two of them) both felt very different and useful for many scenarios, one has a fast fire rate and large magazine, while the other is pump action and has awe inspiring range. As good as the campaign is, its only drawback is the fact that it is pretty short, and I have been left wishing that it could continue in more content in the future.

Lastly I wanted to talk about the absolutely horrible timing for the release date. The game release right in between Battlefield 1 and Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare this timing is quite possibly the worst time for a FPS shooter to release, due to that release date the number of people online is low (for the time being that is), however I take it that once people see what this game is the number will increase despite the rough start to the online multiplayer.

Rating: Everyone

If you are at all interested in getting a new FPS Titanfall 2 is a great choice, or if you just love a good story mode in a game it covers that base as well. All in all a great game.

Mafia 3 Review

Mafia 3 Review

Mafia 3 Review

Jason Golling

Looking for an open world with a great story to lose a couple of days in? Mafia 3 can fit the bill. Between the story and open world, Mafia 3 delivers a competent game and is refreshing as we have not seen a game like it in quite some time.

Pros:
  • Extremely story heavy
  • Satisfying combat
  • Decent stealth system
  • Actions have consequences
  • Upgrade system
  • Music
Cons
  • Game crashes fairly often (PC)
  • Cops are overpowered

Mafia 3’s main focus appears to be on the storyline and the progression of the characters involved. This is fairly unique (and refreshing) as most games lately are more focused on everything else and the story ends up as more of an afterthought. I don’t want to spoil anything so in a nutshell the story took me 32 hours to complete and there are multiple different endings based upon your choices. On top of that there is an additional scene at the end of the credits following the game. Finally my favorite thing about their story is how they decided to tell it. Rather than follow what most games do, Mafia 3 will periodically switch to an interview with a few of the people involved in the story (interviews taking place years later).

The combat involved in Mafia 3, while nothing new, is satisfying and the takedowns are often brutal. The stealth system is quite basic and deals mostly with direct line of sight combining this with the cover system and you can get through otherwise difficult situations with relative ease. That being said, the combat and stealth while both competent do not bring anything new to the table that we have not already seen in other games.

One of the best parts of Mafia 3 is that your actions actually have consequences, what I mean by this is that when you give areas to the people that work for you the others will resent that and if you consistently don’t give anything to them they will turn on you. At the same time, however if you constantly give the same person more and more they will like you more and more. All of these factor into what kind of upgrades that you can get and how the story ends. As far as the upgrades go, whenever you take a part of the city and give it to one of your men to run, they will give you something, whether it be a new gun or a car upgrade you will then have to choose between your men to see what you want most, or who you like most.

As far as the good things this game has to offer the last thing that I wanted to mention is the music. There is a lot of good music in Mafia 3 all of which from the time period, including artists such as Elvis Presley and The Rolling Stones. The music most definitely added to the game experience, and helps a lot with the in game immersion.

While Mafia 3 certainly has good things there are still (as always) issues with it. My biggest issue with it is that it crashes often. I play on PC so it may just be due to a bad port, but my game would completely crash once or twice every few hours and for no apparent reason. Luckily the game’s auto save system works just fine so it wasn’t that long before I was back in the game. My other gripe with Mafia 3 is that the cops are way to overpowered. For example when you are attacking anyone other than cops, in order for them to call in backup they have to yell or run over to a phone and call backup, however if you come up behind a cop who is alone and sneakily kill him, somehow backup gets called and they are pulling up in cars before you can get back in your car and drive away. On top of that they will have a seemingly endless amount of reinforcements coming from every direction. If that wasn’t enough all of the mobsters that you fight have the cops in their pocket so if you ever get in a fight where both the mafia and the cops are both there you will be fighting both of them.

Rating: Buff

All in all Mafia 3 is a well put together game with a great and entertaining story, competent gameplay, and a decent amount of player choice. However if you don’t care much for a game’s story or if you are easily offended by language, I would stay away from Mafia 3.

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Review

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege Review

Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege Review

Jason Golling

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege was a bit unexpected, as the trend for more recent First Person Shooter (FPS) games is to make the games not only faster paced, but more futuristic as well. Siege takes a different approach, there is no respawning which makes most players become very cautious, on top of that Siege is in general much slower paced than many other FPS games recently. Another difference is that they leaned more towards realism than sci-fi, meaning that all of the gadgets are either real or possible to make if needed.

