Wednesday, June 12, 2013

FarCry 3 Completed!

So I finally finished the story campaign on FarCry 3, and I wanted to give a round up of what I thought about the game.  Overall, I have to say this was one of the more entertaining and addicting games I've played in a while.  It was easy to get immersed in the environment, and challenging enough to keep me trying new strategies.


The graphics on this game were impressive, and I had my machine running everything on ultra mode.  My PC is running a 2.5GB card, a 3.2ghz processor, and 16GB of RAM.  The sheer amount of objects that have to be rendered was amazing.  Trees, leaves, animals, grasses, plants, rocks, NPC's, vehicles and not to mention water effects and shadowing was all fantastic.  Plus the gradual changes from day to night and back were subtle but actually affected gameplay.  I really felt at times that I wished it were day time so I could see better.

The Campaign

The story mode in the game was not only compelling, but it didn't bore me at all.  The story of Jason Brody (Snow White), was interesting to follow, and I really began to feel some emotional connection to the other characters and his desire to rescue them.  The story missions were flexible enough that you could roam the island as you please, without too much concern for time.  Only a few were actually timed missions, and I made all of them before the deadline ran out.


Vaas has got to be one of the more interesting gaming villain's I have run across in a long time.  He's a bad ass, he's a dick, he's got a sick sense of humor, and he doesn't give a crap about anyone but himself.  As the leader of a pirate band, I couldn't think of a better set of personal traits for a guy.  I really, really, really hated Vaas.

The other villain you run across is Hoyt, who reminds me of Scarface (see the movie if you haven't...).  In fact so much so, that I didn't really feel he was original enough.  By the end I had a definite feeling I hated the guy, but not as much as Vaas.  I really hated Vass (did I already say that?).

Side Missions

Another surprise was how much fun the side missions were, and how important Ubisoft made them to your character.  I've played enough Assassins Creed to get bored with side missions like taking out an outpost, or unlocking another map section.  But in FarCry 3 they gave you good reasons to do them!  Free guns, crafted gear to carry more cash, guns, bullets, explosives etc.  I actually took the time to complete every Wanted Dead and Path of the Hunter missions, climb every radio tower, free every Pirate and Privateer outpost, and play through every Trial of the Rakyat mission at least once.


When I first got started I was a little irked that I had to craft items to carry more gear, but I got over it pretty quickly.  I soon found it to be an entertaining priority, and that some of the Path of the Hunter quests were hard enough to make me re-do them.


If I had to rate this game, I would give it a rock solid 9 out of 10.  My only complaint would be that once I cleared out an area of Pirates or Privateers, they really stopped showing up.  A little more surprise conflict would have been welcome.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Hawken Gameplay Video - Reaper Mech

So I got around to putting up a commentary video for the Reaper mech type.  I started the match about a third of the way in, but I still got ten minutes worth of good match time.  It wasn't one of my more Exciting matches, but it still gave me a chance to talk about the Reaper capabilities and game play.  Enjoy!


Friday, May 17, 2013


    So my daughter has this game called Headbanz.  It's a simple kids game in which you put this funky blue headband on your head, which is secured with the rivet type dot and slot clipping you'd find on a truckers ball cap.  At the front of this headband, is this slot for sticking a card.
    From there on out you have small hourglass timer which runs about sixty seconds.  The idea being to ask a bunch of questions from all the participants playing.  

    The end result for me, was three adults and an eight year old sitting at the table laughing at each other.  My wife is sitting across the table with a card on her head displaying an ant and asking, "Am I an animal?" the response, "Yes".  "Do I have four legs?" the response, "No".  "Do I have two legs?" the response, "No."  She gets frustrated and says "So I'm an animal, but I don't have any legs, or wings.  What am I a slug, or a snail?"

    This of course makes the rest of us laugh, until the time runs out and she realizes it was six legs...  As you can imagine the next time it came up she wasn't as specific.  "Do I have legs?"  Of course the irony was, it was an octopus, so it didn't help her any.  

    Overall this is a fun and fast game.  It's cheap too at about $17.00.  It's good for a fun family game and it's good to get the analytical side of our brains moving.  There is also an adult version which I might look into (also cheap at under $20.00).  I can imagine an evening of nonsense ensuing!

Kids Version:


Thursday, May 16, 2013

First Hawken Video!

    So I finally got around to posting a video about Hawken last night on youtube.  I'm hoping this is the first of many to come so keep your eyes peeled for more.  My intention is to play with my Reaper mech and talk about some of the strategies in future mechs, and then expand to my CT-Recruit and Rocketeer.  

    This video focuses on the garage and it's interface, sort of explaining how the interface works.  Please take a look and let me know what you think!



Tuesday, May 14, 2013

FarCry 3 Fun

So I found myself playing FarCry 3 last night instead of posting up some videos of Hawken with a bit of commentary.  I did finally get the voice and game audio to mix using MSI Afterburners free software, but it took some effort and some tweaking to make a game file which wasn't 18 GB of massive video.

After getting the video quality cranked down some, I decied I would do some in game recording of FarCry 3 since I was playing it.

