Posts Tagged ‘Bethesda’

QuakeCon, the Reckon Crew, and a Cheerleading Convention

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011
QuakeCon 2011

If anything had happened at the Hilton, the world's IT departments may have never recovered...

It seems odd to think that being based in Texas, the Reckon Crew has never been out to QuakeCon. I know, I know, we’re horrible people. Fortunately, the newest addition to the Reckon Crew, photog extraordinaire Jim Brown, made it his personal mission to get us there.

Now we’re kind of sorry he did.

Not because it wasn’t awesome. Seriously, with the computing power in the BYOC, we probably could have opened a portal through time and space and wireless streamed games… from the future.

And it wasn’t that there wasn’t a lot to see. Between the keynote where John Carmack got on stage and demonstrated to us that his brain was considerably larger than our own and getting to get our hands on Rage (only four hours of playtime), there was plenty of firsts for us.

It wasn’t that we didn’t fit in. Honestly, if there were ever a place where the Reckon Crew fit in, it was the liquor drenched halls of the Hilton Anatole where QuakeCon 2011 was held.

Ventrilo ponied up a sweet looking truck (worth a measly $70,000) in a drawing. The entire weekend, people competed in the events id was hosting for a chance to get into the drawing.

QuakeCon 2011 Rage Truck

We didn't want the damn thing anyway! *sniffle*

There was the small glitch in scheduling that had us sharing a floor with cheerleaders from all over the U.S. And not the cool kind of cheerleaders where you can stare for a few minutes and just be normal for checking them out but the young kind (prostitots as one of Jim’s friends advised us they were called) with their creepy little faces done up in makeup and with only the energy that someone that the young can have without being put on medication.

But even that couldn’t mar the satisfaction we felt at finally making it to the premier Texas gaming event.

However, I am fairly certain that small bits of our soul and spleens were left in Dallas after having to come back home.

This is the sort of thing that can make you realize that you aren’t alone out here in the gaming world. It’s a reminder that no matter what you enjoy playing, there is someone out there who would love to throw down in the game with you, with or against, and you can walk away from that experience a better player and with a new friend.

It’s also a good example that Gamettes exist. Not just on our site but out there in the real world. I watched with no small satisfaction as the ladies were able to put a hurt on the boys there that would do any gamer proud. And yes, the boys (including us, we’re not immune) are still prone to staring and forgetting they’re gamers as well as women. It’s always good to have your point of view so soundly proven in that type of atmosphere.

We were loud, we were rambunctious, we drank too much, we stayed up too late. And all the while, we were amid like minded individuals who were doing the exact same thing.

Pedobear and the girls from Charisma+2

Pedobear does exist and he's checking out your girlfriend...

Somehow, during all of the drinking, cavorting, and ingestion of entirely too much caffeine, I was able to make my way to the IGDA Charity Event and play cards for a good cause. I lost early on but I met some interesting people and tried not to make eye contact with Pedobear when he sat down next to me. No, that last part was not an alcohol induced hallucination. Pedobear actually sat down next to me.

The lovely ladies from Charisma+2 were on hand to offset most of the ugly walking around at the Con… okay, so most of the ugly was me walking around the Con but you get the picture.

Somehow we made it home with our livers relatively intact and despite a mishap with my laptop that prevented me from posting this sooner, we managed to make it home with all of our electronic devices as well. No, the thing that made us regret having been at QuakeCon was that it was over and that it would be another whole year before Dallas would see this type of gathering again.

We’ll be there again next year… with more booze.

We might even challenge you to a drinking contest if you’re (un)lucky.

QuakeCon 2011 IGDA Charity Event

Wanna bet how much Gatorade there *wasn't* in that bottle?

Gritskrieg – End of Line

All photos contained in this post were taken by Jim Brown and then nearly lost in a game of Strip Battleship to the Editor of this site so as cool as they are, you’ll have to ask for permission to use them.

Game Review: Brink

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Brink slides in with a Busy Gamer 3

First Glance:
Objective based FPS that incorporates a parkour movement system which should change the way battles play out.

Short Story:
The objective based combat system has been hit or miss in the past and is a gamble on its own but now Bethesda and Splash Damage are throwing in a level based class system and the parkour movement scheme. Battlegrounds are confined to running in a straight line and in multiplayer, the team that doesn’t have a decent mix of classes played by people who understand their skills are going to suffer. A big risk game in a market flooded by CoD and Battlefield clones.

