A Week In Gaming With Aaron Sullivan

by on October 10, 2010

It’s that time again folks! Another week in gaming with Aaron “Sully” Sullivan is here. You’re probably thinking “Drat, that guy is back? I thought we got rid of him.” No such luck I’m afraid. I have returned to a week in gaming and I’m here to stay!

The dust from the Eurogamer Expo has well and truly settled, so there is probably no reason to plug it for the third week in a row, right? Wrong! The GodisaGeek Eurogamer podcast hit the website this week and you (yes, YOU!) should listen to it. It’s jam packed with the impressions and thoughts of the eight wonderful minds (read: CRAZY!) here at GodisaGeek.

No, your eyes do not deceive you, I said eight! We have a new writer for the site by the name of Mark Bridle and we would like you to give him a warm welcome. His first review can be found here.

Gears of War Public Beta

Say what?!?! This week Epic games announced that Gears of War 3 will be receiving a public multiplayer beta sometime in the future. If memory serves me correctly this is a first for the series. Is this an effort to subdue irate fans after the shocking 2011 delay of the game? Maybe, but what this says to me is that Epic Games are deadly serious about getting the multiplayer aspect of Gears of War right this time. Yes, I said “this time”.

For me Gears of War 2’s multiplayer was a huge kick in the teeth. They took the unique, insane, up close in your face gameplay that was the staple of the series, kicked it in the groin, spat on it and then followed up with a shotgun to the face. What we were left with was a wall tagging camp fest drained of all the testosterone filled head splatter of the original.

Epic Games also informed us that all multiplayer modes in Gears of War 3 would take advantage of dedicated servers. To this I say, about bloody time. Too long has the ardent Gears of War player had to deal with host advantages and while it was less prominent in the second iteration of the game it was still noticeable.

I can only hope that the final chapter of Gears of War gives the franchise the “last hurrah” it deserves.

Cataclysm Release Date

This week we also got official word that the highly anticipated expansion for the world’s biggest MMO was to hit stores on December 7th. The announcement confirmed what hardcore WoW fans probably already knew. As a forum announcement made last week explained that Cataclysm would be launched one week before season 9 of the arena which is set to hit on December 14th.

This brings with it a problem WoW players face every expansion. What do you do in that two month gap? Do you continue to farm the current end game content or do you take a rest in preparation for the new adventures ahead? The GodisaGeek teams answer? A new guild on a new server with the same old nut jobs we’ve come to know and love over the years (you know who you are!).

If you feel like joining the festivities then you should hit up the GIAG forums and make yourself known.

Sony and 3D

I’ve seen quite a few demonstrations of Sony’s 3D tech over the past year and you can colour me unimpressed for the most part. I’m not a major advocate of 3D in general at the moment due to the cost of setup and a bit of scepticism as to whether the gaming market is really there for it at this time. Nonetheless, if you are going to do it then do it right!

Some of the titles that are currently 3D enabled on Sony’s console look totally dreadful. I honestly don’t see the point of shoehorning a feature into a game purely because it’s available.

The prime suspect at the moment is Gran Turismo 5, a game that will no doubt be phenomenal and sell millions but did it need a half arsed attempt at 3D crammed into the package? Probably not. When I tell you the 3D effect in the game is almost none existent and adds very little to the experience I am not exaggerating. At one point during the Eurogamer Expo the GodisaGeek team was viewing a 3D and standard version of the game side by side and was hard pressed to tell which one was displaying in 3D.

Next up we have Killzone 3, another top quality game that did not display 3D gaming in the greatest light. Instead it reduced the splendid visuals of the title to a grainy mess accompanied by heavy doses of ghosting. It’s unclear whether this was a result of the TV being used or the actual tech itself but again I was unimpressed.

Of course there are also good examples of Sony’s 3D tech, with the likes of MotorStorm: Apocalypse managing to impress the GodisaGeek crew and the eagerly anticipated Virtua Tennis 5 lending some extra immersion to the Move swinging action but is it enough? I look over at the competition in the form of Nvidia and I’m greeted with a much better interpretation of what 3D in gaming can be. Should Sony have waited? I certainly think so.

Final Fantasy XIV

I picked up Final Fantasy XIV this week and thought I would give it a quick mention. (It’s probably going to need it). Due to being supremely busy I’ve not been able to give it too much time but be warned! This is NOT an MMO for the faint of heart. The moment you touch the thing you can feel the Japanese game design seeping through the cracks. If you’re looking for a game that will hold your hand and guide you through the experience you’ve come to the wrong place.

That being said, the narrative driven cutscenes are a nice touch and very welcome. Even the likes of WoW now has instanced in-game cutscenes as it does add to the immersion. Sadly button lag does not and is one of the first things I noticed about FFXIV. Why on earth Square Enix decided to ship a game with a malfunctioning control scheme is beyond me. I should not have to wait 3 seconds for my toon to draw her sword after pressing the appropriate button. Fortunately, this is something that can be patched.

You can also see Square Enix’ attempt to make the title console friendly. All your usually MMO windows, quest log, inventory, map etc have all be unified into one menu so they can be accessed with the press of one button (Damn you console MMORPG players. All 12 of you!).

If you’ve been wondering if you should try this title in an attempt to fill the two month gap before Cataclysm then I suggest you look out for Aryel Abrahami’s review of the game, coming to GodisaGeek soon!