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February 7, 2009

Need For Speed - The Evolving Racing Game

Electronic Arts has done it again. The Need For Speed racing series is back with a vengeance, and it is thanks to the huge success with the Underground Series. Need For Speed came to life in 1994 with the title Road & Track Presents: Need For Speed. The original game focused on realism and was more of a driving simulator than an arcade style racing game. It also included high speed police chases which gave the game a lot of popularity. Need For Speed II did not include the police car chases and had a more arcade feel to it.
Each of the first two games had also a special edition. The sequel did not live up to expectations so EA brought back the police chases in Need For Speed III: Hot Pursuit. It was still an arcade racing title but the Hot Pursuit mode had more depth than the first game and made it more fun to play. You even had the opportunity to be the cops. EA followed up their success by releasing Need For Speed: High Stakes/Road Challenge in 1999. Fans had mixed feelings about this installment and complained that the game had too many similarities to Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. But the game had a couple new innovations. This was the first game of the series with damage models. It also had a career mode where you bought cars and upgraded them as you progressed through racing tournaments.
The next installment of the series was Need For Speed: Porsche Unleashed. Although it was a great success amongst Porsche fans and a great piece of work with the in depth coverage of the history of Porsche, it did not have the variety of the previous games. Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit 2 made its appearance two years later, but was not such a success as the first Hot Pursuit, due to the huge presence of arcade style racing.
EA played their cards right with the release of Need For Speed Underground. The game still had an arcade feel to it and there were no damage models. But did not compromise the game's success. The introduction of import tuners and car customization made it a hit amongst fans. The game was completely revamped by also introducing a storyline to make it more interesting. The hundreds of different combinations of after-market parts you could install to your car, gave the game more variety and flair.
The soundtrack was excellent and fitted perfectly into the atmosphere of underground racing. This was the first game in the series that did not have exotic cars in its lineup. The career mode introduced in Need For Speed: High Stakes, came to full circle in Underground. Fans still missed a couple of things, namely network play and the high speed police chases. EA rectified the absence of network play in Need For Speed Underground 2. The game had everything the first Underground had plus more. New racing modes was introduced, new ways to customize your car, more after-market parts, as well as the free roaming world. Outrun races brought back the feel of the police chases fans came accustomed too. EA was obviously doing something right.
Need For Speed Most Wanted, the next release in the series, will have all the strong points of previous installments: the high speed, adrenaline rush police car chases that was introduced in the first game, there are rumors that there may be damage models in the game, but it is not certain, the demo may reveal more of this. There will again be a storyline in the game and the feel of the Underground series will still be present, so you will still be able to pimp your ride. Most Wanted also brings back exotic cars, but there will still be import tuners. So you will be able to tune those exotics also.
There will also be quite a number of new racing modes to look forward to. The objective of the game is to become the most notorious racer on the street by evading the police and leave your opponents hanging in the dust. It is clear that EA has listened to the fans throughout the series and implemented suggestions from the gaming community. Need For Speed always impressed in the department of appearance and graphics, and from what I've seen from screen shots and preview movies, the game looks stunning.
So Need For Speed certainly evolved into one of the best racing games ever. One wonders what EA will come up with next.
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Need For Speed Most Wanted - The Most Wanted Game of the Year

Most Need For Speed fans will know what I'm talking about when I refer to the most wanted game of 2005. The Need For Speed franchise has been reborn with the release of Need For Speed Most Wanted (NFSMW) on the 15th of November this year in the U.S. Fans could not stop talking about all the fantastic features of this game and the Internet was swarmed with headlines about this great title. But what is the buzz all about? What makes this title so exceptional? Take a quick tour with me and you will find out.
The main attraction of Need For Speed Most Wanted, is the return of the high speed, police chases that was introduced in the very first instalment of the series and perfected in Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit. But the police chases is far more complicated that fans had become accustomed to in previous versions of the game. The cops are much more aggressive, more skilled and better equipped. Don't think you can tune your ride to be the fastest and beat the police with speed, they have some serious stuff under the hood and skilled drivers behind the wheel.
Damage models also make a return. You can completely destroy a cop's car while your own car can only be damaged visually by means of broken windows and damaged paint. Almost everything in the free roaming world can be destroyed and used to your advantage during a cop chase. Drive through a gas station, or remove the pillars of a shop's roof and see what happens to the cops. The traffic models have also been improved and they are still as annoying as in all the other Need For Speed titles, but the game will not be so much fun without this annoyance factor. The surrounding world detail has also received huge attention. HDRR (High Dynamic Range Rendering) pushes the graphics to new heights and that is one of the main reasons why the game plays off during the day and not at night like in the Underground series.
The speed-breaker is a nice innovation of EA to help players control their cars during the high-speed chases. The speed-breaker is much like the bullet-time feature of games like Max Payne and Total Overdose. One thing that may disappoint fans is the fact that the customisation of the cars is much more limited than in the Underground series. You can only modify your spoiler, hood, roof scoops and window tinting. You can purchase complete body kits that will adjust your muffler tips, headlights, etc. automatically to fit in with the specific kit you chose. You can still paint your car, add vinyls, put decals on your ride and paint your rims (but not your brake callipers). Painting your car and changing its visual appearance is vital to your success in the game. This will help you evade the cops by bringing your heat level down after each visual upgrade, or change you make to your ride.
All your performance upgrades are still available in the game and you unlock more powerful upgrades as you progress through the game. The only limitation with performance upgrades is that you no longer can choose the brands of your parts, they are pre-selected with each upgrade. EA also dropped the fairly complicated tuning of Underground 2 and brought back the simple slider tuning that was introduced in earlier titles. You only move the relevant slider to the left or right to modify your car's handling, steering speed, height, acceleration, down-force, top speed, braking, turbo and nitrous booster. This should be welcomed by gamers because they are no longer frustrated by hours complicated tuning to get the most out of their rides. The emphasis of this game is becoming the most notorious street racer and that is why EA shifted from the tuner theme to the cop-chase theme.
There are over 30 cars to choose from, including tuners, street-cars, muscle cars, sport models and exotics. Each and every car can be tuned and upgraded for maximum performance. You will find that cash is a limited resource and you need to upgrade and buy strategically. You also get the chance to win your rival's car by winning his pink slip after each challenge. But before you can challenge a blacklist member you first need to achieve a number of race wins and milestones to build respect among the racers and prove you are worthy of racing against them.
The music continues the Underground attitude, but the high-speed cop-chases introduce a brand new innovation: interactive music. The interactive music gives the game a cinematic feel. The closer the cops get, the more dramatic the music becomes. When you evade the cops the music reaches a climax but returns to a dramatic tone as soon as a cop spots you again. The changes in music are very accurate and EA has done a great job in creating the right atmosphere during these lightning-speed chases.
There are so many other great features in this game, but mentioning them all in one article is just not practical. Need For Speed Most Wanted is a blend of all the great features of previous titles and more. Great graphics, a great storyline with great actors like Josie Maran, great music and great cars. All these factors make the game the Most Wanted game of the year.
Born on 27 February 1982 in small town called Lichtenburg in the North West (Formerly known as Transvaal) province of South Africa. He graduated High school in 2000 and started doing computer programming on his own for 2 years using the C++ programming language. In 2003 he started a career in Accounting and he is currently studying BCompt at the University of South Africa.
The author is a very dedicated person in whatever he takes on in life and believes that success only comes from hard work and believing in your own abilities, the abilities God gave to you.
Coenraad is the Webmaster of LIAFIN. Pay them a visit and see what they have in store for you. LIAFIN - Your one stop Online Shop
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February 6, 2009