The Score:
A lot of people have come down really hard on this game for a variety of reasons. Chokepoints that are reportedly “insurmountable??? and being “forced??? to change classes during single player missions in order to get past a level are two of the major ones in regards to gameplay. There are still some lingering issues in regards to online play with friends with lag being a major issue in some games. There’s definitely some polish needed here but what we have at the heart of this game is everything Bethesda promised us.

Even in single player, this game is a bit of a time investment. Online matches can be quick and to the point in some cases but drag on and on depending on the mission objectives in others. Escort missions can be especially time consuming in the right circumstances. That being said, if you’re looking for a new FPS that doesn’t follow the “run for 30 seconds, get shot in the face with a pistol, respawn, repeat??? philosophy, you might just be interested in this one.

Due to the potential for drawn out matches even in single player and an iffy matchmaking system in multiplayer, Brink slides in with a Busy Gamer 3.

Body of Review:
The Reckon Crew has been waiting for Brink since we saw it at PAX ’09. We’ve watched the videos wondering if the game would live up to its promise and our admittedly high expectations. As other gaming sites began reporting in on the issues they were having, we started to despair.

Then we played it.

I’m not saying this game doesn’t have its issues. It has some and they can be doozies. But all of the reports coming in saying Bethesda shipped a “broken??? game are badly exaggerated.

When the Heavy hits the door, you'd be smart to duck

Character creation is a major part of any game for the Reckon Crew. As Crutchboy stated in his article about Daggerdale, we’ll spend hours tweaking the way our character looks until we have it just right. While there are some limitations on how much customization you control in regards to your character (notably color combinations), there’s a fairly good likelihood that you’ll be able to tweak your character to look different from everyone else if the mood strikes you.

One of the complaints that I haven’t been able to agree with in this game has where the gun sounds are concerned. I’m suitably impressed when I hear the whir of the gatling gun spinning up or the thump of the grenade launcher firing. When I run around with a submachine gun, I don’t expect it to sound like a cannon when it fires. Even with a silencer, many of the guns sounded impressive to me when they fired. Perhaps it’s the surround sound system giving the effects some oomph.

I would have liked to have seen some more customization with the weapons in regards to the cosmetics but there’s enough that I’m satisfied when I’m building a load out for my character.

The three body types (heavy, medium, and light) will modify how you play. Personally, I prefer the light body type on my Soldier. While most of the world likely wants to use the heavy weapons as the workhorse of the Brink classes, I like being able to move quickly, getting into spots the other classes can’t. Being able to scale a wall quickly at a point where resistance is light can change the outcome of a battle quickly.

The Heavy body type is particularly suited for my Medic in Brink’s gameplay. Slow and plodding but with substantially more health, I hang back with my heavy weaponry and help support my teammates with a hail of lead and move up to heal as I am needed.

The engineer is particularly deadly in this game. Where the class is often portrayed as a support class in many other games, a frontline Engineer in Brink can be very successful, particularly since there are machine gun nests that require an Engineer to build them before they can be used. With the turrets they have available, as well as the landmines, an Engineer can help quickly advance the offense in any type of match.

Last but not least, the Operative introduces a bit of chaos into the matches. Able to disguise himself, the Operative is able to often slip behind enemy lines as he doesn’t trigger enemy landmines or turrets unless another operative marks him as an imposter. Combined with the sticky, caltrop, and EMP grenades, as well as the ability to hack enemy turrets, Operatives can overcome a stalemate rather quickly when played by an experienced player.

Sadly, the single player campaign isn’t nearly as fun as playing with friends. The AI on your team seems intent on performing as poorly as possible until the last moment, causing matches to drag out for as long as possible. Even the enemy AI seems less polished even with the difficulty cranked up.

Rule #1 of Brink: Keep Moving. Stationary targets are dead targets.

There have been some serious lag issues since the launch of the game. They seem to get better with every patch and the Reckon Crew saw very little lag in matches where we played cooperatively against the AI in matches where there were four people on each team.

The story isn’t going to win any awards but the concept is just enough to keep my interest. I would have liked to have seen more of the Ark’s Council ordering around Security or Chen interacting with the Resistance rather than having them as bodiless voices present only through the comm system as I performed my mission tasks.

The AI is a little chatty for my taste but it does make the battles seem more intense with the comm chatter that goes on during firefights. Hearing someone yell across my comm that they’re wounded adds an element of intensity when I am playing my medic and I’m pinned down behind cover.

Many reviewers felt the weapon damage was insufficient but in conjunction with the parkour system, it means that a moving target is harder to put down. You might do some damage as someone slides behind cover but there’s definitely a feel of fierce combat when you are facing off against the enemy in Brink.

