Archive for Just Cause

Ghost Recon: Wildlands or The Perfect Narcos Sandbox – With a Blight

Posted in Hands On with tags , , , , on March 18, 2017 by Rabidgames

After two betas, we can now finally roam all of Bolivia in Ghost Recon: Wildlands – and it is a massive country! And the beauty of it is not just the size and diversity of the map or the dozens of weapons and attachments, it’s the fact that Wildlands is a true, proper sandbox, probably one of the best in recent years!

Whether you want to play co-op or solo, whether you want to go in stealthy or very loud, whether you like long fire fights or sync shots, whether you want to even go in along or just rain mortar fire upon your enemies, whether you want a crisp challenge or just drive around to explore, whether you recon with a binocular, your drone or your weapon, all of this and more is entirely up to you.

Ghost Recon: Wildlands comes very, very close to great sandbox legends such as Just Cause 2 or the first Mercenaries, and the more Rabidgames plays, the more it feels like a mix of these two games. Add a pinch of Far Cry fuck-ups when things go wrong (enemy patrols can show up at very inopportune times), and perhaps there are also traces of pinch of Phantom Pain’s DNA in here (gathering resources or tagging enemies as well as how you should approach enemy bases).

A word of warning though – like in Just Cause 2, you pretty much do the same couple of missions over and over again, and approaching an occupied city, base or building changes only depending on the size and weaponry of your enemies. It’s entirely up to you and your creativity how to approach it. Even if you play the game solo, all the scenarios above and more are possible. Most missions allow various approaches. Even stopping an enemy convoy can be tackled in many ways – grab an armoured APC and let your guys fire away, ram the vehicles with a truck, or simply lay mines or C4 on the streets.

In a nutshell, Wildlands is a massive sandbox that gives you plenty of freedom to do things your way. For some, the mission variety might seem lacking – “go there, kill that, abduct him, destroy this” don’t vary too often, sure. But that’s not the point. The point of Wildlands is to write your own stories as you tackle your objectives.

So far, so good. But while Wildlands is great fun, it is blighted by one big issue – motherfucking micro-transaction! True, it might be mostly cosmetics, but what the flying fuck? Why is the only leather jacket hidden behind a fucking pay-wall? Couple that with the 30 quid season pass, and it leaves a sour taste in your mouth. Come on Ubisoft, for fuck’s sake! Look at Horizon Zero Dawn, or look at Nier: Automata: There are no fucking piece of shit pay-walls, folks! You buy the game, you get all of it! Please, for the love of gaming, stop this shite already!

Apart from that monetary blight, the single radio channel looping its 5 or so pieces too quickly and a few technical hick-ups, Wildlands is a fucking brilliant sandbox. So brilliant that it has been the biggest launch seller so far this year, beating both Horizon Zero Dawn and Zelda! It seems this is a sandbox for everyone. And while the game might be rough around the edges, it can also look amazing.

wildlands1

Rabidgames recons: If it wasn’t for the disgusting practices of locking away stuff behind a fucking pay-wall, Wildlands would leave only a sweet taste in the mouth of sandbox fans. But the sour taste of mindless monetisation is lingering on despite the many positives. It is a shame, but the shame there is entirely on Ubisoft!

 

Advertisements

Just Cause 3 or A Glorious Yet Unfinished Sandbox

Posted in Gaming these days ..., Hands On with tags , , , on December 7, 2015 by Rabidgames

First impressions of Just Cause 3 … Well, the first impressions are consumed by rage at the horrible loading times … you stare at the fucking screen for a few minutes at times, especially after booting the game or dying. Sounds fun, right?

In fact, this whole text was written during dozens of loading times. So, when you have to do while gaming, e.g. taking out the trash, writing a novel or taking a shit, rest assured you’ll have plenty of time to become a better person.

Back to the Just Cause 3 loading times … Oh, there are also challenges. To get a good rating, you might have to repeat a challenge a couple of times – and waiting more than one minute for a challenge you can complete in less than a minute is fucking stupid!

So why do challenges? After all, they were completely optional in Just Cause 2! Because in Just Cause 3, you need challenges to unlock gear upgrades – and an upgrade can only be unlocked via completing a certain kind of challenge. Sounds like a fucking stupid design choice, right?

And -the fact that communities like gamefaqs are doing the QA for Avalanche who don’t seem to give a crap doesn’t exactly help. The solution? If you’re offline, loading time for Just Cause 3 are quicker. It works only to a degree, but saving a minute here or there can be alright.

Why offline again? Because Avalanche thought making a competition out of everything is fun – but there’s no chance to turn this bullshit off! Rabidgames doesn’t care about this virtual dick measuring contest crap in a fucking single player game like Just Cause 3 – so omitting the fucking option to turn the shit off is by far the worst design decision of 2015 – coupled with the fucking loading times, it goes from shit to diarrhoea quickly. YOU FAILED, Avalanche!