The Top 5 Must Play RPGs for Every Video Game Console

The gaming market is monstrous. Right now there are six consoles, three handhelds, and the ever present PC you can buy games for. That’s 10 different ways you can get your game on, so if you’re someone who doesn’t have the ways or means to buy all 10 platforms and every halfway decent game that arrives for any of them, you’re probably wondering which way you should go to get the most bang for your buck. I’m a bit of a gamer nerd, and so for you I’ve collected the top five available games (in the stores now) for each console for each particular genre. Based on reviews, user comments, and my personal experience, these are the best ways to go.
This round: RPGs. The Japanese RPG market exploded in the 32-64 bit days, blowing out with a new game seemingly every week. You can blame Square for that one, bringing to the stores amazing game after amazing game, which immediately spurned every other company to release whatever dreck they could muster to keep you pumping money into their pockets. Nowadays there are hundreds of options out there, and the Japanese market isn’t the only one around. North American companies have their own answers to the RPG boom and now it’s a veritable flood of options. Here are the top five for each option you’ve got.
Playstation 2 – The Playstation brand name has been the home of quality RPGs since PS1 first roled out with Suikoden and Final Fantasy games in the mid- 90s. This list was hard because there are so many left off. Dark Cloud 2, Final Fantasy X, the Shin Megami Tensei games and many more deserve recognition, but alas these are also long as hell, so if you had more than 5, when would you ever finish them. You may notice I exclude the PS3, but I can’t really offer any PS3 RPGs for you until they’ve actually been created. We’re waiting.
1. Shadow Hearts Covenant – The Shadow Hearts series took on a serious following after this entry, one of the greatest RPG releases of the generation. It’s take on the fantasy RPG genre blended into the realms of reality, bleeding over in church and demonology lore. Taking place in the 19th Century and following the legend of a young woman and her unfortunate destiny, it can be enjoyed alone or along with it’s predecessors Koudelka and Shadow Hearts (I).
2. Disgaea – This is probably the best strategy RPG released for any console ever. Released by Atlus, a brand name that has grown in and of itself of recent years to the respectability that names like Square and Level 5 now carry with their games, Disgaea is about the young prince of hell and his quest to regain his domain after being awoken. With more than 200 hours of gameplay here, count on playing for days on days. And it’s funnier than hell. These are great characters.
3. Suikoden III – The Suikoden series is the cult series. Of course it’s slowly sliding out of cult status and into the mainstream with releases occurring every couple of years since this one. The best in the series with the possible exception of Suikoden II, Suikoden III tells the story of a huge cast of characters, all intricately entwined with one another. You play through the tale of their war, but as seen through each characters eyes. Truly epic.
4. Final Fantasy XII – The newest release, released only two weeks before the Playstation 3’s release, this game redefines the epic scope of prior Final Fantasies, literally reaching for the stars. Each character is fully realized and a part of the action, their story an intricate part of the game. There’s no fluff here, and the rebuild of the decades old RPG formula was all for the better, working for the complete and total betterment of the game and hopefully the series.
5. DragonQuest VIII – Dragon Quest has always been huge in Japan, but only now did it find the same success here in the US. Dragon Quest VIII is the huge (extremely huge) result of Square Enix’s jump to full 3D glory in their series. The graphics are incredible, the characters hilarious and deeply involving, and the story arresting. The battles aren’t half bad either. And the usual monster catching glory is intact. A long game, it will keep you busy for days.
Gamecube (and Wii) - The Gamecube got shorted on the RPG options, much like its big brother the N64. Nintendo lost a lot of their clout with the RPG crowd when Squaresoft jumped ship in the 90s and they’re still trying to earn it back…so far to little success. But, the future looks bright, as Square Enix is finally producing games for the Big N, and Nintendo’s own work includes more forays into the RPG market. Here’s hoping for more, because the Wii is perfect for the format.
1. Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess - The newest Zelda adventure, Twilight Princess, is by far the best reason to own a Nintendo Wii. The game is a masterpiece on almost every level, to the point I’m almost willing to call it the greatest game ever made. We’ve heard this a lot, that this game is the greatest. That it surpasses what Ocarina accomplished 8 years ago. And as my own favorite game, it’s hard to ever put anything above Ocarina in terms of scope, depth, and innovation. No need to go into detail. Read my review of it here for more thoughts on why it’s so amazing.
2. Tales of Symphonia – The first really good RPG for the Gamecube, and still one of the only ones really. The newest entry in the hugely popular (in Japan) Tales saga, Symphonia was a huge, fun, well told game. The characters were fun, the battle system is one of the best around, and the action was fully inclusive and crafted a long game. Symphonia was the Gamecube owning RPG fan’s one saving grace.
3. Skies of Arcadia Legends – Originally released for the Dreamcast, Skies of Arcadia was given a second life on the Gamecube, again fated to anonymity due to the failure of the console. This is a great game. It tells the story of two sky pirates who must traverse the sky ocean and save the world from a shattering war and so on. You attempt throughout the game to build your pirate rank and build up your ship. It was one of Dreamcast’s must have games and the same for Gamecube. Unfortunately so few actually had it, and now it’s not exactly easy to find.
4. Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker – The infamous Wind Waker. Nintendo’s foray into cel shading and the horrible foray into ocean mechanics. This game is still amazing. It’s Zelda afterall, but it’s flawed on more than the basic levels. It’s hard to get around. The ocean is huge, and the game is short. But the parts you play, in between sailing around Hyrule are beautiful and incredibly fun.
5. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door – The Big N rounds out the five with another in house effort. Paper Mario: The Thousand Year Door was a return to the Paper Mario fun they coined in the N64 days, this time around with the RPG elements the game seems to work best with. Incredibly easy yes, but fun as hell at the same time.
Xbox (and X360) – The Xbox, not surprisingly saw no Japanese development. Every game listed below was produced in English Speaking countries, mostly Canada actually. The style is noticeably different, but the quality is equally incredible. The strive for realism by Western developers can be seen in each of these entries. Although the lack of humor is equally as prescient.
1. Elderscrolls IV: Oblivion – The Xbox 360 has some serious horsepower. Not only is there room to spare, but the graphic output is insane at time, and what better way to show this off than with an Elderscrolls game. Monstrous, huge worlds in which you can freely roam wherever you want and interact with your environment. This game is huge and intense. Hundreds of hours can be spent just wandering around and completing a main quest. As for getting the rest done. Who knows how long you could spend on there.
2. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – Star Wars games were starting to get a bad rap for a while, until Bioware arrived with the first full fledged Star Wars RPG. Built on the click and wait action of the D&D ruleset games, KOTOR was a brilliant game that took Star Wars fans back a few thousand years to the height of the Jedi/Sith wars. It also had one of the most surprising and amazing endings in any game..ever.
3. Elderscrolls III: Morrowind – And another Elderscrolls game. This one was equally as huge as its sequel, and had just as amazing graphics for its time. Elderscrolls truly stretches the imagination in terms of open world RPG exploration and making a game that will take a long time to finish. A truly wonderful game.
4. Jade Empire – Set in a fictional ancient China, Jade Empire comes from the makers of Knights of the Old Republic, and while not nearly as large in scope or length, the game utilizes an array of different combat styles and elements that make it sheer fun to play. It’s shorter and simpler than the original games from Bioware, but they make up for it with the attention to detail and the battle system upgrades.
