Archive for GTA

Cyberpunk 2077 Has Just Reached Hype Level 2077

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News, The Latest with tags , , , on June 13, 2018 by Rabidgames

Let’s start with something easy: You’ve watched the trailer for Cyberpunk 2077, haven’t you? If not, here you go. Expect to get excited though.

Looks good, right? But if that looks good to you, this piece from Eurogamer will be visual orgasm! Here are some of Rabidgames’ personal highlights:

We saw V’s apartment. Is that your home base you can return to?

Patrick Mills: That is your home base at the beginning of the game. Across the course of the game you will be able to purchase additional locations you can use as your home base. It’s too early to talk about too many details about that system, but we do plan on having that.

We got a glimpse at what you’re able to do in your apartment.

Patrick Mills: You can suit up, check your computer. In the demo the quest log up in the corner says, get your gun, get your katana, check your email.

Finally, a game with proper safe houses. And more than just a balmy one (or a meagre two in Franklin’s and Trevor’s cases) like in GTA V

But it gets better:

Is Cyberpunk 2077 a purely single-player game?

Patrick Mills: Yes, it is.

So there’s no multiplayer whatsoever?

Patrick Mills: We have multiplayer in R&D, but the game we’re shipping to you, the game you’re going to buy is the single-player experience. That’s really what we’re concentrating on now, the single-player RPG experience. That’s what we want to nail down before we start looking at any of these other things.

Hell yeah! This is how you do it! After the launch of a single-player game, do whatever you want, but focus development on just the campaign.

The quest structure also seems to be varied and “alive”. Hopefully, we won’t see many fetch quests in Cyberpunk 2077 though:

Will you get phone calls from people offering you quests?

Patrick Mills: You can expect a variety of things. In the Cyberpunk world there are these people called Fixers. The thing about Fixers is they’re the brokers of the mercenary life. They’re the ones who arrange for mercenaries to be brought in to solve problems. You’re going to get some of those jobs from talking to Fixers.

Sometimes you’ll see things on the street that you want to get involved in. We’ve got a variety of different ways to draw you into quests. We don’t want it to just be, drive to this location or just call this guy and get a quest. We want it to feel alive and immerse you in the world.

 

But … there’s a potential thing, a little bit of a problem, we should talk about. Read this:

What platforms will Cyberpunk come out on?

Patrick Mills: The game will be coming out on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. At the moment.

Have you guys settled on a year you want to release the game?

Patrick Mills: Not that I could give you. When it’s done!

Now, it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but “at the moment” reads as if it will become a launch title for the PS5 and the Xbox, erm, Two X … not the best news, but Cyberpunk 2077 sounds too good to be true for this console generation anyway, doesn’t it?

Rabidgames is hyped: Before E3, this game was on the radar. Now, it is a clear case of “shut up, take my money!” Sadly, chances are it seems it might not even be released this decade. But good things come to those who wait, don’t they? And sometimes, those things turn out to be the best.

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Dear Rockstar: A Friendly Intervention

Posted in Gaming these days ... with tags , , , , , , , , on June 7, 2018 by Rabidgames

We have been good friends for a long time, haven’t we?

Remember how our good times started? Remember the fun we had with the original Grand Theft Auto, GTA London, GTA 2 … Oh yes, we’ve had good times on the PS1. Although back then, it was still well-behaved and tame, wasn’t it?

But then we became best buddies, man. And times got wilder. You know how GTA III happened? Boom, that open 3-D world, us getting lost there, getting drunk, crashing cars? Man, we loved that shit back then! But you gave us even more with Vice City and the awesome 80s feeling, and EVEN MORE with the massive world of San Andreas. Holy crap, it felt like re-inventing the rules! But we share more fond PS2 memories, don’t we? The Warriors, Red Dead Revolver, Max motherfucking Payne, and of course the very awesome yet underrated memory of the amazing Bully (man, what a nice small world!). Sure, you were a bit weird with manhunt but still, good times, buddy, good times.

Sure, GTA IV was a bit of a drag because of the annoying relatives and the return to only a single city, and oh, Max Payne 3, well, we all mistakes, so you’re forgiven. But hey, we had fun with simply the best Western game ever, Red Dead Redemption, with the detective novel L.A. Noire and with the sprawling world and of course Trevor’s erratic behaviours in GTA V.

