It has been a couple of weeks, dear Destructoid, but here I am with another sexy cutting edge Backlog diary entry for you to ignore. And I come to you with news that my PC is now badass. One AMD HD 6970 fitted, one copy of Windows 7 installed, and one id Software and one DICE game now fully operational without nasty hiccups. In fact, Rage now is modified to run at double texture resolution, so is looking quite good. Maybe the content doesn't quite match that standard, but that is for another time.
Today, my worthless opinions will spew in the direction of several games. Firstly, Sonic Generations
, a playable Sonic game that didn�t make me hate it, myself, and it again. I�ll let you in on a little surprise; the 3D Sonic sections are actually more fun than the 2D ones. It was a real blast�err�blasting through levels inspired by a level from every major Sonic title made. For the first time in a while, newer Sonic really felt like he had a sense of speediness about him. The 2D was okay, a nice throw back, but they failed to meet the excitement of 3D Sonic. Plus, Perfect Chaos as a boss was a nice surprise from probably my favourite Sonic game, Sonic Adventure. Being only �19.99 on Steam, it was a nice budget platformer; something I�ve lacked for a while, and made a nice change from all that preceded and now follows. I give it a 6
because even with my new badass PC, there was still some graphical hitches and slowdown.
Next, and at long last, came Gears of War 3
. Now if you�re not a fan of Gears of War, then you�ve probably made your mind up. I, on the other hand, am one, and did not leave disappointed.
My opinion may be rose-tinted, but considering I�ve been playing these games for five years, I have grown rather attached to the series. I have more attachment to it that I do Uncharted, so if you�re going to accuse me of bias, you�re probably right.
All in all, I think this final instalment in the trilogy rounded things off pretty well. I was particularly keen on the bit that humanised the Cole Train as he dreamt of days gone by, and the way he was treated by the locals of his old home town.
I was sad to see Dom die; the scene itself was handled very well. However, to heighten the drama of it, perhaps Epic could have written up to it a bit better. Sure, it may have then been expected, rather than the genuine surprise that it was, but it would have been a fitting end to the more likeable of the lead duo, even if he did spend the whole second game going on and on about his c*nt wife!.
Haven�t got onto Horde or Deathmatch yet, but will definitely be doing so in the near future, but based on the single player, I�m giving Gears 3 a (H)8 out of ten
. A satisfying ending, surprisingly good story and characters, and some genuine moodiness along the way.
Next came Call of Duty: World at War
(still). When it comes to quality of first person shooters, this one is just above par, even though it is just about three years old now. Gameplay was your typical COD affair, which is always solid, and the story was adequate enough to keep you motivated and moving, especially the Russian side, with the charismatic Reznov (whom I didn�t expect to be present, having completed Black Ops prior to this one) driving you on to defeat the Nazi�s. So charismatic was he, that his complete ruthlessness towards his adversary was at times quite scary. However, putting the Sickle and Hammer on the roof of the Reichstag was a nice way to end what has proven to be the last of the World War II era Call of Duty games. It perhaps at times felt like a better looking Call of Duty 1-3, but it held its own just long enough for this player to complete it. 7
And then came Battlefield 3
So hyped and, from the look of a recent IGN readership poll, loved by its community, beating MW3 to top spot for their Best Shooter of 2011 award. It was rather good; it certainly outmatches its competition in terms of graphics.
However, I did have a gripe or two. One, the story was somewhat mediocre, and I had no attachment to any single character at all (even when they died), making this a four hour long exercise in �shoot, move, shoot, move, tank bit, shoot move, finish�. It handled very well, and looked gorgeous with my new graphics card, but man, the bastard kept crashing until I updated my OS to Windows 7. Very frustrating, and it would have been nice if they developers had had the foresight to see this might happen, which it has done to many users as I understand. Still, solid enough gameplay with a mediocre story and gorgerous looks, but in no ways a revolution; merely, it�s the something else to Call of Duty if you want a FPS war-sim. And fair play to DICE; from what I hear, the game is doing reasonably well.
And now, dear reader, on to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3
. I�ve played a lot of FPS�s in my time. Hell, I�ve played a lot of FPS�s this week, and so I fully expected to merely enjoy MW3 a bit. �40 is a high entrance fee for such a game which you can expect to be a bit too similar to its previous year�s predecessor, but I took the plunge anyway, expecting something of a let down akin to the one I felt after playing Modern Warfare 2.
It makes no sense. Everything tells me that as a rather seasoned gamer who enjoys numerous genres and loves a good plot should have disliked MW3, and I should have rooted for Battlefield 3 to take Activision�s crown away from them. I should have been bored with the play mechanics, the samey and underwhelming graphics and the engine that powers them.
So why is this the best game I�ve played in months? Why did it keep me up until 3am after getting home from work at 12am for three nights running? Why did I constantly think about returning to save France or the Russian President, even when I was trying to muster the nerve to chat up the cute red haired girl at work who, quite helpfully, seems to be chatting me up instead (get in!)?
Well, I have theories. One, despite its aging, the engine for MW3 holds its own. Not only does it compete with most FPS�s out there, barring BF3 and Crysis 2, but it weaves a believable world for you to save. London, New York and Paris are gorgeous to fight in, and accurately make you think you are in a world of shit, and to be more specific, YOUR world of shit. Rather than go all out on a new engine ala BF3, IW and Sledgehammer seem to be going down the Valve/Source route of �if it ain�t broke, just tack some shiny bells and whistles on�.
Two, it had Sledge Hammer (and Raven Software) on board to freshen things up. Left in the hands of OW or Treyarch, the series could have been in danger of stagnating. But luckily, this is not the case.
Three, I assume the multiplayer (which you bet your ass I�m going to try, both deathmatch and co-op) is the most popular and well supported. And whilst there are still no Dedicated Servers, the bitter taste after MW2 has faded away, and ultimately, I couldn�t care less.
Four, the plot. So maybe MW2 let us down by not doing an Empire Strikes back, and instead doing a Two Towers. But MW3 is definitely the Return of the King. Being the conclusion to a popular series must help, but IW crafted themselves a real gem in Captain Price, and SPOILERS!! I was genuinely gutted as he mourned for Soap. His eventual revenge on Makarov for all he had done felt very real and very personal even to me, the player. Helped along by scenes of death and destruction (namely, the now infamous family getting blown up scene), that final scene as you smoke your cigar was a fitting touch to a trilogy I hope many a wrongly hateful gamer will come to recognise as a turning point in the plot of first person shooters. War never felt personal in any War game before, even with the dreadful Japanese Banzai chargers, the Kamikaze pilots or the evil doings of the Nazi Third Reich. But you nuke one player character, have two more burnt in the ditch, have the player watch as the American Delta Squad you accompanied through the game as Frost heroicly stand their ground in the face of overwhelming umbers, and then kill off the primary protagonist of the series in a heartfelt and desperate scene of anger and betrayal, and you have yourself a personal war. Yes, Modern Warfare 3 is a surprisingly fantastic game, and I urge all gamers who have turned their nose up at it merely because of the fact it commits many sins of modern gaming (being owned by Activision, DRM in the shape of the forgiveable Steam, DLC, the cutting of PC features, being owned by Activision and being owned by Activision) to reconsider, even if you only pick it up when it is budget price. An absolute well deserved and surprising 10
Now, back to work.