Pros:
  • Level design
  • Diverse and creative operator abilities
  • Breakable environment
  • Addictive and challenging gameplay
  • Many possible play styles
Cons:
  • Multiplayer only no story mode
  • Often bad communication with other players

One thing that Siege does quite well is in their level design, the levels are diverse and large enough that in about 60 hours of gameplay I am still seeing matches play out in new ways that I have never seen before. One large reason that it works this way is that many walls, ceilings, and floors are breakable, however in order to make this still balanced the defenders can reinforce a limited amount of walls during a preparation period. During this same period of time the attackers are sending drones in to find the objective, if they fail this the attackers will be coming in blind. These factors, among others, help to keep each match feeling unique.

As was stated before, Siege leans towards being more realistic than most recent games. In that respect, there is no health regeneration, and it only takes one or two well placed rounds to kill you. As in most games there are many playstyles, Siege follows suit and has many play styles as well ranging from running around with a shotgun, all the way to camping in the corner with a sub machinegun (SMG). Each operator has a special piece of equipment in which to use. These pieces of equipment help to keep the matches interesting as they range from bear traps, to thermite charges and all the way to a shield on the front of your gun.

While Siege is quite fun, there are still quite a few problems with it. One of these problems is that there is no single player story mode in the game. This means it is only multiplayer, so be aware that if you don’t have a good internet connection, or any at all, you will not be able to do much beyond playing terrorist hunt on solo mode. Which, as you can probably guess, gets old pretty fast. The other issue is not necessarily a problem with the game itself, but rather with the community that plays the game. The ways to communicate with your teammates is either by voice chat or via a chat box (if on PC). This means that even if everyone on your team is good at the game then they other team can communicate well, but you can’t then you will probably lose.

Rating: Buff

 

Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege is quite fun overall, unless you like slow paced FPS games…then you probably won’t like it.

All in all Siege is a solid game that has a similar feel to Counter Strike: Global Offensive by Valve, and is quite addicting. While it may not be from the same publisher, or part of the same series, Siege in many ways feels very much like a spiritual successor to Global Offensive. If you liked one, then you will most definitely enjoy this newest game.

Fallout 4 Vault Tec DLC

Fallout 4 Vault Tec DLC

Fallout 4 Vault Tec DLC

Jason Golling

Fallout 4’s DLC is winding down, the Vault Tec DLC is the second to last planned DLC, and Nuka World is set to release before the end of this month. The Vault Tec DLC is unique because it finally lets fans build their own vault. On top of that it also has the added benefit of having a storyline with it (although it is short). Below are what I saw as the pros and cons of this new DLC

Pros:
  • Settlement items that are clean
  • You can now give your settlers pipboys
  • You can build Vault Tec structures above ground and in any settlement
  • Vault 88 has a massive cave system with many difficult fights.
  • A new quest line
Cons:
  • Some actions (such as adding windows) is very glitchy
  • The quest line is quite short

The one thing that needed to be added to the settlement building is clean settlement items. Since the release of Fallout 4 you seem to be free to do many things except for put a fresh layer of paint on your brand new house, now with the Vault Tec DLC you can do just that. There are many furniture items and even a bed that doesn’t look like it was recovered from the bottom of a lake, unlike the original textures. On top of that they also have added new Vault Tec reactors that you can use which produce much more energy than any past powersource, and to top it off they are nearly silent.

While there is only one underground location for you to build your vault, Bethesda made sure that all of the new additions to the settlement system also work above ground in any settlement, this also includes a mini vault door for above ground use. On top of all of this you can now also dress your settlers up as vault dwellers pip boy and all.

Another welcome addition to the game with this DLC is the open spaces found inside of Vault 88, while exploring you will undoubtedly find many creatures lurking in the dark. While they are based off of your level just to give you an idea I found a Mirelurk Queen surrounded by other types of Mirelurks, and in other rooms I found Deathclaws and enough Radscorpions that I ran out of mini nukes (I’m level 51 in case you were wondering).

