DOOM: The Review. Modern Classic or Just Another Shooter?

Titles that refuse to admit they are sequels must be the “self-titled white album” trend of the gaming industry. Xbox One, Tomb Raider, and now DOOM. Bethesda and id have had a pretty good track record when it comes to keeping an older series alive. Fallout, The Elder Scrolls and Wolfenstein are both great examples of taking franchises in exciting new directions and succeeding. Fallout and TES became the most popular and celebrated first person exploration/RPG games on the market, and Wolfenstein found its niche by being a FPS that stood out from the rest with a very unique story and unique gameplay/stealth mechanics. While these games have found a foothold in the modern gaming market, they did so by changing very fundamental pieces of the games in big ways. Players of the original Interplay Fallout games or even the 90’s Elder Scrolls games often find that the newer additions to their beloved franchises aren’t at all the same games they once were, relying more on combat and severely limiting dialogue when compared to the older games. This worked out pretty well, since it turns out mainstream gamers enjoy looking at pretty landscapes and shooting bad guys a bit more than engaging in tribal politics. With DOOM though, they took one of the biggest, baddest, most violent and most fast paced games ever made, and simply made a new, even more violent and still fast paced game where the goal is basically “shoot everything until it dies”. So, with a studio that has lost most of the minds that helped create the original, a poor showing at last years e3, and abysmal reception to the multiplayer beta, expectations were low and DOOM seemed, well, doomed (I’m so sorry). However, it’s finally here so we can answer the question, “Were they able to create a game worthy of it’s own name?”. Continue reading

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The Xbox Elite Controller might actually be worth the money

You read that right, Microsoft somehow made a controller that just might be worth the ridiculous $150 price tag. Ever since the announcement of the Elite Controller, I have been more than skeptical that it would be anything other than a minor improvement over the already solid Xbox One controller. Honestly, I thought it was just a way to get more money out of Xbox fanboys to make up for the price cut last year. Every once in a while though, I’m OK with being wrong. The Elite seems more like a PC and Xbox player’s wet dream than shelf decoration.

Let’s start out simple. Before even pairing it up a console, the Xbox Elite Controller is obviously a solidly made piece of hardware, even more so than the console. It comes in a hard case, which nicely keeps track of the interchangeable pieces of the controller when not in use. Three sets of triggers are included, two different kinds of d-pads and a pair of interchangeable sticks. Everything feels like it is made of high-quality material and should hold up well over thousands of uses. The thumb sticks click in magnetically, which gives me hope that the inner mechanism is well protected and won’t pick up small problems along the way as I have experienced with the normal XBO controller. Another important feature is the ability to customize the travel of the Elite Controller’s triggers which can increase performance in different game types.

The controller feels extremely natural and solid when in my hands. It feels like I’m holding something that cost $150. The physical customization isn’t crazy, but the software side takes it to the next level. It is possible to remap the controller’s buttons on the Xbox One. This may not be an important feature to PC players who can do that with any controller ever made, but for serious console only players this can be a game changer, literally. This is all done in the downloadable Xbox Accessories app. A slider on the back of the controller allows for quick changing between different saved controller configurations. While I didn’t personally use this feature much, I can see how it could be great for a variety of games like first person shooters where one might want a different control setup for different weapons. The Elite Controller allows for this to happen quickly and smoothly in game which could certainly help in a competitive online situation.

Now for the one terrible annoying thing about this controller which makes absolutely no since to me. The Xbox Elite controller does not come with a rechargeable battery pack. That’s right, this $150 controller requires two AA batteries, not included. Um, what? Surely Microsoft could have included the $20 rechargeable kit in their ridiculous expensive controller, right?

I feel that the Xbox Elite controller will actually be used mainly on PC. Console gamers are often not very likely to spend ridiculous amounts of money on their gaming experience. I mean much of the console gamer crowd is yet to move up to the current generation of consoles! PC gamers, though, who often throw down over a grand for a PC build may be much more likely to invest in a high quality gamepad, especially when so many PC gamers are looking for a new controller after seeing the disappointment of the Steam Controller.

So, is the new Xbox Elite Controller worth the money? Well, that depends on how much you have? If the price means you would have to do without buying two new games this holiday season, it’s not worth it. If you are willing to spend money to improve the gaming experience on top of just buying new games, this controller might be worth it to you. I could certainly see this controller being the way for gamers to cement their status as a “real gamer”, even if that is a ridiculous thing to do. The Elite Controller is certainly the best console controller made to date. There is a problem for console gamers though. To use the Elite Controller you have to play on the Xbox instead of PS4…

 

What is the next big genre?

