Archive for October, 2013

Assassin’s Creed Reloaded or From Animus 1.0 To 4.0

Posted in Gaming these days ..., Revisited with tags , , , , on October 29, 2013 by Rabidgames

With Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag around the corner, why shouldn’t we take a quick look at how the series evolved from its not that humble beginnings? Well, let’s at least have a look at the console games … the handhelds don’t really count after all, do they?

Assassin’s Creed (2007)

Basically, the first Assassin’s Creed is a tech demo. On the plus side, it is a breath taking one. Three huge cities to climb and explore, a story that combines the middle eastern past witnessed by protagonist Altair with the dystopian present (the game was set in 2012), and awesome assassinations. On the other hand, the gameplay was repetitive to no end (9 assassinations, and the preparations played out all the same) and collecting hundreds of flags felt even more pointless than shooting pigeons. There was some gameplay depth missing, and the only things standing out were the interesting beginning and the amazing end of the game. But the game laid the foundations for the Assassin’s Creed series – from introducing the perennial war between Assassins and Templars aka Abstergo, the pieces of Eden to the mind-boggling reliving history through DNA arch we now take for granted.

Assassin’s Creed II (2009)

We switched from Altair to Ezio, a playboy turned Assassin. The second game did a much better job in progressing the story with many new gameplay ideas, and diversity in mission design. This time, we had 2 big cities, 2 towns and one village which doubled as home base. Above all, Assassin’s Creed II was fun; Ezio was more cheerful than the stoic Altair, there was a more fleshed-out backstory taking place throughout Italy, the gameplay included fighting, sneaking, silently assassinating to races, an economy system, tombs to explore Tomb Raider style and puzzles to solve to unlock “The Truth“, and of course this fourth wall breaking ending of the game:

Of course, it wasn’t perfect. There was some feeling of repetition in the middle of the game, and the removal of sequences 12 and 13 to be given back to us as DLC was truly disgraceful. But let’s be honest, that’s just nitpicking …

Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (2010)

The bad news: We went from 6 locations to one, Rome. Although the city was huge, there was a certain element of freedom missing. The good news: The rest of Brotherhood. Be it commanding a full-fledged Assassin’s guild including the arrows storm and sending your soon-to-be Assassins across Europe, the many guild challenges, the Metal Gear Solid style Leonardo missions or the puzzles from Subject 16, the Desmond stuff in the present … Brotherhood had it all. Oh, and Rabidgames should not forget to mention that awesome cliffhanger at the very end of the game! That’s how it’s done.

Assassin’s Creed Revelations (2011)

For many, Revelations is the low point of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Rabidgames agrees (actually, he never finished the game). Assassin’s Creed II.3 felt like a mere add-on to Brotherhood. Constaninople felt rather weak (different from other cities through architecture only), the Desmond sections went quickly from interesting to fucking boring as hell, the minigame Den Defense was one of the worst tower defense incarnations ever to see the light of virtual day, and the whole game felt a bit stale. If it hadn’t been for the exploring and the refined Mediterranean Defense minigame where you sent your Assassin recruits to missions across Europe once more, Revelations would have been completely boring. Revelations was not entirely bad, but it was several steps below the rest of the games, lacking innovation and surprises. Not exactly the revelation Revelations was hoping for …

Assassin’s Creed III (2012)

Goodbye Ezio, hello Connor. And Haytham first … Assassin’s Creed III was mixed box of entertainment: there was tons of awesome stuff, from hunting (bar the fucking QTEs), climbing trees, the entire frontier, the funny investigations, the decidedly grey story of the American revolution and the treatment of the Indians – and of course, naval battles, the highlight of AC3! Unfortunately, 2 protagonists meant 10 hours of tutorials, the game was full of bugs and glitches, the economy system fell flat on its face, and the missions were even more linear than before. Oh, and while the ending in the past was weak, the ending to Desmond’s story was fucking abysmal, especially because of a dea ex machina and not giving us a damn colour-based choice! At the end of the day, Assassin’s Creed II was a good game marred by questionable design choices and a rather bad technical side. Let’s hope Ubisoft learns from its mistakes.