There are some things that need polish here. The multiplayer is still a bit underwhelming at times but when you land in a lag free match, Brink begins to shine. I’ve always enjoyed objective based FPS games and Brink did a lot of things right in this regard. I’m hoping the early DLC we see come from Bethesda will expound on the objectives currently in the game, building beyond “capture this point” and “escort this guy over there”.

My most sincere hope, however, is that Splash Damage and Bethesda don’t give up on this title. For a first outing into multiplayer territory, Brink is a good example of what can be done when you stray from the tried and true formulas of a genre. I don’t want to see this game degenerate into a Deathmatch downward spiral but rather stay true to the ideal set forth in its launch, building on team based combat and the parkour inspired movement I’ve begun to enjoy so much.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Patch coming for Fallout New Vegas, need bug fixes bad!

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

(Gamasutra) – Bethesda Softworks says it will soon announce its plans to patch and fix bugs in its just-released Fallout: New Vegas. Although the Obsidian-developed game is receiving a generally positive critical reception, much of the response to the game has made note of an unusually high degree of bugs in the post-apocalyptic roleplaying game.

“Mid-battle a foe may suddenly plummet through the game world or get stuck on a rock, making for an easy kill,” said Game Informer’s Andrew Reiner; Giant Bomb’s Jeff Gerstmann discovered “a list of incredibly annoying bugs that only got worse as I continued playing”, although both reviewers recommended the game.

In fact, Gerstmann even advised: “If you’re the type of person who likes to watch for a patch or two before settling into a game, know this now: you probably don’t want to play Fallout: New Vegas right away.”

Initial play of the just-debuted game by fans have also found a number of other polish-related issues, although none are known to stop in-game progress on the open-world game.

But Bethesda says it hopes not to make those watchers wait too long: “We are currently working on releasing patches/updates as quickly as possible for Fallout: New Vegas, for all platforms,” says the company in a statement to Gamasutra. “Announcements regarding the patches are forthcoming.”

Fallout: New Vegas launched yesterday on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and PC in North America, and will launch tomorrow in Australia and on Friday in Europe. The game is set after the events of Bethesda’s Fallout 3, staged in a future-dystopian Las Vegas as it begins to show slow signs of recovery from nuclear disaster.

PAX ’09 Coverage: Wet

Monday, September 14th, 2009
Rubi Monroe is... kinda hot.

Rubi Monroe is... kinda hot.

While at PAX ’09, we made sure to stop by the Bethesda booth for a demo of Wet and to speak to Avi Winkler, a senior game designer from Artificial Mind and Movement, the developers of Wet. For those of you who have been following the game’s development, you may remember that it almost didn’t see the light of day when the bottom fell out of the project over at Blizzard Activision. Fortunately, Bethesda swooped in to make sure the ideal behind Wet came to fruition.

To begin, the game looks and sounds beautiful. Inspired by 70s grindhouse movies, there’s a gritty look to the backgrounds and characters that has to be seen to be fully appreciated. There’s a timeless quality to the game and the era in which the story takes place is never stated. The music sets the tone for each of the scenes and stays true to the overall feel of the game. And the voice acting… Well, more on that here in a moment.

The game plays out in true movie fashion. Doing away with a HUD, there’s only one way to monitor your character’s health. As you take damage, the “film” begins to stutter, like a movie projector with a lopsided reel. The more damage you take, the more the effect takes place until eventually, the film stops and begins to burn from the heat of the projector. It’s a very nice touch and easily one of the best means of eliminating on screen health indicators that I have ever seen.

The voice acting for the game is top notch. The main character Rubi Malone is aptly and beautifully voice by the lovely Eliza Dushku of Buffy and Dollhouse fame. Her voice fits the character perfectly and, as Avi Winkler put it so well, adds a very gruff kind of sexy to Rubi. Malcolm McDowell lends his signature voice as the chief bad guy, Rupert Pellum. As far as voice talent goes, this game has it in spades.


It doesn't just look awesome, the wall run *is* awesome.

In regards to the gameplay, there is enough here to keep even the most jaded shooter fan on the edge of their seat. Rubi can stand still and shoot her two pistols or hack away with her sword but it’s when the player begins to learn how to use her acrobatic moves that the game truly becomes interesting.

Rubi isn’t content to run in a straight line or duck behind cover to shoot at her enemies. She slides on her knees across the floor, runs up walls, flips, and swings from anything solid enough to hold her weight. Each acrobatic move automatically begins a slow motion sequence that allows the player to aim Rubi’s second gun at another enemy, allowing for maximum carnage as the levels progress. More stylish moves extend the slow motion sequences while still allowing the player the option to move and shoot without the acrobatics.