And man, we’ve loooved your stories. Your caricatures, your satire, your humour, you have made these things work on quite some levels. From the Wild West to urban centres, from small towns to Brazilian favelas, storytelling was your damn strength, dude! You’ve mixed fiction and the real world like no other, and you managed to simply piss everyone off! Like South Park, just more interactive.

But then, something happened … Let’s be honest here, okay? Let’s talk straight! You lost sight of our goals, buddy. In recent years, you’ve lost it, bud. Was it the money? The fame? The temptation of another quick fix? Whatever it was, how to put this, but man, you need to get a grip. We really miss your stories! Recently, you went AWOL on us to spend time in that modern online world. But dude, we’re still here. We’ve thought you’d care more about us than the fucking jocks from EA and Activision, you know. But lately, and please, don’t get this the wrong way, but lately you’ve behaved just like those dorks!

See, let me give you some examples here. We’re not dissing you, we’re telling you. You know, making GTA Online a grind, luring us in there with free money (come on, half a million is fuck nothing in your overpriced economy and you know it), ditching all plans for any campaign story add-ons after making promises … man, that one has hurt the most! Have you really forgotten your roots, man? Your roots, and the good times we’ve shared?

And now, man, we want to play Red Dead Redemption 2, we really, really, really want to buy the game. And we want to like it and look forward to it. Really, really! But DUDE! What the fuck are you doing? Why does it have to be shitloads of different editions? Even with “exclusive” missions? Fuck that shit, man! Why should we pre-order to get some fucking online cash for another fucking game? Come on man, stop partying with the frat boys from EA!!! Stop believing the sweet yet treacherous words from that Activision dude!

But let’s calm down for now, okay? After all, we’ve been friends for a long, long time. Shit, you could say decades! So see, because it’s you, we want to give you a last chance. Please, please prove you still care. Please show us you still can tell great stories, and you still have it in you to tell a long, meaningful story. But hey, look away from your phone! No exclusive crap! No more DLC shit! No fucking micro-transactions! Can you try to do that for us pretty please? Can you?

And make no mistake, Rockstar. This is your last chance. If you disappoint us again and you feel like treating the story just as a tutorial for your oh-so-beloved new online hobby, we’re done. Because frankly, right now, we don’t believe you and your talks anymore. It’s time for action. So comes October, we’ll see. So please, old friend, please don’t disappoint us! Or it’s farewell. Forever.

Saints Row or Fun Trumps All

Posted in Gaming these days ..., Played & Explained with tags , , , on December 2, 2015 by Rabidgames

The throne of “modern times” open world/sandbox gaming is a heavily contested one – while GTA V has the most publicly accepted claim now, there are two more series also asking for the crown – the Just Cause series, hellbent on chaos, explosions and beautiful sceneries (although thematically a bit different), and the Saints Row series, that rose from a humble beginnings to the most outlandish and batshit gaming experience ever.

So, in case you haven’t played any of them, let’s have a look at how it all started, shall we?

Saints Row – Humble beginnings in the shadow of San Andreas

True, the first Saints Row kind of earns the title “GTA clone” – not only do you play the from rags to criminal riches story, Saints Row is also dominated by different gangs fighting for control. Even more enervating for San Andreas veterans, your gang is dressed in purple …

But it is definitely the best San Andreas clone – and the first Saints Row already added a few activities that are now trademarks of the series, e.g. the amazing Insurance Fraud where you have to throw yourself in front of racing cars to ragdoll around in a most hurtful manner to proceed, or Mayhem where you just have to rack up points by killing and/or blowing up everyone and everything – weirdly enough, the best way to get points has always been vandalising fences …

The story deserves some mention as well – in Saints Row (as well as in the next two games), you would battle three different gangs in three different story arcs – and there was always an end game with yet another story to tell!

If you wanted more San Andreas and then some, Saints Row was your game. And yes, some originality was already there, but the game and also the cliffhanger ending with a few decisive twists served mostly as a blueprint for the sandbox revolution:

Saints Row 2 – Fuck your cousin, let’s blow shit up – literally!

Remember this hilarious ad for Saints Row 2, mocking Rockstar for the less fun and mayhem yet more going bowling with your cousin approach in GTA IV:

Actually, this trailer describes Saints Row 2 perfectly – crazy missions and crazier side activities (septic trucks, streaking, being a bodyguard and brutalising people), insane depth of customisation, immature, dark and savage humour … plus, you have a story that ends up connecting all dots in a clever way (big, bad corporate crooks involved) … hell, there are some disturbing and emotional moments in there – Saints Row 2 ticked many boxes, but above all, the game wants you to have fun while playing it. While the first Saints Row copied Rockstar’s formula, part 2 refined it, added bits of insanity and scat. Yep, Saints Row 2 sat comfortably on the urban crime sandbox throne.