While there were many good things about the Vault Tec DLC there have to be issues as well. For instance while making the vault above ground I had many issues where the windows would not snap into place making it quite difficult to accommodate them in the vault. Also some different vault pieces will randomly have trouble working.

Lastly I wanted to talk about the quest involved, the quest, while enjoyable, was only about one to two hours long, while that is a bit disappointing this introduces the vault experiments that you can conduct on your vault dwellers. While they are less sinister than the ones Vault Tec themselves did they still offered some interesting choices.

Rating: Buff

 

If you enjoyed any or all of the past settlement DLC’s or if you would like to see a change in how you build settlements this DLC is for you and will help hold you over until Nuka World later this month.

All in all, the Vault Tec DLC was by far the best settlement DLC for Fallout 4, not only did we get new settlement items, but we also were treated to a small questline, a new location to explore and an entirely new theme for the settlements.

Far Harbor DLC Review

Far Harbor DLC Review

Far Harbor DLC Review

Jason Golling

Pros:

  • Powerful new enemies
  • Immersive new atmosphere
  • More interesting quests
  • New weapons and armor
  • New items for settlement building
  • Massive area to explore
  • More choice than main game

Cons:

  • Easily exploitable combat (with two of the new enemies)
  • The fog can cause performance issues

Bethesda has released their first major DLC for Fallout 4 since the game’s release. Far Harbor is set on a large island that have a few different factions on the verge of war, these factions are Acadia (a group of synth refugees), the Followers of Atom, and the citizens of Far Harbor (a small fishing town). You show up looking for a missing person as part of one of Nick Valentine’s detective cases.

The island of Far Harbor has a mysterious fog that covers most of the island and because of that there are groups of trappers that will attack anyone that they see on sight as the fog has made them go crazy (well…that, or they just hate everyone like raiders do). There are also a few other creatures such as Gulpers, Anglers, Fog Crawlers, and Giant Hermit Crabs. All of this comes together to make an atmosphere that feels vastly different, and on top of that it often feels about as dangerous as the glowing sea. There are also less bugs (the flying ones not bad code). So this means that instead of getting attacked by a bunch of stingwings you will get swarmed by ghouls or wolves, and rather than getting murdered by a deathclaw you will get torn apart by a fog crawler (slightly smaller than a mirelurk queen but much faster) or by a giant hermit crab (which use trucks and trailers as a shell).

Bethesda has listened to the fans, they have added many quests in the Far Harbor addition. Whether you are going to help a old lady avenge the death of her family members, or solve a murder for a bunch of robots that have been looking for a detective, there is always something to do in Far Harbor. This is, of course, in addition to the various faction quests that can lead to a faction being destroyed (so if you, like me, are a completionist make sure you are aware of that and proceed accordingly).

There are also new weapons and armor in the addition, most notably is the marine armor as it is the best non-power armor armor that you can get. In addition to the marine armor we also get a few other weapons and armor such as coastal/trapper armor, wetsuit, radium rifle, lever action rifle, harpoon, and a few others. This new gear adds to the already massive number of weapons that you are carrying…you know…in case you need to kill a boss using 52 different weapons, then we will see who is laughing. Also going with how much you are carrying keep in mind that the marine armor is also very heavy so that will help keep you just under being overencumbered.

There have also been additions to the settlement building that will help you to keep your settlement looking fresh. They have added the ability to build barn structures (which actually have a semi-new looking paint job on them) and on top of that you can now have large doors on buildings. You can now also have various smaller items for decoration. For instance you can have a pile of boxes in the corner and in the other corner you can get a pile of barrels with a net on it… the possibilities are virtually endless. In addition to that there are also a bunch of little decorations added with the DLC.

More than anything else the island that is Far Harbor is HUGE. Much larger than say the Pit, or the Point Lookout expansions from Fallout 3. I have completed the main story as well as various side quests in Far Harbor, and it feels as if I have still only scratched the surface on what there is to explore and find.