Quite interestingly though, Just Cause 3 feels more like the first Just Cause in quite a few ways: liberating provinces by taking over settlements and military bases, the missions structure (there are main missions, challenges and encounters, no Just Cause 2 type side missions), and you gain access to weapons and vehicles by either collecting them, collecting collectibles or – and that’s where you get your weaponised stuff – by liberating bases.

Sadly though, the missions range from awesome to awful – escort missions are bad, but with bad AI, they’re even worse. Also, out of the first 10, only 3 were real fun, a few were okay, and a few were simply not good, especially compared to the epic missions in Just Cause 2. Furthermore, you can’t upgrade your weapons, vehicles or health in Just Cause 3 – another weird omission. Next to the technical oversights, this game stands closer to the first game than the outstanding second one.

Oh, and there’s more – since challenges only get unlocked via liberations, this forces you to take over a settlement before you can interact with it whereas in Just Cause 2 exploration was more rewarding and upgrading your gear (gone in Just Cause 3) by collecting stuff didn’t necessarily involve liberations.

Well, there is lot to criticise in Just Cause 3, but if you look behind the veil of bad design choices and piss-poor technical failures, there’s a good game. A damn great game! Explosions look simply amazing, and by tethering objects or enemies together you can always come up with funny stories.

The biggest addition to Just Cause 3 is the wingsuit – coupled with the grapple hook and the parachute, traversing the landscape is lots of fun and dangerous – go too low and you nosedive to a bloody death! But the wingsuit certainly adds a learning curve to the game, and it is quite addictive.

Rico is cool, yeah, but the star of Just Cause 3 is the Mediterranean state of Medici – from the beaches, the vineyards and small islands to the South to the centre with its lush coastal towns and the barren mountains to the desolate north, empty of life but full of ruins. And then, there’s a volcano!

It can be fun to take in the views by flying around or maybe cruising through the scenery in a car – never a motor bike though (their handling is way worse from Just Cause 2), and as you would expect, there are amazing landscapes and a few cool easter eggs to be found.

So, what’s the bottom line? Well, Just Cause 3 can be infuriating and then incredibly fun after the loading screen. If you can wait, better wait for a patch, especially while you could also play Fallout 4 or The Witcher 3. If you are addicted to a new dose of Just Cause style high-explosive action though, be prepared for some waiting but it’ll be worth it!

Rabidgames wonders: Judging from the present state, it is questionable if Avalanche know the meaning of the word QA. And the fact most of the game rather resembles the first mediocre game than the outstanding Just Cause 2 makes you also wonder about some of the priorities there. But for all the criticism, as long as the beautiful explosions and the creative chaos last, holiday in Medici is always an option! Sadly, it is rather a side trip than a must-see tour …

 

E3 2015 should be renamed E-Gasm

Posted in Gaming these days ..., News, The Latest with tags , , , , , , on June 16, 2015 by Rabidgames

In recent years, the E3 was a lukewarm events with maybe Sony poking fun at Microsoft’s thwarted attempt to cripple second hand gaming, or just a couple of games we already knew about anyway. So why would 2015 be different? Or so we thought …

But then, Bethesda started off with the news that Fallout 4 – including building settlements and a crafting system – will be released in November 2015. BOOM! And Dishonored 2 got announced, almost as a side note!

Microsoft was then smart enough to rectify past E3 shenanigans by announcing backwards compatibility, something precious to people like Rabidgames who own 150 or more 360 games. Just the thought of playing Dragon’s Dogma on the One …

So what could Sony offer afterwards? Not much, right? Except announcing Final Fantasy VII – the REMAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The internet exploded. And announcing Shenmue 3 made the explosions even bigger! By the way, the much anticipated yet presumed lost The Last Guardian was mentioned again as well … Furthermore, No Man’s Sky and the action RPG Horizon: Zero Dawn should also be on our watch list.

And then Square … Nier 2, Kingdom Hearts 3, Star Ocean: Integrity and Faithlessness, Final Fantasy XV, the Final Fantasy VII remake, a new Hitman, a bit of Deus Ex and last but definitely not least, chaotic Just Cause 3 in December!!!

Well, against this power, the likes of EA (well, they told us more about Mirror’s Edge and had Pelé on stage for some inexplicable reason), Ubisoft (a new South Park sounds good admittedly) or Nintendo (erm, Amiibo yay) could only lose out. And they did.

To sum it up, Microsoft is the biggest winner, followed by Sony and Bethesda. But hold on … with all these new games coming out, it’s actually US who win the most. We win because we can finally get to play 360 games on the ONE without having to pay for them again (hint, Sony), and we can choose from a shitload of games across all genres. In the end, gamers, all of us, win. Thanks E3.

As for the rest of the year, we have Batman, Mad Max, Metal Gear Solid V, Fallout 4 and Just Cause 3 to look forward to. Now, we just need the time to play them all …

Rabidgames [DISCLAIMER: Content redacted due to indecent mostly mental images which could be disturbing to the readership.]