The acrobatics are key, however, for several reasons. To begin, there are usually too many enemies to allow for precision, shoot from behind walls or cover play. Avi demonstrated to me how to have Rubi wall run, leap from the wall, and while soaring through the air over my enemies’ heads, pump round after punishing round into their midst. When I was finally successful in performing the maneuver myself, I felt giddy as I hit the ground and managed to slide a few extra feet to extend the slow motion scene, picking off one last enemy before sliding to a stop.

There were several modes to play through at PAX. The standard run and gun which makes up most of the game, a Rage mode which bears a more thorough description, and finally a car “surfing” scene where the player must follow the on screen button indicators to move from car to car all the while shooting at the villians in the other cars.

Rage mode will make you feel like you're playing through a Tarantino movie.  Without all of the dialogue.

Rage mode will make you feel like you're playing through a Tarantino movie. Without all of the dialogue.

In Rage mode, Rubi goes berserk and the screen changes from the vibrant colors present in other levels and change to the primary colors of red, black, and white. The carnage in this mode is brutal and beautifully animated. Rubi leaps from enemy to enemy, shooting and slashing her way through them as blood sprays from her fallen foes. At the end, when the last foe fell to the ground, I realized how proud the folks at Artificial Mind and Movement must be to have finally completed this game. There will be those who say it is too violent, too bloody, too over the top for the general public but there is art here. A savage, beautiful art that has most assuredly caught my interest.

Wet is available in demo form on Xbox Live Marketplace and should be hitting stores for the 360 on September 15th.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

New Fallout 3 DLC – Point Lookout

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
Fallout 3 - Point Lookout DLC today.

Fallout 3 - Point Lookout DLC today.

(Gamespot) – After Bethesda Softworks’ less-than-ideal launches of Fallout 3′s previous downloadable content Broken Steel and The Pitt, the company hopes to get it right today with the release of its newest add-on pack, Point Lookout. Point Lookout will be the fourth expansion to Fallout 3 and is available today on the PC and Xbox 360 for $10 (800 Microsoft points).

As outlined in GameSpot‘s hands-on preview, players begin the expansion by meeting a ferryman in the southern end of Capital Wasteland. Players are taken to Point Lookout, a swampland filled with mutated inbred hillbillies, a mysterious hi-tech mansion, and raider cultists. The game is targeted at players over level 20 and offers weaponry that’s a step backward from the laser-driven technology that dominates the second half of the original Fallout 3 game.

Fallout 3 isn’t over when players have survived their foray into Point Lookout. A fifth expansion, the alien-abduction-themed Mothership Zeta is expected to come in late July. As previously announced, Bethesda will package all five expansions into the retail release of Fallout 3 Game of the Year Edition for the PC, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3, which is due out in October.

We hope to get Wet in 2009.

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Ruby, the Heroine of Bethesda's "Wet".

Ruby, the Heroine of Bethesda's 'Wet'.

(Gamespot) – One of the last remaining orphans of the Activision-Vivendi merger may have finally found a home. Product pages for Wet on GameFly, CD Universe, and Amazon (under the Frequently Bought Together section) are currently listing Fallout 3 publisher Bethesda Softworks as the game’s manufacturer.

While the three retailers agree on a publisher, they are less convinced of the game’s release date. Amazon has the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 editions of Wet arriving on August 31, while CD Universe projects a September 16 launch. GameFly expects both versions of the game to be a little slower on their way to shelves, with a September 30 release listed.

Developed by Montreal, Canada-based A2M, Wet was originally announced for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 back in 2007. The action game follows the tale of a young, lethal mercenary named Rubi as she sets out on a quest for revenge and wealth after having been wronged by a mysterious man who hired her. Described as “Kill Bill meets Tomb Raider meets Prince of Persia” in GameSpot’s first look, Wet features over-the-top third-person shooter action that combines acrobatic movements with fast-paced shoot-outs and sword fights.

L4D: Surviving in the new DLC “Survival Mode”

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009
Better hit up your friends on XBL to handle all this.

Better hit up your friends on XBL to handle all this.

Ok, so maybe I should have titled this article “not surviving the new survival mode” of Left 4 Dead’s new downloadable content pack released yesterday. Myself (Crutchboy), Gritskrieg and‘s ViggoTheCarp had a chance to experience some of the new free, yeah we emphasize FREE package available on Xbox Live for this game. And considering that Left 4 Dead has been noted as being a little short on content from the get go, it is a welcomed addition to your zombie gaming pleasure.