Please enjoy what I decided to post!

Monday, May 13, 2013


I haven't had enough time to play lately.  Life can get that way.  Also I've been spending some of my saddle time with the PC trying to find a free way to make live commentary videos.  I think I've almost got it sorted out, and I'll be able to avoid purchasing a program like Fraps.

When I get going I plan on doing some videos which talk about the Hawken garage, what the mech classes are like, item customization and finally appearance customization's.  After that I'll probably do some live game play videos and you can hear me grunt every time my Reaper mech gets hit with a TOW Rocket.

In the meantime, I haven't had a chance to play on the new Facility map either.  I'm eager to see what that map will be like.  You can check out the map overview on youtube here:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hawken  - Open Beta

May 7th, 2013

Already Immersed

                So I’ve been playing Hawken off and on for about the last two months (maybe less, I dunno).  Enough time to get used to the patterns of combat and understand how the flow of battle goes on each map at least.  And I figured it was about time to put down my thoughts on the game.

                Hawken is a fast paced, action packed FPS game with great physics, and game mechanics.  As the game developers release new items for sale using Hawken Points, or Meteor Credits, it’s obvious they consider all their new submissions and how they will effect combat on the field.  Whether it’s rocket turrets, blockades, or radar scramblers, the deployable items all have a real usable function and you won’t feel cheated when you blow your points/credits on them. 

                The use of Meteor Credits (real world money) will sport your mech upgraded hardware to increase its offensive, defensive, or mobility capacity.  That said you don’t need to spend money to get these types of items.  All the items you can buy which augment your abilities can all be purchased by using Hawken Points.  These points are gained by simple gameplay.  The points are different each match, but usually I get about a hundred per match I play.  Also, if you get achievements, you get bonus points based on the goal you met.  All in all, I think this is the fairest way I’ve seen a free to play game operate.  This isn’t pay to win, it’s pay to make my mech look different.  I put ten dollars into painting my Reaper Mech, and changing the parts out on my CT-Recruit Mech so it’s not so blah. 

                There are essentially three types of mechs on the field, class A, class B, and class C.  Think of them as small, medium and large.  As you can imagine the smaller class A mechs have greater mobility, but also have less armor.  Class C, just the opposite with greater armor and less mobility.  I find that having several mechs is a good thing for a player.  One, you don’t get bored with a certain style of play, and two, it can effect your teams success on the field of battle.  If your team is getting hammered by a couple of Sharpshooters, using a Rocketeer in Siege Mode (transforms into a tank), and a having a technician healing you may do the trick.  As a Rocketeer you can bombard their perch from a distance causing them to dodge, and avoid fire.  This will stop them from pestering your other team members and give them a chance.

                The high ground is important in Hawken.  When you are up higher you’ll have a better visual range of the enemies as they approach you, but it also gives you slightly more areas to dodge fire and hide behind objects.  I have found that most battles end up hinging on the high ground.  One side is always giving and taking it from the other.  I haven’t done any data analysis on it, but I have a feeling that he who holds the high ground the longest wins…
                The game types are pretty standard.  Team Death Match, Missile Defense, Siege, and Death Match.  Team DM and DM pretty much speak for themselves. 

·         In Team DM you kill the other guy with the help of your comrades in arms.  The key to this gameplay mode is sticking together.  With your groups combined firepower you can drop any mech within a few moments.  You start to die when you stray off the path. 

·         Missile Defense is basically holding your ground at three missile silos and seeing how long you can retain at least two of the three.  As you gain possession of a silo it starts to bombard the enemy base.  3000 hit points later the enemy base (or your own) is toast.  If I had advice, stick to two silos and don’t try to hold all three. 
·         Siege is different animal.  A match of siege can last quite a while with two skilled teams.  You send your mechs out into the field to gather energy and bring it back to your base.  After you gather enough energy your launch a battleship which goes to beat up the enemy base.  The catch… is the Anti-Aircraft missile silo in the middle of the field.  After you launch your battleship, you have to hold the silo.  If you don’t your battleship is going to get smoked before it ever reaches the enemy base.  The whole battle hinges on holding that AA silo.

·         Death Match speaks for itself.  It’s an all-out free for all, without any friends to lean on.  Personally, this is more of an endgame type of gameplay.  If you go out there with low rank and low end gear, you had better be an ace game player.  Otherwise you won’t have a good time…

                Technically the game is still in open beta, but it’s pretty clear the basics of the game are well established.  I think they just want to give themselves time to roll out more items, more mechs, paint designs and maps.  That way no one can accuse them of launching without enough content.

There are also some interesting possible features coming.  Of particular interest are maps which have a completely destructible environment.  I know this is still under development, but it could really be a game changer.  Demo video here:

                Overall, I really enjoy this game and if you are an FPS fan, I think you’ll dig it, even if it’s out of the norm because of the giant robot aspect.  Though Hawken is still in Beta, I score it 8 out of 10.  What I think Hawken needs is more maps, more items, and the ability to outfit a mech with alternate weapon types.  I don’t see this happening though, since it would change the way you buy mechs and possibly how you spend your money on the game.

See you online!