Finally, I wanted to mention a few issues that I have with the Far Harbor DLC. Two of the new creatures would normally be super hard to fight, which are the gulpers and the anglers. However, the combat while fighting these two is easily exploitable, if you walk around them in a circle while shooting at them they cannot hit you at all. While it would be fun to chalk this up to the creatures being too dizzy to hit anything, the truth is that both the ranged and melee attacks cannot turn quick enough while this ishappening. This means that these would be fierce enemies are now as easy as coming across a couple of radroaches.

The only other issue that has come up is that the fog on the island will decrease your framerate. The PS4 decreases below 20 FPS at times during the fog, which is even worse than what happens when you play on the Xbox or PC, so tough luck PlayStation fans but you are going to have a rough time with Far Harbor.

All in all Far Harbor is a great DLC and well worth the money I would recommend it to anyone who played Fallout 4. Far Harbor is exactly how a DLC should be, as in it has a new map area, new weapons and armor, as well as new creatures and story.

 

Rating: Everyone

If you played Fallout 4 (and enjoyed) you should get this DLC.

Homefront: The Revolution Review

Homefront: The Revolution Review

Homefront: The Revolution Review

Jason Golling

If you are anything like me and while watching any of the Red Dawn movies you thought “this would make a great video game,” then your wish has been granted.

Pros:

  • Highly detailed world
  • The Shotgun and other guns
  • Takedowns
  • Drivable motorcycles
  • Diverse combat

Cons:

  • Glitches are everywhere
  • Has the feeling of being unfinished or falling short of potential
  • Only motorcycles are drivable
  • After being alerted the KPA don’t look for you very long
  • The missions are often repetitive
  • Weapon modding missed it’s potential

The world for Homefront is very detailed and looks amazing. Along with that the atmosphere that they created feels unique and makes you want to explore and look for the hidden rooms and items. Homefront takes place in Philadelphia in a timeline that first deviated from ours back in the 70’s, a Korean company called Apex became the world’s main tech giant and on top of that weapons manufacturer. When the US government couldn’t pay their debt to Apex they flipped a switch and turned off all of the US military’s weapons and vehicles and proceeded to invade. That brings us to the beginning of the game, and while exploring the destroyed city of Philadelphia it sets the mood for the game excellently.

On top of that the KPA (Apex) have certain zones for people to live called yellow zones. These are my favorite areas to play in as you are encouraged to use a little more stealth and strategy in order to achieve your goals. The other type of area that you spend a lot of time in are the red zones. These zones are off limits to civilians and therefore the KPA will shoot on sight, the red zones are also much larger and encourage the use of motorcycles for travel. In addition to that Homefront encourages you to use as much guerilla tactics in the red zones as if you stick around for too long gunships will show up, and they are very powerful. All in all these different areas help to feel like you are actually in a resistance and that Homefront is not your average shooter.

Another thing done well are the weapons (for the most part), the weapons are fun to try out and find what combo works the best for you. The best part about their weapons though was their shotgun, unlike most games with a shotgun you actually have a realistic effective range. I don’t know about you but it always bothered me when most other games would have shotguns with the effective range shorter than the barrel. So that being said when I first started playing Homefront I didn’t have much confidence that the shotgun would even be worth my while, in fact I did not even buy it until about halfway through the game. This is the first video game shotgun that I have been able to be on the roof of a two story building and be able to one shot enemies that are across the road! Another weapon that is good enough to be worth mentioning is the crossbow, it is without a doubt the best stealth weapon in all of Phili.

One of the more satisfying things in Homefront are the takedowns (stealth or otherwise) it was always fun to save people from the KPA brutality by brutally taking down the KPA whether that be knife through the eye or in the throat it is one of the most satisfying things to be done in Homefront.

This is the first time that I have seen a drivable motorcycle in first person that actually worked properly. It feels as if you have just the right amount of control and on top of that you are able to do a wheelie over just about anything as long as you can get the wheel up on top of it. The motorcycles are exclusive to the red zone, and there have been many jumps set up around the area. The only problems that I have with the motorcycles are that for one you cannot customize them (which would be really fun), and that they do not respawn in the motorcycle stashes or stay where you left them. For instance if you were to drive a motorcycle 15 feet and accept a mission, you would turn around and the bike is not laying on the ground, and it is not in the stash that is 15 feet away.

