Posts Tagged ‘Red Dead Redemption’

BG’s Top 5 Games of 2010

Monday, January 3rd, 2011

I’d have to say that 2010 was a hell of a year. I’m almost sorry to see it end with all of the fun we had this past year but I can honestly say 2011 is already shaping up to be another great year.

We’re already lining up our 2011 Gamettes and the contest for our 2010 Gamette of the Year is still in full swing and will be running until January 16th so don’t let the thought of some new geeky hotness distract from the lovely ladies who are already on the site.

Don’t think we forgot about our Top Five of 2010 list, either. We know some of you probably wish we would but tough noogies,  you get one!

So without further ado or fanfare, here’s our top 5 game picks for 2010 in no particular order:

That's five assassins. That's ten "ass-es" and five "ins".

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood: This one comes could almost be our top pick for 2010 with its damn near perfect mixture of story, action, and multiplayer goodness. There’s very little wrong with this game but some of what is wrong can bring the fun to a screeching halt.

Following the exploits of Ezio Auditore, ACB brings some of the best single player action we’ve seen all year. As an Assassin in 16th century Italy, Ezio is a solid badass with an arsenal of moves and weapons at his disposal that serve to decimate opponents while you hack, slash, and stab your way to revenge. The missions can be a bit frustrating but fortunately, there’s a very forgiving checkpoint and autosave system that will help ease the pain of the more treacherous tasks Ezio has in store for him.

The multiplayer *can* be a blast. Short, furious matches where patience is rewarded more favorably than the quick and dirty kill. Points are based on the quality of the kills you make so you might get 3 primo kills and beat out the guy with 12 kills. As you level up your multiplayer character, you get access to more equipment and perks which can change the way you play in multiplayer.

The downside of the multiplayer is the wait times. There seems to be something hinky about the way Ubisoft’s matchmaking works and you may end up waiting 20 minutes for a 10 minute match which can seriously eat into your session time in what would otherwise be an excellent time saver. In the end, the weird match setups can be forgiven as this game is very Busy Gamer friendly. If you have 30 minutes to play, you can get a substantial amount of enjoyment from this title.

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare: The BG Reckon Crew has expressed their undying (pun intended) love for the western shoot ‘em up that is Red Dead Redemption. While there have been several DLC updates for the game, Undead Nightmare made it a whole new game. There’s a very real feeling of desperation when you begin as ammo is much more scarce in this DLC than in the main game and the storyline actually picks up during an earlier point in the main game, meaning that if you’ve already beat the game, you’re going to be seeing all those familiar old places in a whole new light.

New weapons and outfits are just the capper on this DLC. Undead Nightmare also adds some new multiplayer but where the game shines is the new single player missions. As in the original, missions can be time consuming and you’re definitely going to want to see what happens next so busy gamers should approach the DLC with that in mind. And just like in the main game, once you’ve beaten the main story, you can continue to play well after the final credits roll. Whether it’s hunting sasquatch (seriously) or just gunning down zombies, there’s plenty to do once you’ve finished the storyline.

We play primarily for the sheer amount of headbands in Black Ops

Call of Duty: Black Ops: Amid all the turmoil that’s been going on with Activision and Infinity Ward, the Call of Duty franchise has managed to launch another winner in the series with Developer Treyarch back at the helm this year. Along with revamping the popular Nazi Zombies mode, Black Ops manages to land another one-two punch with a fantastic story and incredible gameplay. Not only did the single player campaign manage to keep me on the edge of my seat, the multiplayer modes available do not fail to satisfy.

Unlike the Modern Warfare entries of the franchise, the single player story felt considerably longer. This isn’t a bad thing as I’ve felt the stories being told in the previous entries was almost too short to enjoy but it’s something to keep in mind when trying to get in some quick gameplay. The scenarios have a tendency to grab your attention so the real danger isn’t that you can’t get in quick games but that you won’t want to turn it off once you get going.