5. Fable – Touted as an amazing achievement in world interface, Fable turned out to be a little bit of a letdown. It was smaller, shorter, and less engaging than what was claimed, but it was still a solid, fun game to play. Starting as a bland adventurer you could become either entirely good or entirely evil through the actions committed during a quest. The characters are generic, the quests forgettable, but the options given to play through them all are still fun. The ending however leaves something to be desired, and they could have done with a few more reasons to openly explore. For a sandbox RPG, it was surprisingly linear.
Gameboy Advance – Yup, no DS games. I imagine soon, with the release of the new Pokemon game, and the surprising announcement of Dragon Quest IX coming exclusively to the DS, the RPG options there will explode, but for now your best bet in the RPG realm on handhelds is with the Gameboy Advance. Here are a few of the best.
1. Golden Sun – It’s not a masterpiece. It’s not legendary. But, it’s good solid fun, and for the size and expectations o f a handheld console it’s still pretty fun. I enjoyed it for a few reasons. First off, the gameplay is top notch. The battle system is built around a simple premise and sticks with it, but it’s still fun. The story is nothing special but it reminded me a lot of the 8-bit glory days, keeping me involved without making it impossible to keep up when I have to turn the game off every 20 minutes. Solid play and go action
2. Pokemon Ruby/Sapphire – Pokemon has been around for almost 10 years now, a regular entry in the gameboy RPG market, really the only entry inn that market, and a damn good one. By the time this pair was released (the usual duplicate games with slightly different monsters in each), the same gameplay was reused a good four times and starting to get a little old, but it’s still sound gameplay, and who doesn’t like to collect as much of something as they can. I’m older yes, but I still enjoy the mindless capture and battle system of Pokemon. It’s cathartically simple.
3. Final Fantasy IV – It’s technically a port, but a damn good port at that. I loved this game back in the days on the SNES and the idea to bring the 16-bit Final Fantasies to the GBA made me as happy as can be. This was a game I love to play, but feel goofy loading into my PS2 and sitting down to play. It’s a perfect bus play, and it plays just as great as in 1992. The classic tale of Cecil and the Red Knights never fails to capture my attention from start to finish. Of course, when Final Fantasy VI is released, I might have to replace this with that one, as we all know that VI is the greatest of them all.
4. Riviera: The Promised Land – Atlus has been basting the PS2 market with top notch games for three plus years now, with their fantastic strategy and alchemy RPG games. They bring Riviera to the GBA with the same pedigree, a solid RPG that plays to the GBA’s strengths as well as any. It’s essentially a screen to screen game. You don’t control you surroundings so much as go from page to page within them, but the battle system is amazing and the different options and acquirables immense. The story, like any Atlus game is the real selling point and actually got me to play through it twice.
5. Final Fantasy Tactics – The portable version of the PSone classic has sucked more time from my life than any GBA game I’ve ever played. The 300+ missions are each 30-60 minutes long and the customization options equal length. This is a long game with a lot of gameplay and a fun little story. You’re Marche, you’ve been sucked through a book into the magical land of Ivalice and now you are a knight. Go!
PlayStation Portable – When the PSP first released fanboys dreamed of amazing ports that would bring their favorite games now out of print back to life in hand held format. At least one made the leap, but for the most part RPG development on the PSP has been lackluster, and while Japan gets the Suikoden I and II pack and promises of Final Fantasies, we wait for a decent anything to play. Final Fantasy compilation anyone? Anyone at all?
1. Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth – One of the most sought after games from the PSone days, Valkyrie Profile was an amazing RPG that no one played and then no one could play as it was out of print. Ranging from $100 and up on eBay, the promise of a rerelease for the PSP was a godsend for fans out there always interested but too poor to afford it. It’s a solid game at that. With rebuilt cinematics and PSP controls, this entry leads into the new PS2 game wonderfully and finally lets the rest of us play through Lenneth’s adventure.
2. Monster Hunter Freedom – Never a real big fan of the Monster Hunter games, I can still see their draw. You go and you hunt monsters. Simple as that. There’s little to hold you up, and there’s online play. It’s like Pokemon without the pesky storyline or purpose.
3. Ys: The Ark of Napishtim – A port of a port. This was originally released for the PS2 and before that the PC, and has been watered down in between. The same classic Ys gameplay is intact, overland map, onscreen battles and fun little characters in a charming, if simple story. It’s good solid fun for a portable and tells a decent story. Even if the controls are a little broken.
4. Untold Legends: Brotherhood of the Blade – One of the launch releases with the PSP, Untold Legends is an overhead hack and slash RPG without a conscious. It doesn’t strive for amazing storyline or gameplay, just simple hack and slash glory and it does it pretty well. It was fun because it was simple, made in a very short development cycle from the time the PSP was announced. Oddly enough though, the sequel was nearly as good.
5. Tales of Eternia – Alright, technically it still hasn’t been released in America, but you can import it from Europe and play the English language version (or Japan if you speak Japanese). But, it’s a tales game, a pretty good one at that. Technically it has been released here too, as Tales of Destiny 2 in 2000. Unfortunately, it got completely ignored as the gaming world moved on to the PS2. This is a great game though and perfect for the PSP. Complete and intact are the great Tales battle system and one of the better Tales plots. Saving the world from the Great War was never quite so fun as in this one.
PC –The PC has always been a home for the more hardcore of gamers. The cost of constant upgrades and intensity of a PC game are legendary, and only the most hardcore amongst us are capable of keeping up. Accordingly, the games below match that mindset, though more than one of these games managed to break free of the limitations and become monstrous worldwide phenomena. I’m looking at you Blizzard.
1. World of Warcraft – Okay, so duh right? Well, some of you are probably palpitating over my choosing this above some other MMORPG, but too bad. Everyone plays this one, including myself and it’s just plain fun. Having spent hours of my life in this game and knowing that I can go back whenever I want without fear of being destroyed because of the MMORPG laws of survival (never leave), this is a great pick up and play game in a genre where that almost never exists. Huge, tons to do, and always fun even when you’re grinding, WoW is still the best.
2. Baldur’s Gate 2: Shadows of Amn – The Baldur’s Gate games are some of the best RPGs to come out of the PC age of D&D ruleset RPGs. It’s big, it’s long, it’s fun as hell. The challenge of figuring out what to do, how to upgrade your characters and make the game the most it can be were always the number one reasons to play these. The story is pretty awesome too. Don’t forget the Dragon. That dragon is a bitch.
3. Diablo II – Diablo II stole my entire summer my sophomore year of high school. This game was amazing. It took everything Diablo did and blew it up times ten. The ability to find and receive unique weapons that 1000 of your friends would never find kept you playing over and over again. And it was simple. Click, click, right click. F1. That’s it. Nothing to it. And when you finally unlocked the Cow level, then you were the true God of Diablo.
4. Elderscrolls IV: Oblivion – Many of you probably can’t even play this yet. I still can’t. I only know of it because I have a friend who upgrades his computer ever three weeks seemingly. This game is a beast of the highest order, demanding a lot from your system but delivering even more. Monstrous, huge worlds in which you can freely roam wherever you want and interact with your environment. This game is huge and intense. Hundreds of hours can be spent just wandering around and completing a main quest. As for getting the rest done. Who knows how long you could spend on there.
5. Neverwinter Nights – Another D&D ruleset game, but one of the best no less. It’s huge, monstrously huge. And tack on the expansions and you’ve got 200+ hours of action to play through. The biggest seller on this one though was the ability to craft and write your own adventures as a DM with the toolsets and host them online, ala D&D, but with graphics. The sequel doesn’t quite hold up to the original, but still carries the same weight and fun factor.
I'm a self avowed unemployed writer, working on semi-constant basis to try and overcome the need to go and work a real job. I've written more than 200 articles and reviews and am constantly scouring the internet for any and all excuses and methods to make myself less dependent on corporate pay days. Visit my website at
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February 5, 2009