The first word that comes to mind to us at concerning this new survival mode would definitely be “unforgiving”. The object is clearly simple, stay alive. No escaping, no rooms to run to, and very few health power ups (and most which are just not worth running back for). The wave of enemies will eventually over run you and your partners. You are scored on how long you are able to fend them off in a variety of available maps, including a new “Lighthouse” area. I believe our first attempt got us to about 70 seconds before we were hosed. You are granted a medal for each map, on how long you can hold out (4 min bronze, 7 min silver and 10 min gold) before your last non AI player dies. After a good deal of strategizing (thanks to the nice directing of Viggo) we were able to grab a few bronze medals, but not without a large amount of grumbling and yapping in a frenzy over Xbox Live. You have to be able to communicate with your partners to pull any of this off with success. And you can forget about the AI helping out too much, with just two real players we had a tough enough time lasting longer than 3 minutes, some levels ending with us yelling things at each other like “Dude just run! Keep running!” (haha).

We did like that fact that you get as much time at the start of each the levels to prepare. With a nice assortment of moltovs, gas and butane canisters around that you can move about, it makes it very entertaining to try and anticipate what would ‘concievably’ be a good idea. Some of us later found out that certain rooms are just too small to spread fire in, as we laughed and burned to our doom, all so gracefully of course.

As was noted amongst our group, Viggo pointed out that it was the sheer number of normal infected (zombies) that deal you the most damage over your entire run in this mode. With an above average amount of skill, the tank, smokers and hunters can be manageable utilizing all the resources available and the ability to find a decent place to “turtle and hole up”.

Over all we highly recommend, you’d have to be really thick in the skull (where even zombies can’t smell you), to not get this new add on for your Left 4 Dead game. It’s free. And free is good.

- Crutchboy Out

Check out our ‘BusyGamer’ review for Left 4 Dead by Gamette Miss Genocide.

New Fallout heads for Sin City.

Monday, April 20th, 2009

(Shacknews) – At a press event in the United Kingdom, Fallout 3 developer Bethesda today announced a new externally-developed entry in the post-apocalyptic role-playing series.

Titled Fallout New Vegas, it’s being developed by Obsidian Entertainment (Neverwinter Nights 2, Star Wars Knights of the Old Republic II) with PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 versions planed for a simultaneous launch in 2010.

New Vegas will be an RPG in the style of Fallout 3, Bethesda noted, but the company did not confirm if it uses the same engine. The studio also stressed that it approached Obsidian to make a new Fallout entry, not the other way around.

“It is not a sequel to Fallout 3,” said Bethesda marketing VP Pete Hines. “It was just a great opportunity we thought to work with some guys who very clearly know Fallout–Feargus [Urquhart] and those guys were there in the early days of Fallout.”

Obsidian Entertainment was founded in 2003 by several former employees of Black Isle Studios, the company responsible for the original Fallout titles.

“We approached them. And obviously they were like, ‘Yeah!’ That was a pretty easy conversation,” Hines continued. “It’s definitely an RPG. Same sort of experience as what folks got in Fallout 3. It’s not Fallout Tactics, it’s not Brotherhood of Steel. It’s another Fallout game in that universe.”

Obsidian is planning to release its espionage-based RPG Alpha Protocol later this year. The studio was also working on an RPG set in the Aliens universe until early this year, when it was revealed to be cancelled.

“[New Vegas] has no impact whatsoever on what [Fallout 3 director] Todd Howard and his guys are working on [internally at Bethesda],” added Hines.

Fallout 3 – GDC’s Game of the Year

Friday, March 27th, 2009

Fallout 3 - Busy Gamer Rating 1

Fallout 3 falls all on the greatness.

SAN FRANCISCO (AFP) – Post-apocalyptic adventure “Fallout 3″ has been crowned Game of the Year at a major gathering of videogame makers in San Francisco.

The captivating story-driven videogame made by Bethesda Softworks bested blockbuster rivals including notorious “Grand Theft Auto: IV” and zombie shooter “Left 4 Dead” at the 9th annual Game Developers Choice Awards.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever won this award, and to be given it by other game developers, with so many amazing games that could have won, well, we’re simply overjoyed,” Bethesda game director Todd Howard said Thursday.

“It’s very special to us.”

“Fallout 3″ also won a Best Writing award at Wednesday’s ceremony, considered a highlight of the Game Developers Conference (GDC).

“The games being recognized here are virtuoso efforts that have truly advanced the state of video games.” said GDC content director Meggan Scavio.

“The Game Developers Conference has become the premiere videogame award show because it gives voice to those who understand games better than anyone; the people who make them.”

See how we at rated the massive Fallout 3. A great game, but quite the extensive time guzzler!!!