New multiplayer maps, weapons, and gears have added an entirely new facet to the frenzy that has become CoD’s multiplayer sessions. Games are quick to come up though if you’re trying to find one specific type of map or game type, you may find yourself waiting a little longer. Try not to get too caught up in the Nazi Zombies multiplayer. You may find yourself missing hours from your life.

Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty: Twelve years in the making meant a lot of expectations for this sequel. We all know, however, that sequels just happens to be one of the things Blizzard does well. Thus, it wasn’t too much of a surprise when Wings of Liberty landed and not only surpassed our expectations but ended up being a hit with people who hadn’t even played the original.

As with most of Blizzard’s products, WoL hit the markets with some phenomenal music, voice work, and gameplay. A solid sequel to the story told in the original and the add ons, Wings of Liberty managed to captivate our attention all over again.

With two more expansions in the works (Wings of Liberty covered only the Human campaign, the Protoss and Zerg campaigns are yet to be released), the Starcraft franchise is officially back in business. While the single player campaign could be a little time consuming, the multiplayer is still the same frantic pace as the original and can make for some quick, sometimes frustrating, matches for those who are gaming on a schedule.

Time will tell if the two add ons will generate as much interest but it’s a good bet that Blizzard has yet another hit on its hands.

This screen shot will mean absolutely nothing to you unless you play the game...

Game Dev Story: Yeah, I’m throwing an app up here on my top five. That’s why it’s my top five and not yours. Available for iPhone, iPod, iPad, and Android, Game Dev Story is one of those games that grabs your attention and doesn’t let go.

The scenario is this; you’re a new game company creating (what else?) games for the various devices on the imaginary market. While many of the “consoles” you create games for bear some resemblance to real life devices, you are able to create your own console and program for it. You choose from categories that set the tone for your game (Robot Fighting or Animal RPG Sim anyone?) and then go to market with it.

It’s a clever little game that can be played at length or with just a few minutes a day and you won’t regret any of the time invested… unless you do something like forget to walk the dog or feed the kids or something. The greatest part of this game is that it is portable and easy to click a few times and then sit back to see what happens. In all honesty, this has been one of the few games that I’ve felt compelled to buy from the very get go and the first time I played it, I realized a few hours of my life had disappeared as I tried to tweak my programming team and figure out which games were the money makers.

I imagine this game will see some improvements as time goes on but as it stands now, it’s a great game if you want something a bit more portable to entertain you during your down time.

There it is, folks, our top five picks for 2010. If you haven’t had the chance to play them yet, we highly recommend them all. Before you run off to pick them up though, go vote for our Gamette of the Year because every time you don’t vote, I kill a kitten.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Three treats, few tricks for a BG Halloween

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2010

This past week, I was unfortunate enough to come down with a case of bronchitis. This meant no Halloween outings for me but fortunately, I managed to find the means to entertain myself. One DLC release, one new game release, and one new series managed to keep my attention throughout the weekend and helped make the coughing and wheezing a little more tolerable… With a few notable exceptions.

I don't think they want candy...

DLC Release – Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare:

I mentioned this one a few days ago with my list of 5 games I was trying to avoid. The upside of getting sick was that I had a lot of free time on my hands last week and so the DLC for my favorite cowboy simulator was up first on the list.

Treats – New weapons and new single player missions have us back in the saddle again as John Marston. John’s on his way back to the farm when the weather gets weird and the varmints start acting a tad strange. The intro is just the right amount of spooky and tacky, letting us know there’s going to be some scares and giggles on this particular ride.

The plot of the DLC shouldn’t come as any surprise when it mentions “Undead” right there in the title. There are zombies, you’re a badass gunslinger, you can figure out what happens. As you blast your way through the zombies, you’ll find out some deliciously ghoulish stories as John re-visits some of the towns and peoples he came across in his original adventures. And you may just get a twisted kick out of how the storyline progresses. There’s a whole new world to love and explore if you have the time and the inclination, of which, I had both. new Multi-player goodness round out this offering.