Hints and Tips For Playing Bioshock

When you get the camera take pictures of every character you can. Each picture helps build a profile of the character and when the profile is complete you will often get a bonus like increased damage against that character. Sometimes you will even get an upgrade, which can be very useful.
Collect, collect collect. When you have cleared an area, check it again and again. Collect every item you can find and search every corpse, bin, container etc. All the items could be useful. If you can't immediately use them, you might be able to use them at a U-Invent machine to make other items
Hack everything you can find. If you have the correct plasmid equipped you get a small health boost when you successfully hack a machine. If you don't you still get the advantage of cheaper items from the machines that sell. Don't destroy security cameras, it is such a waste. Hack them and they will send security bots against all enemies in the game, just draw them into its field.
You have the electro plasmid from the start. I would rate this as one of the most useful plasmids. Fire at a security bot and it will go down. You can then run over and hack it. It will then follow you round protecting you wherever it can until destroyed. Stun enemies with this plasmid and run over and hit with them with the wrench. Very useful for saving on ammo. If they are in water even better.
Killing the big daddy is quite difficult early on. They ignore you until you start attacking them, then they become a bit relentless. I would advise trying to find somewhere you can hide where they can not get at you. Run out and fire a few shots and back into hiding. Keep doing this until you have killed him. You can't go head to head with one of these in the early levels A semi circle appears round all enemies to show their health, keep an eye on this, once it is low you can jump out and finish them off.
Save often, this game can throw some nasty surprises at you just when you don't expect it. I also found mine was prone to crashing.
Guy Draper
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Bioshock Is One Video Game That Is Sure To Impress In 2007

If you are really into playing video games on your Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii or PSP (Playstation 3) console then get ready to be thoroughly entertained and possibly even blown away by some impressive new game releases in the year to come. While there is a whole new crop of games that will be released in 2007, Bioshock is one that certainly deserves some extra attention.
A highly anticipated game from Irrational Games that has been in the works since 2004, Bioshock is the "spiritual successor" to the cult-classic System Shock 2. It will be released in the spring of 2007 for Xbox 360 and PC.
Bioshock is a futuristic/post-apocalyptic game about people fighting science experiment mutants gone out of control in the ruins of a city that was built under the sea in the 1940s. The storyline and the graphics are as creative as any video games on the market, but the most engaging part of this game is the problem-solving aspect. The user is continuously challenged to figure out what has happened to this underwater ghost town in order to move the game along.
Like the other games from Irrational that came before it, Bioshock is a dazzling, complex and highly interactive experience that challenges gamers of all levels to solve its mysteries as they interact with adversarial beings and creatures. It has a dark and cryptic look to it that brings to mind the mines of Moria scene from the Lord Of The Rings where the Fellowship battled the Balrog in the abandoned dwarve empire under the Misty Mountains.
Bioshock is set primarily in a broken-down underwater complex that seems to be a relic from the World War II era. Players move through the game with a first person perspective as they battle mutant creatures that roam the halls and streets of this decaying city.
Nothing is quite clear to the user at first, such as what the complex was originally used for, and why it is being used again, but things become more apparent as they progress through the game. What is eventually apparent is that a utopian city was built and genetic experiments were performed in the 1940s, and then the complex fell into disrepair for reasons unknown. Sixty something years later the complex is revisited and we find out that it has been overrun by mutant genetic experiment creatures that have a taste for human flesh.
Ken Levine, the general manager of Irrational Games describes Bioshock as a convergence of technology and biological life in which genetic experiments are featured. It is by no means a sequel to System Shock 2, whose setting was a corporate-sponsored starship.
Bioshock has no story connection to System Shock 2 other than the fact that they are both horror-themed. The similarity is in the way the game is played as the player gets to decide what they see and interact with by the decisions they make during each step of the game.
According to Ken Levine, the interactivity level of this new game will be "unprecedented". The player becomes immersed in the interactive environments and confronted with a series of player-driven choices. This creates a style of play the developers of the game call emergent gameplay.
Another impressive aspect of this game is the AI ecology which dynamically searches for opportunities to fulfill their purpose. The player can even manipulate the AI ecology to work in their favor, turning enemies and NPCs against each other.
Out of all the products that will be released in 2007 for Playstation 3, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, or PSP games, Bioshock is sure to be one of the best. It is a hybrid first person shooter game that combines elements of science fiction and role playing genres with interactive environments and player-driven choices.
This is a challenging and engaging video game that allows you to literally be in the middle of the action and decide how the game plays out. This game is a step above all the other video games and PSP downloads. If you like your video games to be as creative as they are engaging, then Bioshock is one you will thoroughly enjoy.
Michael P. Connelly is an Author, Artist and award-winning Filmmaker who writes on a variety of topics that effect people in their every day lives.
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BioShock Review