Another reason was the honesty of Saints Row 2 – while CJ in San Andreas was still somehow a nice guy, the protagonist was a ruthless son/daughter of a bitch, showing no mercy or regrets akin to Tommy Vercetti in Vice City. And yet despite dealing with drugs, thousands of homicides, the protagonist still was some sort of good guy compared to the corporate nightmare visions of Ultor!

Hands down, Saints Row 2 is at least one of the best games of the last generation, and perhaps the best in combining a convincing story and an urban sandbox. So yes, it is fair to say Saints Row 2 beats GTA IV in the urban crime sandbox competition! As we witnessed a few years later on, combining is the key word here!

Saints Row The Third – A few steps forward, quite a few back

Sadly, the third Saints Row couldn’t live up to its predecessor’s fame and glory. Customisation got severely crippled (no more layers, no more customisable cribs), the serious undertones vanished, the story had absolutely no depth and neither had the characters, old or new.

The missions? Fragmented, sometimes even disconnected, plus the introduction of activities counted as main missions. Yep. The big villain? Dies in the first half! Johnny motherfucking Gat? Dies off-screen in the beginning, and then that’s it. What the fuck, Volition?

Another ugly byproduct of Saints Row The Third was the abundance of shallow to useless to shameless DLC pieces of worthless junk – even advertised as “40 weeks of DLC” – paying money for cheat codes is still a bad fucking joke! Pretty much the only worthwhile minor DLC is the Shark Shotgun!

But Saints Row The Third isn’t a bad game despite all these flaws – gameplay was refined with more fluent controls and the “awesome button”, the action was more explosive, the graphics were overhauled as well, and at least weapons could be customised. And yeah, while the James Bond villain dies early on, the second half of the game develops a completely new dynamic at least, a pretext to the aliens and sci-fi in its successor!

And if you look beyond the flaws and at the fun factor – hell yeah, it is lots of fun to create havoc in this game! You have the tools – from stink bombs to airstrikes and tanks of today and tomorrow, you have the opportunities, pretty much every minute you play the Saints Row The Third is tailor made for our amusement, be it missions or the open world. From a sandbox perspective, THIS is one of the greatest – and even more so in co-op.

So yes, the game is still fun and gained a lot of new fans, but just as GTA IV was a let-down to many fans who enjoyed the size, the crude, immature humour and the general hilarities of San Andreas, the new direction of Saints Row The Third felt a bit shallow – depth was sacrificed for over-the-top action, the humour was just silly at times … But that would change soon …

Saints Row 4 – The best of virtual and virtual² worlds

How can the crazy insanities of Saints Row The Third be even crazier and more insane? By mixing in an alien invasion and the Matrix, of course! This stroke of genius solved the problem of limitations to the over-the-top approach as well as not connected story arcs in next to no time! Two birs with one stone – in Saints Row terms, it’s rather two planets with one death star!

By explaining it all (well, most) happens in virtual Steelport, everything was permitted and the over-the-top attitude culminated in a game full of super powers – including a nuke bomb from high above – the most outlandish weapons ever (black hole launchers, rectifier probes, inflato-ray guns – to name a few and leave them to your imagination), batshit-crazy missions full of easter eggs, nods (from Metal Gear Solid to Mass Effect to They Live) and Keith David as himself aka Vice President! Oh, and Johnny Gat is back  in Saints Row 4 – fuck yeah!

You even get to recruit some of the Saints’ departed antagonists as virtual homies – and they even have a back story to tell! And then there’s the most insane DLC ever – How the Saints saved Christmas is surely one of the craziest experiments in gaming ever. Plus, you can have 3 Shaundies at the same time! Enter the Dominatrix isn’t as great unfortunately, although the ending that is even crazy for Saints Row standard sis something that has to be seen to be believed! Oh, and that throne …

Now, Saints Row 4 certainly is the brawns of the series, while Saints Row 2 is the brains – but it is hard to establish which one is the heart and soul. Probably both, because they are deep yet entirely different.

What does the future hold for the Saints?