Tricks - Some of the new challenges are evil… as in really hard. If you don’t care about the challenges, you’re going to be missing out on one of the two new outfits as well as some special weapons and so on. Those of you who have finished the main storyline may not like where this one leads. Also, we have zombies but no new mini-games?  It seems to me that there were several opportunities missed with this bit of DLC. I mean, c’mon, give us some “Running of the Zombies” or something. Overall, it was a great play but if you’re determined to do every mission and every challenge, you may want to set some time aside where no one will miss you for a couple of days.

New Game Release – Fable III:

I forgot all about this when putting my list together and I should be ashamed for that. I’ve been looking forward to this title since I put the sequel to rest… which would be the day before this title launched. Its predecessor was able to draw me back in on the odd occasion and I was happy to see the feel and play of the series was maintained with this latest installation.

Pretty much as awesome as it looks...

Treats – The story of Albion and its people has been a fascinating ride and the latest story sticks with that tradition. For those who have enjoyed the previous titles, this one is a “don’t miss”. The game begins with the next generation of the Hero line as the player is immersed in the role of the second story Hero’s offspring. 50 years have passed since the events in Fable II and we see what has become of the kingdom since the Hero fought off the last challenge to Albion’s well being. As has become usual with the series, there’s a lot of running about, a lot of great humor, a “moral standing” system influenced by your choices and actions, and a really good story to be told. There’s a villain here that is truly creepy and may have you turning the lights on when you’re playing along. You’ll have access to better weapons in this iteration and the magic school has been changed up to be somewhat more Busy Gamer friendly. But all of that isn’t necessarily a good thing…

Tricks – By my calculations, you could conceivably play through the storyline in roughly 2-3 hours. That’s if you decide just to stay on the main path, not power up your character, forego the minigames, etc. That isn’t entirely bad and overall the ease of finding a multiplayer session and the time investment required may make this one of the Busy Gamer friendliest hack’n’slashers out there. The downside is I didn’t feel nearly as emotionally invested in the characters as in the previous titles. If you’re not careful, the end of the game can actually sneak up on you even given a sort of “doomsday clock” towards the end. And good or evil going into the final story, it’s your bit of actions that determine where you stand in the moral landscape, even if you destroyed entire villages along the way.

That isn’t to say there’s not a lot to do here when the story is said and done. There’s a remarkable amount of things to do once the main plot is complete and many will find themselves looking to team up with friends to eke out as much as they can from this title.

New Television Series – The Walking Dead:

I really have a hard time believing this is the first attempt at a television series based on a zombie apocalypse setting and it’s also hard to believe AMC is the channel to break that ground. It had to be done sooner or later and there are a lot of things to like, and dislike, about the new series.

Treats – Zombies! The lesser respected, much more (in my opinion) scary, and considerably less sparkly minions of the undead world. They finally get some TV love with this series based on the monthly comic series created by writer Robert Kirkman and artist Tony Moore way back in 2003. The storyline is on a “so far, so good” line in regards to sticking to its canon which has been in print for all these years. Having been a fan of the comic, it’s actually good to see the story on the screen match those of the pages.

Like this... but on TV. Awesome.

Tricks – The series was never shy about doing away with main characters. This has the effect of keeping a monthly comic new and inspired but for a weekly series, may be too much for the everyday viewer. There are sure to be complaints of, “well, I stopped watching the series after so-and-so died” which is sure to happen as viewers pick favorites. Of course, those of us who read the series are likely to know who lives and who dies based on the story we see unfold before us which may make it a struggle for the writers of the show to continue referring to the comics if they wish to surprise viewers. Part of the charm of the comics, however, is the knowledge that someone you’ve enjoyed seeing for several issues may bite the big one and come back as a zombie in the very next panel. I’m hoping the show stays true to the canon rather than trying to embark on some ratings scheme that makes the show resemble the comics in name only.