This game is terrifying. BioShock occurs in an underwater world called Rapture. The name of the protagonist is not given; he is known throughout the game as the narrator. A bevy of scientific experiments were transpiring in Rapture, and some were unknown to many people. This is where the player enters the picture. You travel there to examine Rapture, but you are immersed in a perverse atmosphere. BioShock has an exemplary storyline that is rare in the first person genre.
The visuals and audio are excellent. Graphically, BioShock looks sensational and holds up nicely without any frame rate glitches. Players will hear the eerie sounds of little girls as they hide. Footsteps are heard loud and clear when various enemies approach you. The most engrossing aspect of BioShock has to be the gameplay. Within an instant, the narrator can launch what appears to be an endless swarm of bees at his opponents. He can also utilize lighting to put him in more advantageous positions. For instance, hurls lightening at enemies while they are in water with damage nearby adversaries. When all else fails, you can always use a gun. The perfect blend of expending magic and bullets is an intriguing balance.
BioShock is a fairly simple game because there is not much of a challenge, but do not let that deter you from playing it. I have not been this terrified playing a game since the original Resident Evil. Everything about the game, oozes bloodcurdling. From the suspenseful music to the creepy foes, BioShock will give even the amateur gamers nightmares. It was so frightening that I could not bear to play BioShock in the dark; furthermore, I defy anyone to play BioShock at night.
Final Verdict: 9.5 out of 10
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February 4, 2009

Metal Gear Solid 4 Guns of the Patriots - Technology and Plot Holes?

A battlefield you can find anywhere, anytime / No place to hide - this is how Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots (MGS4) is described. Hideo Kojima, Shujo Murata and Yoji Shinkawa are the producers, directors and writers of the game. If you have read mecha mangas or seen futuristic anime series such as: Ghost in the Shell, GANTZ, Saikano, Gundam Seed, Evangelion or Code Geass you will definitively be able to correlate those series to this game. MGS4 fuses several elements in this futuristic war game, artificial intelligence, self-aware combat units much like the Tachikomas of GITS and machines which combined look a lot like the final form of Chise in Saikano (The beauty and the beast unit)
Metal Gear Solid 4 is unlike any other war game you have played until now, it stands alone because the concept has only been seen in Japanese animations and not in video games. Half-Life 2 is the only game which has some similitudes to this game because it is also pretty futuristic, but in MGS4 the player must face several commandos with the aid of other AI combat units.
The main character of the game "Old Snake" a genetically engineered soldier is sent to the Middle East by Roy Campbell in order to terminate Liquid Ocelot, a man who operates Outer Heaven which at the same time controls the five largest private military companies (PCMs) that fight wars for business purposes. As you see the plot is quite complex as there are several proxies which control organizations and combat units, so it may be natural to feel a bit disoriented as far as knowing what's going on in the game. Some gamers argue that there might be some plot holes as far as knowing who has stronger dominant genes, Ocelot, Solidus or Snake.
The technology used by Old Snake has been improved from previous versions and incorporates elements seen in Ghost in the Shell such as optical camouflage called "octocamo" which allows the player to blend with any surface, a new "solid eye" replaces the binoculars which were used in previous versions and provide greater details of the terrain and enemy. High-tech devices and war is what this game is all about so you will see a lot of items which may look familiar if you are a manga/anime fan.
Those players who are new to this game will not be lost since MGS4 provides a recap of the events that happened in previous versions of the game which hold crucial information in order to understand what's going on, the recap includes scenes from Metal Gear Solid 1, 2 and 3. MGS4 is a game which has carved a niche of its own when it comes to futuristic wars.
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Metal Gear Solid 4 Trailer Impressions

Now that an original Metal Gear Solid 4 trailer made its debut, it is time to dissect it. The new trailer was available at a video game convention in Germany, and it was brilliant. Hideo Kojima (Metal Gear Solid game creator) accentuated four brand new menacing foes that Solid Snake will encounter. The four adversaries were named Crying Wolf, Raging Raven, Laughing Octopus, and Screaming Mantis (possibly the same boss from the original Metal Gear Solid). Crying Wolf was the machine with four legs, hence the name Crying Wolf.
Raging Raven was the boss that was airborne throughout most of the trailer. Laughing Octopus was the opponent with tentacles (ala Solidus from Metal Gear Solid 2). Screaming Mantis was the rival who seemed to be ordering Crying Wolf, Raging Raven, Laughing Octopus. It looked as if Screaming Mantis was the leader of the group. Regardless of what game comes out in 2008, Metal Gear Solid 4 will be the game of the year. I wish I had a time machine that I could use to go to the year 2008. That would eliminate waiting for Metal Gear Solid 4. Konami does have an exemplary marketing strategy with Metal Gear Solid 4.
They are teasing Metal Gear Solid gamers just enough to stay interested, but not enough to divulge the entire storyline. There is also some speculation that another trailer will be revealed during September. Metal Gear Solid players can only hope there is some shred of truth to this, and it is not fabrications. I will be having a countdown up until the release of Metal Gear Solid 4 in every blog post. Starting with today. The countdown to Metal Gear Solid 4 has begun. Seven months until Metal Gear Solid 4.
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Review - Metal Gear Solid 4 Is A Masterpiece

"Metal Gear Solid 4 is a breathtaking stealth shooter with heart, and one of the best games ever made."
A "Must Get" If you're planning to purchase a Playstation 3 game system, provided you don't have one already. Metal Gear Solid 4 should be a primarily first puchase for the Playstation 3. It's an epic stealth-shooter with an immensely detailed storyline and remarkable graphics.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is a story-driven adventure game, with seasoned hero Solid Snake, drafted for one final mission. Set across stages including the Middle East and South America, the now aged Snake has been asked to assassinate his old adversary, Liquid Ocelot.
Unlockable rewards, 70+ weapons, and a well-designed online mode will keep you playing months after you've completed the core single-player experience. If you've ever loved a shooter, a stealth game, or an action game, Metal Gear Solid 4 is a can't-miss game.
Metal Gear Solid 4 is a masterpiece, an unforgettable game that shines and surpasses mediocrity. It is not only the best Metal Gear game, but one of the best games ever made, period. If you own a PS3, put this at the top of your to-buy list. If you don't own a PS3, well, chances are you will buy one soon just to play this game.
One of Metal Gear Solid 4's primary pleasures is its outstanding storyline, a epic-tale that redefines the term "epic" yet remains grounded by its human side. If you're new to the Metal Gear Solid series, don't worry: Metal Gear Solid 4 go above and beyond to tell an accessible story that will enthrall newcomers while providing plenty of surprises for hardcore series veterans.
MGS4 is an awesome game and maybe the last of it's metal gear solid series. This Game must be added to your gaming library. visit:
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Killzone 2 Preview