Over time, several different genres have basically owned the video game industry, from platformers in the early days of consoles, to first person shooters since the release of Call of Duty 4 on last generation consoles. Every so often a game comes along that brings a differnent genre into the lime light. At this moment in gaming, however, there are several different types of games represented fairly equally within the industry. When will the next game be released that tips the scales to a particular type of game again. Is that even possible? Continue reading

Ubisoft, Child of Light, and the Push for Big Publishers to make “Indie-like” Games

Ubisoft_logoOver the last few years, indie games have seen a huge surge in popularity. Certain games like Minecraft have even managed to outsell some of the biggest franchises in history (Though Minecraft is no longer independent after being bought by Microsoft). So it’s no surprise that big publishers like Ubisoft want to know exactly how these developers are taking up such a large share of the market, and how they can compete in that space. Continue reading

Will PCs ever replace consoles?

So Many Parts......

So Many Parts……

The short answer? No. At least not the same kind of PC I’m using to tap out this post. For years the PC gaming community have claimed superiority over the “peasants” still playing games on consoles. After all, a well-built PC is ridiculously more powerful than any current console, and can be upgraded without buying an entire new system. In certain cases, the $400-500 it costs to buy a new console could be used to build a more powerful PC instead, allowing games to be played with higher frames per second, higher resolution textures, and even a higher resolution overall. So, in reality, PCs are great and much more bang for the buck in comparison to consoles. So why do I say PCs will never replace consoles?

Continue reading

The First of Seven: Max Payne 3 DLC out July 3rd

Rockstar announced yesterday that the first downloadable content pack for their noir inspired game Max Payne 3 will release next week on consoles.  Titled Local Justice, this downloadable content will come out on the Xbox Live marketplace and Playstation Network on July 3rd, with a following release for the PC on July 17th.

Three new maps come with this DLC; the 55th Batallion HQ, Imperial Palace, and Departure Lounge.  The 55th Batallion HQ map will be playable on all game modes, while the Imperial Palace and Departure Lounge maps will only be playable on Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Payne Killer.  Furthermore this new DLC pack comes with a new weapon, the M4 assault rifle, a new item called Light Fingers which makes looting faster, and the Sao Paulo police faction, complete with avatar customization.

Originally set to release in June, the Local Justice DLC will be at a discounted price during launch week as an “appreciation of patience.”  During this time the Local Justice DLC will run for 480 MS points (6$) on Xbox Live, and 6$ on Playstation Network and PC.  After the week though, the content will return to its normal price of 640 MS points ($8) on Xbox Live and $8 on Playstation Network and PC.  Additionally the Local Justice pack and all other DLC content for Max Payne 3 can also be purchased through the Rockstar Pass program.  Currently this pass is available for 2400 MS points ($30) on Xbox Live and $30 on PSN and PC.

This new DLC for Max Payne 3 is the first of seven planned add-ons for the game.  Due out later this summer is the Disorganized Crime map pack, the Deathmatch Made in Heaven mode pack, the Hostage Negotiation map pack, and the New York Minute co-op pack.  Coming out sometime later this fall will be the Painful Memories map pack and the Trickle Down Economics map pack.  In short there’s a lot coming to Max Payne 3 making this a title that refuses to slow down.  Be sure to check out our review of the game and stay tuned to Updownright for all the latest in gaming news.

Far Cry 3 Delayed Until December

Ubisoft announced this past Monday that Far Cry 3 has been delayed until the holiday season. Originally announced to be released early in September, this highly anticipated title has been pushed back until November 28th for the UK and December 4th for the U.S. According to producer Dan Hay, the team decided to delay the game because they want to take “more time to create the best possible gameplay experience.”

As of this moment Far Cry 3 is the only title scheduled for December, however this new release date could potentially hurt its sales. Originally slated to be released in September, the only other close by first person shooter was Borderlands 2, which releases on September 18. With this December 4th release date, Far Cry 3 now comes out after Halo 4 (11/6/2012) and Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 (11/13/2012), which are two highly anticipated and competitive titles. What do you think, does Far Cry 3 stand a chance in the sales against these highly popular titles? Let us know in the comments below and be sure to check out the Far Cry 3 preview to see what we think of this upcoming title.