As an aside, if you haven’t read the comics, I highly recommend them as well as the two games mentioned above. If you want your Halloween to continue on till Thanksgiving, you’ve got some great choices with the material above.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

I just became a Busy-er Gamer

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Sometimes I go long stretches without playing games. It’s rare but it does happen. Either there isn’t anything to catch my interest or there’s just not enough time for it. And then the end of the year rolls around and I find myself buried up to my ears in choices and most of them happen to be some of the most Busy Gamer unfriendly games you can imagine. We’re talking about time investments galore from games that I really enjoy playing when I can make the time for the titles.

So I’m looking at the round up from the past few and the upcoming few weeks and having to set down some guidelines. For me, I can either split my time among several titles and not get the full experience or I can pick one, fully enjoy it, and hope that I won’t get too sucked in by the overall experience that my other titles start collecting dust.

I’m putting my list together and looking at how I’m going to divvy my time. If you’re as torn as I am and wondering about the pros and cons of certain games, I’m about to go over what I see as blessing and curses with each of the following five titles listed in no particular order.

The goblins are gonna getcha.

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm: It’s a whole new world with the latest Blizzard crackfest, literally. Azeroth gets a makeover, the level cap is raised to 85, and the new talent system looks and plays great so far.

Pros: I’ve been looking forward to this for awhile. Blizzard raises the bar with each expansion it launches for the WoW franchise and from the hands on I’ve hand, this time looks no different. New areas, revamped areas, new enemies, new dungeons, old dungeons with heroic mode, new gear… The list could go on for days a long time and each item on the list makes me want to play again.

Cons: Every time an expansion for WoW comes out, I go into the new areas with what used to be my badass gear. I get my ass handed to me by some new mob and then a green drops that makes me want to punch myself in the throat because it’s better than that shiny purple that took so long to get. Not my favorite feeling. Then there’s the fact that as an 80 and with the new talents, I have to relearn my class from scratch instead of growing into it as I have over the past few years. That means I’m going to be schooled by people who just started new characters because as new skills became available, they played with them to see what they could do. Instead, I’m stuck trying to figure out what each does on the fly.

Conclusion: I may avoid this one for a while. Oh, I’ll pick it up on launch day and tool around in the new areas but I may just have to sit back and read the boards for awhile to know what to look out for when I make it back.

Fallout: New Vegas: I’ll pretend that some of you don’t know about my infatuation with the Fallout series and my post-apocalyptic interior designer addiction I picked up in Fallout 3. Suffice it to say I both cringed and rejoiced when a new DLC for Fallout 3 was announced. I rejoiced because I loved that Bethesda had managed to capture the old school feeling of the franchise and wrap an FPS around it. It made for a whole new experience and I wanted to explore every inch of it. That’s what made me cringe. I had to know what was behind every burned out building and under every rock. I had to see all of it and the world was HUGE. I’d start at one corner of the map and just pick a direction to explore and I would find something new every time. And now there’s a whole new world to explore.

Pros: Post apocalyptic gaming goodness. Anyone who was a fan of the original series was most likely won over by Bethesda’s portrayal of the Fallout world. From the 50s type vision of the future to the reintroduction of old characters, they nailed the feel of the franchise. Fallout: New Vegas looks to be more of the same and that is absolutely the right way to go. New perks, new faces, old enemy organizations. I like the sound of that.

Cons: Seriously, I explore everything. Every building, ditch, gulley, sewer grate, cave, whatever. If you can crawl, walk, or run into it, I was there. And I can’t stop. It’s like an addiction but instead of a dealer, I get mutant cockroaches. Very little difference, I know. Definitely a time sink for anyone who might get the explorer bug as bad as me but this one may be the one that wins out in the end as far as my title to beat.

Fallen Earth: I’ve been tooling around with this game and I can honestly say I’m very, very impressed. Beyond what we saw at PAX this year, Fallen Earth is easily one of the most well put together games in regards to “classless” game play. Devoting points to one stat doesn’t mean you are going to get stuck playing as one role. There’s enough bleedover between the different professions that a build that works with one choice can easily swap out to another. It’s easy to get interested in the game mechanics and overlook the story and the well written aspects of it as you go along but if you choose to pay attention, there’s a lot to be had here.