This will be the sequel to the original lackluster title Killzone on the PlayStation 2. Do not be lulled into believing that the sequel will be as abhorrent as the first iteration. This was another one of those video games that was missing in action until now. The first glimpse of Killzone 2 was at E3 2005, and critics said that the footage shown was not actual gameplay footage. Those critics were dead wrong when actual gameplay footage was divulged to the media at E3 2007. At a recent gaming convention at Germany, more details were revealed regarding the game.
In this game, gamers will be at war against the Helghast troops (same opponents from Killzone). The game developers accentuated how easy and intuitive the controls were on the PlayStation 3. Specifically, a brand new gameplay mechanic was introduced. This was known as lean and peek. In a nutshell, this is about utilizing cover (ala Gears of War). Interestingly enough, this was the first time I have ever seen taking advantage of cover being used in a first person shooter. I have never seen using cover in order to get a tactical advantage be used in Halo, Half-life, Resistance: Fall of Man, Doom, Call of Duty, or Killzone 1. This is definitely an original feature to the first person genre. Do not fret because the lean and peek method works like a charm. The gaming company Guerilla will be making the game, and they also showed a boss battle. This is where some strategic contemplation was entailed.
These bosses are called heavies, and you cannot just fire at them arbitrarily. Shooting their vulnerable areas are the only way to defeat these juggernauts. The physics in Killzone 2 seems to be much more responsive than Killzone. For instance, shooting an adversary in the legs will result in him bleeding and falling to the ground. In addition, a headshot will instantaneously eradicate a foe. A lack of a heads up display (ala Fight Night Round 3) was also publicized in Killzone 2. This is shown to have the players more immersed in the video game atmosphere. It worked well in Fight Night Round 3, so I believe it will work perfectly in Killzone 2. The visuals are stunning to say the least. The whether effects are right on par with other first person shooters like FEAR. The most intriguing aspect of the gameplay has to be its versatility.
If you are a fan of duck and cover (ala Gears of War), use the lean and peak feature. If you are a fan of running and gunning, (ala Resistance: Fall of Man) feel free to spray your rivals with bullets as you run circles around them. Killzone 2 is exclusively for the PlayStation 3, and it is slated for a 2008 release date.
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Killzone 2 - PlayStation 3's Answer to Halo? has released several jaw-dropping trailers for Killzone 2, the long awaited first person shooter that will be, based on both and, released on Feb 27th. If all goes well, this will be the first game to get in 2009 for PlayStation 3.
One of the trailers shows off some amazing game plays as well as giving us a glimpse of piloting a walking tank with rocket launcher and machine gun for some crazy destruction. Although its a "cam" version, you can still no doubt see this game is pretty high quality. From the, in my opinion, realistic enemy deaths, to extremely detailed environments. But one question still haunts me is how good the AIs are going to respond to you and the environments, from what I can remember from previous trailers, the AIs are somewhat dull and stupid. I certainly hope I am wrong!
Another one called Ballet of Death, also a "cam" version shows off how enemies die in a very artistic way with classy background music. You can see the death animations are nicely designed in slow motion.
There are many people saying Killzone 2 is going to be the Halo killer. While I believe this game is going to be blockbuster, unless something goes wrong....again, where a game cannot live up to the hype it generates. Either way, I won't quite call it a Halo killer, more like the PlayStation 3 version of Halo. Then it becomes somewhat insulting to all the PS3 fans in my opinion if I put it that way. Therefore I'm going to simply leave it as PlayStation 3's own blockbuster and exclusive first person shooter. Can this be one of the signature games for PS3? I guess we will have to wait and find out when the full version comes out or if Guerrilla decides to release the rumored demo.
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February 2, 2009

Call of Duty 4 Best Classes

As you know in call of duty 4 you can create custom classes. There is a lot of strategy that comes into creating a call of duty 4 custom class that is good. You must understand how to play with each class. For example if you are a sniper, you do not want to have a custom class that uses an smg, for the best custom class you want perks and guns that compliment each other.So in this section I will tell you about the best call of duty 4 classes and why they are so good!
Call of duty 4 weapon classes : SMG
The smg weapons are my favorite weapons. I can't stand waiting back there waiting for someone to run into my sniper scope, I am eager to find someone to prey upon with my number one call of duty 4 class. This classes gun is the mp5, I believe the mp5 is better than the p90 for many reasons, but the main one is that it has better range. The perks that you should use are stopping power, bandolier, and steady aim. I would also throw a red dot scope on this weapon, however I do have a class below that uses a mp5 with a silencer. This call of duty 4 weapon class is one of my favourite!
Call of duty 4 classes : Assault
I also enjoy using the assault class. These weapons are best for use in medium range engagements. With this class I would use the m16 with a red dot scope. For perks I would use stopping power, bandolier, and deep impact. With this class you should be able to kill people with one burst of your m16!
Best call of duty 4 class : Sniper
Well for all of you that like camping in a spot and picking of the enemy this is the class for you. As a sniper you must avoid engagements up close and stick to the long shots. The sniper I would use is the barrett .50 cal. It is semi automatic and it's a one hit kill to the chest. I would use the claymore perk, stopping power, and iron lung.
Call of duty 4 best classes : Stealth
This class is for those who enjoy staying in the shadows and killing their enemy with a quick bullet to the head, without the enemy knowing where it came from. You must be able to out-wit your opponent and then kill him with speed and precision. With this class I would use the mp5 with a silencer. I would use bandolier, UAV Jammer, and dead silence. Make sure you don't go into direct contact with someone, stay on the outskirts of the battle.
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Call of Duty 4 Gun Classes