Well, no one knows. But since that’s a boring answer, chances are Volition could go for one of these three options:

  1. Time travel: In Saints Row 4, time travel is introduced, and certainly, the fusion of Assassin’s Creed and Saints Row could be mindblowing. After all, what’s left to do without the earth?
  2. A reboot: The easiest option. Let’s return to Stilwater and let’s re-visit the beginning of the Saints saga. While it worked for Tomb Raider, knowing we already know about the betrayals of Julius, Troy and Dex would mean the story would have to be completely rewritten.
  3. Wrestling Stilwater back from the Syndicate: While the Saints battle the Syndicate in Steelport, we could retake Stilwater from the Syndicate – and other gangs. Afterwards, the game could end with us getting honoured by the president …

Whatever will happen, let’s just hope the next Saints Row will live up to its big name and give us some good stories and gameplay antics. Or, as good old Johnny would describe what Saints Row is all about: “Let’s kill some shit!”

GTA V or The Next Generation Take-Off

Posted in Gaming these days ..., Hands On with tags , , , on November 18, 2014 by Rabidgames

There has been lots of talk about next-gen gaming … and let’s face it, most games failed to impress when it came to the next gen part: Watch_Dogs had some great ideas but failed in execution, Destiny fell flat in terms of story and content, and Unity fell victim to FPS implosions and bugs. Let’s not even that patriotic army recruiting app thingy from Activision … The only game that has been able to bring something new to the gaming table was Shadow of Mordor with the Nemesis system – until now!

Grand Theft Auto V returns and it takes the world by storm – the graphical updates alone are astonishing and would have been worth praising GTA V, but more traffic, more pedestrians, animals, more dense foliage and the new water physics scream GOTY. And then, just to top it off, there’s first person mode for more immersion – cool on foot, cooler in cars, but beyond awesome in helicopters and bikes. And if you return to the PS4 or the One, you can simply import your GTA Online character and you get shitloads of extra stuff unlocked online as well as offline. Now THAT’S how you treat your fans!

Rockstar came to the next gen, saw the state of affairs and conquered it all by setting a new benchmark – and not just by flicking the finger to all the other remakes out there, oh no, GTA V is a behemoth of technical prowess and content that puts all other games so far into place. NOW, the next generation has officially started.

Rabidgames applauds: Simply put: Rockstar 1, the rest 0.

42 Reasons to Buy GTA V … Again

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News with tags , , , , , , , on October 12, 2014 by Rabidgames

We all know Grand Theft Auto V is a masterpiece. But there is way more to the game than most of us know even after playing it for dozens of hours, and why not relive or experience those moments on a next-gen console?

Hang on, that’s just 41 reasons to buy GTA V again, right? Well, reason number 42 is the alleged (not yet confirmed but neither denied) cockpit driving camera. That alone might be well worth buying the game a second time! Plus, you know, denser traffic and more pedestrians, more wildlife, more weapons, more cars, more foliage, overhauled graphics and physics etc. It seems bringing the game to a new generation CAN mean more than just buffed up graphics … now who would have thought that?

Rabidgames cannot wait: It is time to discover San Andreas on the PS4 (or maybe on the One if you prefer). Knowing Rockstar, we might be in for a few surprises as well! Maybe we can finally hunt down Bigfoot!

 

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.

GTA V or The King Reclaims The Throne

Posted in Hands On with tags , , , on September 18, 2013 by Rabidgames

7 hours into GTA V, one thing is clear to Rabidgames: THIS IS GTA!

Gone are the uncontrollable cars, realism and cousins … over-the-top action, hilarious ideas and endless fun is back. San Andreas surely seems to be  where the strengths of the GTA franchise come truly alive.

And we need a new definition of alive in video games: You can aid or stop random crimes, help strangers (and freaks), or you start a gang war and let the cops, the gang – and your dog – fight it out! Or you do some missions brimming with ideas: You’ll bring down houses, crash parties, hunt down people with the help of your dog and you’ll tow trucks, try to raid security trucks, race sports-obsessed women or fast cars – mind you, all of this happens within the first 5 hours!

And then, there’s GTA IV’s protagonist San Andreas: Los Santos alone is breathtaking, especially at night. Oh, and the sea: Swimming looks amazing, but diving is just beautiful. But there’s also the desert, mountains, so much more to explore …

Rabidgames drools: GTA V is everything we wanted – and more. It easily claimes the sandbox throne, and itf nothing goes wrong, the title best game ever is awarded to GTA V as of today. Okay, back to the game now …