Pros: Easily one of the most “crafter” friendly games I have ever seen. You pick up your mats, queue up the recipe, and then you can go run around killing things. You’re not stuck standing in one place while a progress indicator climbs and falls. The learning curve is up there but this game has one of the friendliest and helpful playerbases I’ve ever seen.

Cons: I mentioned the learning curve. It’s more of a mountain some times. As you play, you begin to understand why it’s so high but from the bottom, it is intimidating. If you’re not the type to ask questions or read the help files, you’re going to be frustrated until you can figure everything out for yourself. And if you’re the type who enjoys crafting, you may suffer full on withdrawal when you have to log off for a period of time. The crafting system is *that* good.

Borderlands: Claptrap’s New Robot Revolution: I’m a fiend when it comes to Borderlands. It’s only the second game I’ve played on the Xbox 360 that made me want to get all of the achievements. I’ve played every class through at least one playthrough and every DLC up to now. The new free DLC comes out prior to the level cap being raised to 69 (for those who bought Secret Armory, 58 if you passed on it) and sets the old areas to match your new level when you beat the game in its entirety. In other words, you can go run around in the old areas and still feel challenged. Just what I needed. I’ve held off on this content specifically waiting for the free DLC to raise the level cap so I don’t feel obligated to play through the DLC more than once… for each class.

Pros: I never tire of the humor in Borderlands. From standing around listening to the various Claptraps, the radio announcements in T-bone Junction, or Marcus telling the story of Dr. Ned. More of the good stuff, please. Old enemies get overhauled by having their levels raised which means I won’t feel like a bully when I go back to Firestone and beat up Bonehead anymore.

Cons: I could play this game for hours at a time and not get bored. Run to the old stomping grounds, hunt for loot, listen to Tannis go insane, there’s just a lot I enjoy about this game. I can see the combo of the Claptrap’s DLC and the level cap being raised as being very dangerous to my mental health. There’s just so much to do and so much humor-y goodness to be had. In the end, the amount I devote to this one will end up depending on who I am playing it with in Multi-player. Other addicts like me and I’ll end up losing entire days of my life to it. Hopefully I’ll manage with just a couple of sessions with casual gamers.

Just in time for Halloween, some Red Undead...

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare: Oh, geez, where to even start with this one. Zombies and the old west. If that doesn’t scream “Match made in Heaven” to you, then you probably didn’t get in on the game before there were going to be zombies. And you missed out if that’s the case. No other game has made me feel more like a cowboy than RDR and that’s the way I like it.

Pros: New single player missions involving the creepy crawlies. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one new multi-player mission using the new content as well.

Cons: I have to be careful with RDR. I can set the game down for months and then decide to fire it up one day and the next thing I know, my entire weekend is gone. From running around playing shoot ‘em up in multi-player to riding on patrol and dodging bears in single player, RDR appeals to that part of me that never outgrew playing Cowboys and Indians.

So that’s my list. I’d be interested to see if anyone had any thoughts on their own “to play” list or in regards to any of the games I’ve listed but for now, I have to go make some hard choices.

Gritskrieg – End of Line

Undead Nightmare DLC Oct 26

Friday, October 15th, 2010

(Gamespot) – Ordinarily, there’s very little warning about apocalyptic zombie outbreaks. However, Take-Two Interactive today provided this week a courteous “heads up” of such an event, letting Red Dead Redemption players know that the Undead Nightmare downloadable game pack would be hitting the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Store on October 26 for $9.99 (800 Microsoft points).

For those averse to digital distribution in all its forms, the publisher also announced Undead Nightmare, a stand-alone disc compiling all four announced Red Dead Redemption add-on packs: Undead Nightmare, Outlaws to the End, Legends and Killers, and Liars and Cheats. The retail collection will also include all previously released multiplayer free roam modes and won’t require a copy of the original Red Dead Redemption to play. When it arrives in stores, Undead Nightmare will sell for $30.