What class is the best? What perks should I use? Is the mp5 or p90 better? These are some questions that you will probably be finding yourself asking after playing Call of Duty 4 for a while. In this section we will be talking about the call of duty 4 classes that will allow you to own some noobs. We will name what we think are the best classes in each section (ex. smg, assault, lmg, sniper, and shotgun.) If you think we missed a class that should be mentioned please leave a comment. Thank you!
SMG: The smg is your close quarters gun. While many prefer the p90, because of its amazingly large clip size, the mp5 is a much better gun. It has better accuracy and range. We advise that you put bandoleer, stopping power, and steady aim on this gun. Steady aim is a must for any SMG for hip fire accuracy. If you wanted to you could swap stopping power for juggernaut however you WILL be called a noob. Use the red dot with this weapon.
Assault: The assault class has some of the best call of duty 4 classes that you could ever want, so it was hard deciding which on is best. However after a lot of thinking and testing we decided that the m16a4 with stopping power, deep penetration, and bandoleer is the gun kit to have in the assault class. The m16 can kill with one burst too the chest, along with deep penetration there will be no where for your enemies to hide. Use the red dot with this weapon class.
LMG: The good old LMG with its 100 bullet clip capacity you can spam the heck out of anything. Well for this set the best class would have to be either the rpd or m60 with stopping power, deep penetration (no brainer) and bandolier. The deep penetration and stopping power no one is safe, even if they are behind concrete. However please, please keep in mind that the LMG is a support weapon ONLY! It has a slow fire rate and you will get burned if you go up against an smg in close quarters. Sit back and when you see something move fire away. Also with the rpd I suggest using a grip opposed to red dot because it gives you that much more accuracy.
Sniper- Well this is another hotly debated class. So I will say that you could use the m40a3 or the barret .50 cal. However I prefer the barret because it is semi automatic oppose to bolt action. With this you should use stopping power, iron lungs or deep penetration and claymores. With this class you have the ability to choose between deep penetration or iron lungs, I however prefer iron lungs just so I can take the time and make sure I pull off a head shot. I would also use claymores because you don't want to be turning around every second to make sure no one is sneaking up behind you.
Shotgun- With the shotgun I would use the M1014 with either seight of hand or juggernaut, steady aim and bandoleer. You do not have to use stopping power on your shotgun because for the shotgun to even work properly you must be close and it should only take one shot to kill anyone anyway. You should also use a grip with this class so you dont have to zoom in at all.
Now that I have finished the best call of duty 4 classes for each type of gun I will tell you about specialized classes for a special role on the battlefield. It can be very fun to do different things so don't just play as a sniper or a smg person, mix it up a bit.
Stealth- The stealth class. If you want to flank your enemy and shoot them all in the back then this is your type of class. You must be sneaky and dicrete and leave no trace of you behind. Some important things to remember are that you are not going to be as strong as the other players, you must use stealth and wits to overcome this defeicit to defeat your enemy. You should also remember not to follow your team. You will be the lone wolf of your team, you will be the one flanking and killing your enemies without them even knowing you are there. For this class you should use an mp5 with a silencer. You should have UAV jammer, dead silence, and claymores or bandoleer. The uav jammer and dead silence are no brainers, but you should have claymores so you can place them behind you to make sure no one sneaks up behind you, remember you will be behind enemy lines and with the respawn the way it is people could repawn directly behind you. Another thing to remember is to not fire until you are close, don't give away your position until you can get a kill out of it.
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Call of Duty 4 Golden Weapons

In Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare there a many weapons and skins to choose from. You could choose a m16 with red tiger skin or an m4 with blue tiger skin, but have you ever noticed the weapons with gold skin on them? Well in this post I will explain how to get these gold weapons, if there is any advantage to having them, and which gold weapon is easiest to get.
First of all I will explain how to get the golden weapons. In Call of Duty 4 there are 5 golden weapons. The weapons are the ak-47, dragunov, m1014 shotgun, mini uzi, and m60. To get each of these golden weapons you must complete all the challenges in the categories each gun is in. For example to get the golden ak-47 you must complete all the challenges in the assault class. To get the mini uzi you must complete all the challenges in the sub machine gun class.
Now you may be wonder, "After I do all of this work the gun is surely going to give me an advantage, what is it?" Well the answer to that question is that the gun gives you no advantage over your enemy what so ever. So, don't believe your friend who tells you the gun does more damage or any other askew idea. The only thing that changes when you have this gun is that your friends will always want you to die in the beginning of the game so they can use your golden masterpiece.
The easiest golden gun to get is the golden dragunov. It is very easy to get kills and more importantly head shots with snipers than it is with any other weapon set. So set up your sniping class with claymores, iron lung, and stopping power and get on your xbox and start working on those challenges!
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Call of Duty 5 Multiplayer Strategy - Perks