Rabidgames is looking forward to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013): Why? Assassins and pirates, of course (let’s hope for ninjas, too)! Naval battles, a huge with many islands world to explore, several cities to freerun, a new protagonist and us being Abstergo agents promise an interesting experience.

Leave Us Alone, Microsoft!

Posted in News with tags , , , on October 13, 2013 by Rabidgames

For the second time this year, Rabidgames has been pestered by Microsoft with this fucking annoying “YOUR ACCOUNT NEEDS TO BE MORE SECURE” bullshit after just turning on the Xbox 360 to play some Fallout New Vegas

FUCK OFF!

Why do you make this fucking shit mandatory? Oh, and it is fucking pointless, too!

If, let’s say, Jeff from next door (name changed, of course) hacks Rabidgames’ account, he is asked to give another email address – any will do – or any phone number to call or text. Again, any number will do. It is fucking pointless! Dear Microsoft, how does this make any account more secure? How?

In order to be sure, here are two simple rules: 1. Never put your debit/credit card information on XBox LIVE or PSN. 2. Never have more than, let’s say 1.000 points or 10 quid on your account. Even if someone, let’s say, John from the NSA (again, name changed) hacks it, he’ll be disappointed …

Rabidgames is pissed off: It seems this is just a professional and legal scam to get your emails and numbers. Well played, Microsoft. You know, sending an email to the address linked to a gamertag would have sufficed …

GTA Online or Between Awesome and WTF???

Posted in Hands On, News with tags , , , , , on October 9, 2013 by Rabidgames

So, GTA Online

First, remember when Rockstar praised the heists in GTA Online? They’re not there yet, they’re just free DLC down the line. And they were the only reason Rabidgames has been interested in GTA Online

Apart form the heists, GTA Online is basically … well, an online version of GTA V: You’re in southern San Andreas (Los Santos and Blaine County), you can move around freely and rob stores and buy vehicles, weapons, garages and safehouses in freeroam mode, or you do either co-operative missions that get stale quickly (some are alright, some are outright stupid – why chase after 2 moving cars for half an hour for a meagre $3000 reward? And why the fuck do enemies spawn 10 meters from our team) or you do classical MP stuff like races (rally is truly hilarious and a welcome addition, while GTA races now feel like Mario Cart 18+), death matches or 2vs missions.

However, there’s a catch: Each time you die in GTA Online, you have to pay. The more money you have, the more you pay. Oh, and it doesn’t matter if it’s cash or in the bank, you’ll pay. The catch? It also accounts for missions. Have fun playing deathmatch, earning $2000 while losing $10000. This is bullshit! It stinks even more if you look at the fucking micro transactions Rockstar introduced into GTA Online!

Getting money becomes tedious grinding after a while, and you get the occasional message to just buy it with real money. This is fucked up! Dear Rockstar, by buying GTA V, Rabidgames also bought GTA Online. It’s been shipped with the game so it’s part of the game, right? And yet, there have been obstacles thrown at us so we can progress slowly (yes, there are easy missions which can be repeated again and again and again, but where’s the fun in that?) – or we pay!

Alright, we have not enough content, and we have mindless grinding … anything else? Oh yeah, GTA Online is broken 50% of the time you want to do something! Dear Rockstar, you definitely saw and heard what happened with Diablo 3 and Sim City, and you did the same mistake. Yes, some issues are understandable at an online launch, fair enough – but staring at the first race not even starting for hours upon hours is blatantly ridiculous! So is losing ALL your progress. While it is fine to play beta tester for some F2P game, it is not fine after shelling out 40 quid! If the gaming industry wants to be all adult and professional, fine, but please, act that way, too!

Rabidgames yawns: Yes, if you play with friends, GTA Online can be hilarious. For a while. But then, you realise there are no noteworthy missions. Hefty penalties for playing deatchmatches or any competitive modes but racing. Everything is expensive and needs grinding – or paying real money – a no go! Maybe the heists will change the perception of GTA Online, but for now it is simply not good enough – and doesn’t live up to the hype.