One of the more refreshing aspects of Homefront is the fact that there are many ways to play. They have done a good job at making it so even in the red zone you could be stealthy, you could show up with an LMG and blast everyone, or you could snipe everyone from a nearby rooftop. The different ways to play help you to be able to keep the game interesting when some of the missions get repetitive (which they will). This being said some of the bases that you need to attack seem to be designed in a way that they want you to use one style of play over another. For example on the water pump bases you will need to get to the second story and mess with their valves in order to have the pump blow up. These bases can be very hard unless you use the shotgun and proceed to run and gun. While running they cannot seem to hit you and you can shoot them without even slowing down much. This feels as if the shotgun (as much as I like it) is too powerful for these missions.

There must be a shortage of game testers recently as this is the most glitchy game that I have ever played. I play on the PC and I have a powerful PC, so either their PC port is just junk or they have issues with Homefront as a whole. Issues include but are not limited to a two second pause of the entire game on every autosave (I have heard it is even longer on the console), KPA AI often cannot go through certain doorways or follow me through a hole in a wall (about half the time they can and the other half they cannot), some switches will not work so I have had to glitch my way through walls or over water to continue in the game, and randomly all sound excepting music will be missing along with about half of the in game lighting. Those are the major issues that I have had with Homefront. As I mentioned before I have a powerful computer (that has more than enough power to run Homefront) but these glitches persisted with me through the game. On top of the glitches that Homefront has it also has the feeling of being unfinished at multiple parts throughout the story.

When I first found out that there are drivable motorcycles my first thought was to see if there are drivable cars and trucks as well. Given that you can imagine my disappointment when I found that not only can you not use your gun from the bike, but you also cannot drive cars. So that was quite the letdown and part of the reason that I think that this game feels underdeveloped as a whole. Although if the game is not letting you into an area (whether intentionally or not) the motorcycle is a great way to glitch your way over around and through obstacles (including water as you cannot swim).

One thing that made the game easier was a little annoying. The KPA are so easily fooled that it is not even funny. I mean you could destroy 50 KPA soldiers and then jump in a trash can or hide behind a wall and they will only look for you for like 30 seconds. It would be more fun if they would keep looking for a while and make the consequences for showing your self. Maybe they could have had a function where the KPA will be more alert after each consecutive time that they see you. If they were to have the stealth system work like that it would feel more realistic and make your actions count. I would think that for a game that is trying to emphasise that you are part of a resistance and that the KPA are very smart you would think that the stealth would work better. Regardless, I think that this is a major flaw in Homefront’s stealth system and many other games for that matter (I’m looking at you Skyrim).

Another problem that Homefront has (that many other games also have) is the fact that the missions get repetitive. For their missions they followed these basic guidelines, go there hack that, go there kill everyone then hack that, go there activate radio, go there kill everyone and activate radio. As you can see these get repetitive really fast (there are more than four I was just using them as an example). Granted there are quite a few unique missions from this that can be different, however there are times when you need to just do these missions for 1-2 hours and it just gets old fast.

Finally I wanted to talk about the weapon modding system involved in Homefront. At first it is awesome as you can change a pistol to be an SMG on the go and in just a few seconds. However as you play you start to notice that almost all of the weapon mods are practically worthless. Each gun can have three different weapon modes, however they took a trick from Call of Duty and decided to make almost every gun have a grenade launcher, however most of them suck and you would be better off knifing people. There were honestly two weapon mods that deviated from the stock gun that are worth getting in my opinion, they are the LMG for the assault rifle and the SMG for the pistol. Other than that they are all nearly useless. To me it feels as if they missed a lot of potential with the modding system as it stands.

All in all Homefront can be a lot of fun and as soon as I first saw the ads for it I wanted to play, given that I don’t think that it is worth full price and I think that if you are looking into buying it you should wait for a sale. However if they were to fix the Glitches and bugs I could see it being worth the full price, so if you want to brave it out and try to see if it is more stable on a console be my guest.

 

Rating: Fan

Unless you are already a fan of this type of game I would steer clear for the time being.

LIKE IT?

Why not love it then?

This Week in Geek, will bring you content just like this every week - absolutely FREE! Enter your address and click "Subscribe." Your email address is not shared with anyone, ever!

You have Successfully Subscribed!