First lets ask ourselves, what is the primary goal in a TDM game? To kill as many people as you can while sustaining little to no deaths. Therefore, perks should compliment either killing (offense) or sustaining life (defense).
Now let's narrow it down a little more. "The best defense is a good offense." - A popular saying which is true in many circumstances, including Call of Duty 5. Here's the logic: If you're pressuring your opponent by attacking, they cannot do anything but defend themselves. By defending themselves, it is impossible to launch an offensive campaign, therefore, they eventually lose. All in all, offensive perks are what you should be aiming to use, in other words, use perks that aid in killing. Perks alone won't win you the game, you also need strategy. As long as you can put pressure on your enemy, you can almost control and predict their movements, which gives you a HUGE advantage.
Here are the preferred perks for each category:
Perk 1
Bandolier- This is a must with any fully automatic weapon. An exception to this rule is the M1A1 carbine, simply because the gun has low recoil and a high magazine capacity which would make you want to squeeze off more rounds than you should. Why the bandolier? Let's see, an additional 100 or so rounds of ammo. In hard core mode, 1-2 rounds can kill a person so you'll have the potential to kill 100 people. You can't come close to that with any other perk. Nothing is worse than running out of ammo on your 6th kill only to be killed because you ran out of ammo. Also, what is the main cause of death in Call of Duty? Guns and bullets!
Satchel Charges - These rule for tank killing. Aim for the rear armor. I find the satchel charges to be much more effective and stronger than rockets. The only downside is that you must be within throwing distance of the tank. However, firing a rocket gives away your position so it evens out. Satchel Charges can also be good for clearing out rooms or what not, but use them sparingly since you'll probably get shot while trying to plant the charge.
Bouncing Betty - ONLY if you're sniping. ONLY! I see no other reason to use Bouncing Betties with any other class because you are supposed to be on the move. A sniper usually camps, gets a few kills, then moves - all by himself. Bouncing Betties are all a sniper can rely on for detection and support.
Perk 2
Stopping Power - I've though long and hard about this and I've come to the conclusion that Stopping Power should be the only Perk used in the Perk 2 slot for a variety of reasons.
Weapon damage is increased. This is especially important when playing in hard core mode. Stopping Power will shave off 1-2 rounds needed to kill a person depending on the gun. Those 1-2 rounds make a huge difference. Even with bolt action rifles, I still use Stopping Power because it guarantees a one hit kill. Without Stopping Power, it may take two shots to bring someone down with a bolt action rifle, which is not good. You should be very concerned with achieving one hit kills and stopping power makes it all the easier. Rifles like the M1A1 and M1 take 1-2 shots to kill a person with stopping power, depending on the distance and impact point. They are usually one hit kills, but occasionally you'll have to hit twice. If you didn't have Stopping Power, you'll find yourself needing two hits to kill more often than one hit to kill.
Duration of the perk; Stopping Power is active the entire game and is utilized in every round you fire. Perks like "Gas Mask" are only activated when there is Tabun gas in the vicinity. Sleight of hand is only active when you reload. Camouflage is only active when there's an enemy recon plane. So on and so forth with the rest of the perks in Perk 2. Simple mathematics and logic should tell you that you are firing your weapon more than any other action in the game (besides movement).
Stopping power cancels out Juggernaut. Since we're talking hard core mode, Juggernaut is useless and adds little health. It still takes almost equal amounts of hits to bring someone down with Juggernaut. There have been plenty of times where I've killed someone using Juggernaut with 1-2 hits from the M1A1. "The best defense is a good offense." Stronger bullets or stronger armor? Since you're supposed to be on the offense, stronger bullets of course. Stronger bullets = faster killing = more killing = more points on the board.
Perk 3
Deep Impact - Makes most types of cover non-existent. Use this perk on any non-submachine gun. SMG rounds do not penetrate as well as rifle rounds, so don't waste this perk on SMGs. Instead, use Deep Impact with rifles and machine guns. Once you start to get more experienced, you'll have no problem "walling" or "ghosting" people (shooting through walls). Plus, in Call of Duty 5, if you leave your crosshairs over the enemy for a split second, their name will appear in red over their head. Even if they move behind cover, you will still see their name through the wall, which tells you exactly where to shoot. You can also make accurate predictions of enemy positions using a recon plane. If you see that someone is in a building, fire off a few rounds into their suspected hiding place. Then, if you see the "x" hit mark, keep firing until they die. Deep Impact comes in handy way more than you'd think!
Steady Aim - Makes hip firing more accurate. Personally, I only use this perk with submachine guns and submachine guns only get used in small maps. Small maps means close vicinities, which is where Steady Aim soars. You practically never have to aim at anybody within ~20ft. Steady Aim gives running and gunning its name. Not having to bring the weapon up to your shoulder and aim shaves off at least 1/2 second, an eternity in FPS games. This gives you the upper hand into getting the first shot off, which greatly raises your probabilities of scoring the first hit. Scoring the first hit means they either die or get hit and become slightly disoriented, which still gives you the upper hand. Pair this with a PPSh and you have a mean combo.
Perk 3 Honorable Mentions
Second Chance - Suffers the same flaw as many of the other perks which were not mentioned; the duration of the perk is too short. This perk is only active when you're supposed to be dead. Isn't the point of the game NOT to die and get as many kills as possible? In Call of Duty 5, they also added the ability to revive teammates. But seriously, how often to you see a downed teammate? Most experienced players do not fall for Second Chance and will release a few extra shots after you've "died" just to make sure. Plus it is extremely easy to tell if someone has Second Chance equipped because they tend to soak up more rounds than normal before they drop down to the ground with their pistol.
Iron Lungs - This perk was more important in Call of Duty 4, but I believe that it holds little value in World at War. This is because Call of Duty 5 introduced sniper rifles with iron sights. Iron sights are far superior than scopes and have benefits such as no need to steady rifle, which leads to different advantages like faster follow up shots. Although scoped rifles do more damage than their iron sight counterparts, it still only takes one shot from an iron sight bolt action rifle with Stopping Power to kill a person in hard core mode. Why go through the trouble of using a scope and wasting a perk when iron sights will do just fine? Although iron sights are difficult to use, they are every bit as accurate as scopes. The only exception I would make to this rule is when playing on Seelow since the map is huge and picking out enemies can be difficult. But even still, with good eyes, iron sights are manageable.
Perk 4
Ordinance Training - Faster turret reloads means more tank shells down range. More tank shells means a higher probability of killing an enemy. Killing enemies wins the game. The coaxial machine gun is OK at best because the MG is in a fixed, forward firing position making it awkward to use at times. We are looking for perks to directly aid us in killing the enemy; moving faster (Leadfoot) or turning the turret faster (Greased Bearings) does not accomplish this. Water Cooler is useless because who is stupid enough to get on a tank machine gun? Anybody manning the machine gun on a tank is an easy, instant target with little mobility.
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Call of Duty 5 - World at War Review

With CoD4 being one of the most impressive and ground breaking releases in terms of photo realistic graphics, game play to die for and a storyline that was so involving it made you want run down to your local recruitment office and sign up! Cod5 had a very tough act to follow, but surely with a team that could put out a title like Cod4 they shouldn't have a problem right?
As soon as I heard they were returning the WWII and the Pacific Theater era I cried a little inside as these scenarios has been covered by more than enough titles, game developers out there; 'The world has moved on, can't you?' Still I was definitely going to get this game no matter what due to Cod4 being so good, I think many people felt this way, and I also think Activision used this fact to their advantage.
So the game...sticking with the same graphics engine as Cod4 (sorry I'll try to stop mentioning it as this isn't a comparison), the visuals are stunning and jungle landscapes really make the game a dream to look at. One of the best things about this engine is just how well it runs on lower end systems. To test this I played it on an AMDx2 4600 at 2.8GHz, 2 gig's of ddr2 ram and a 7800GTX extreme with resolution at 1280x1024 and was getting an average of 50fps with settings on high.
Now this isn't very impressive compared to what can be achieved with newer hardware, however 50fps will give you great game play and considering you can build a system as specified above for ~£150 (excluding monitor and peripherals etc) you can see just how well they have done with this engine.
The campaign is split into two sections, you swap between playing as Private Miller of the U.S. Marine Corps fighting the Japanese Army in the Pacific, and Private Dimitri Petrenko of the Red Army advancing on Berlin. (have I seen this format somewhere before?).
As expected the playability of the game is outstanding, the combat really gets your heart pounding and the games AI really adds a sense of realism that I find lacking in a lot of FPS games. Your buddies will help you out but the pace of each battle really depends on how aggressive you're feeling. This makes for a game that is different each time you play through it as the scenario reacts to your game play style.
The multiplayer is the same format as CoD4 (damn!) giving each player a ranking so you have targets to achieve and the fast paced action will keep you online for days.
And to be honest that's all I have to say about this release because if you've played CoD4 (and who hasn't) you've seen it all before really. Don't get me wrong it is a GREAT game, I enjoyed playing it thoroughly and would recommend it to all as it would turn any WoW addict into an FPS fan. However I still feel a bit let down. It seems as if Activision have made a breakthrough with CoD4, then rather than pushing the boundary further and keeping the gaming community on the edge of their seats, they themselves have sat back and played it safe to get the benjamins rolling in.
They have built a sense trust with their name as one would expect nothing but the best from them now, I pray that they will not abuse this trust that we as consumers have put in them. I hope they will use the profit from this release to good use and get back on the edge of their seats, as we all know what they are capable of when they put their mind to it. It's time to make another giant leap for mankind guys!
Alessandro PataThe Review Team
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