As the name implies, the Undead Nightmare Pack introduces zombies to the world of Red Dead Redemption with an entirely new single-player adventure. The storyline sees an undead plague sweep across the frontier, with protagonist John Marston charged with finding a cure. Additionally, it adds more animals to the game’s biosphere, new “dynamic events,” eight new zombie characters for use in multiplayer, and a new Undead Overrun cooperative mode.

Red Dead Redemption: Undead Nightmare

Thursday, September 30th, 2010

Get your six shooter ready for some brain blasting! RDR Undead Nightmare Trailer!


“the Undead Nightmare Pack will feature an entirely new mostly single-player campaign that follows John Marston as he tries to find a cure for the highly infectious zombie plague that has spread across the frontier.

In addition to this epic new single-player adventure, the Undead Nightmare Pack also features brand new gameplay mechanics, weapons, zombie animals, mythical creatures and even a brand new secret location. All this, plus some exciting new multiplayer details and much more to be revealed very soon.”

Not sure how they will mesh this into the story line, without ruining the ending for people who have not played the game all the way through – it will be interesting to see if Rockstar’s writers try and shove a square peg through a round hole…but just in time for Halloween none the less.

Game Review: Red Dead Redemption

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

Red Dead Redemption blazes in at a Busy Gamer 3

First Glance:

Play a rough and tumble cowboy in the final days of the Wild West. Shootouts in the street, breaking horses, bounty hunting, train robberies, pretty much whatever you can think of to do in a time when cars are just appearing in the world.

The Short Story:

You play as Marston, a former outlaw who is trying to walk the straight and narrow after having misspent his youth in a gang. Marston got out after being left for dead by his former compatriots and has eked out a living only to have his past return to haunt him. In order to set things straight and return to the life he has picked out, he must saddle up one last time and hunt down his former friends, not for revenge but to satisfy the government agents who have forced him to work for him.

The Score:

I don’t know that Rockstar believes in short games. The Single Player experience is phenomenal but is going to take a large chunk of your time if you want to fully enjoy it. The multiplayer, however, is very well put together and may be worth the price of admission on its own. The storyline is utterly engaging, the graphics are gorgeous, and the voice acting is stellar. But with so much to do in the single player, the Busy Gamer will have a hard time squeezing in single player time and staying on top of the learning curve. Quick games abound in multiplayer, however, and if you’re careful, you can squeeze in a decent play session with a limited amount of time. As such, Red Dead Redemption scores a 3 on the Busy Gamer scale.

Body of review:

I can’t say I know many people who played the first game in the Red Dead series, Red Dead Revolver. In fact, I know of only one person that can say they beat it. I didn’t feel the draw of the first game after renting it but after seeing the ads and videos of the gameplay for Red Dead Redemption, I was on board.

Forget the fact that this is the same company that brought you the Grand Theft Auto series. There’s very few similarities to this game and the GTA franchise. Yes, you have the choice of being a hero or a villain as you make your way through this rendition of the Wild West and instead of cars, you can steal horses. This is something completely different. (more…)

Red Dead Redemption will count your dead, and everyone elses.

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Red Dead Redemption outlawas have done some very bad things, well in New Austin and Mexico that is. GameSpy has been collecting data from players of Rockstar Games’ hit Western and the results are amazing.

12.6 million characters trampled by horses. 5,600 cumulative years spent in virtual jail. In just a few weeks after launch. Remeber that cow murdering spree you did awhile back? Yeah they counted that too.

The stats were pulled from gamers networked to Rockstar’s website via Rockstar Social Club, in which you can easily sign up on your XboX in a matter of minutes.

GameSpy team told Kotaku that “the numbers pulled from Red Dead have continued to skyrocket. Gamers have logged 3.6 billion minutes in the game. GameSpy works with Red Dead’s creators at Rockstar Games to track more than 1000 statistics from each of the game’s players. The companies use the statistics not just to wow gamers with nice infographics but to track playing patterns and learn how their games, and the elements within them, are being experienced by players.”

Click to see the full stats in bloody glory!