Gears of War - Blood Drive (Minecraft)
Gears of War - Gridlock (Minecraft version!)
Sometimes I like to build things in Minecraft …
Quick! Someone get the salt!!!!
My take on the survival horror genre.
My first blog as a Frag Doll Cadette!
Alan Wake is a psychological action thriller designed by Remedy. You assume the role of Alan Wake - a famous writer suffering from writer’s block. In the opening sequence his wife Alice stresses the idea that the small town of Bright Falls would be the perfect setting for a book, which Alan is quick to dismiss and enforces the fact that they are there for vacation. However, the so called ‘vacation’ takes a turn for the worst when they arrive at the cabin and begin settling in. After having a quarrel about his work, Alan decides he needs time to himself to clear his mind - a decision he would soon regret. Upon returning he is welcomed by darkness, and the faint sound of a scream which grew louder and louder with each step. Alice.
The nightmare really begins with the words “..Alan ,wake up”, as you awake after being in a car crash only to stumble upon something intriguing - a few pages from a manuscript entitled “Departure by Alan Wake.” Although you can’t remember writing it, it seems as though the events on the pages are coming true; a darkness is engulfing the town and it’s up to you to stop it - to find out what happened to you and to Alice.
The ‘darkness’ in Alan Wake takes on many forms, part of which consists of ‘taken’ wielding various weapons, including a sledgehammer, pickaxe, or chainsaw. You also encounter raven and various different inanimate objects. When faced with any form of darkness the best way to fight is with light. Alan comes equipped with a number of light oriented weapons including flashlights, searchlights, flares, flare guns, and flashbang grenades, all to counter the darkness surrounding him. In case that isn’t enough, he’ll also be stocking some more conventional weapons including revolvers, shotguns, pump-action shotguns, and hunting rifles. As a player, it is your job to combat the darkness and use the clues to discover the truth about what happened.
Once you pick up Alan Wake it’s almost impossible to put it down. It’s a non-stop thrill ride that never lets up. The graphics are beautiful, the combat is flawless, and the story is amazing. Go pick up your copy of Alan Wake and uncover the truth in Bright Falls today!
Gears of War 3 Beta: First Thoughts
Last night I was lucky enough to get my hands on a code for the Gears of War 3 beta, and all I have to say at this moment is WOW! It feels incredible and it’s hard to believe it’s only a beta! The game feels polished enough to be shipped as is. I find it amazing that they can put out a beta which surpasses their entire multiplayer for Gears of War 2.
Start Up Weapons
Along with new weaponry, Gears of War 3 has incorporated loadouts which can be switched out midgame! Anyone who is familiar with the franchise knows that the starting weapons include a smoke grenade, Lancer Assault Rifle (or Hammerburst in Gears 2), Snub Pistol, and Gnasher shotgun. The beta not only features some new starters – the Retro Lancer and Sawed Off Double Barrel Shotgun - but also includes modifications to the older weapons! Before a round begins, you can select which rifle and shotgun to use; for rifles, you can choose between the Lancer, Retro Lancer, or Hammerburst, and with shotguns you can select either the Gnasher or Sawed Off Double Barrel. If during the game you are unsatisfied with your weapons, you can easily choose a new loadout mid-game! Whenever your character dies and is waiting to respawn, you can press the A button to bring up the weapons list and cycle through choices with the directional pad.
In Gears 1 the smoke grenades were nothing more than simple smoke grenades. They weren’t exactly the most effective way to cut back on visibility, but they did create some fuzziness in the blast radius. In Gears of War 2 the smoke grenades went through a lot of changes. In the beginning, they obscured vision and had a concussion effect which knocked a player off their feet and left them defenseless. Later, this effect became an animation where the player would place their hands on their head and stayed on their feet but was unable to move. Eventually they took out the stun all together and left only the smoke function intact (thank you Epic!). In the Gears 3 beta, the smoke grenades are multipurpose and functional. To begin, smoke itself works better than in any previous installments. The grenades still have a slight stun effect which makes the player place their hands around their head, but now you can escape by rolling and moving around. Also, if you are aiming through the smoke, your reticle will not turn red. This makes it so you can’t just scroll through and keep firing to find a player! Of course, you can always fire blindly into the smoke, but unless the opponent is close enough, you won’t know if your shots are landing.
Lancer Assault Rifle
I believe they hit a home run in Gears 3 with the Lancer by modifying it as little as possible. In every release, the Lancer serves as your typical automatic rifle with the exception that it has a chainsaw attached as a melee function. Firing the Lancer it is very straight forward: point, shoot and hold down the trigger. The melee, however, differs from other weapons by requiring players to move in and hold down the B button, as opposed to just rapidly pressing it.
The retro lancer is one of the new starter weapons in the Gears of War 3 beta. It is a completely different weapon from its predecessor, both in appearance and gunplay. Not only have they incorporated a bloom effect, they have also replaced the chainsaw with a bayonet. As you can probably guess with the bloom it’s more effective to use a ‘burst shot’ technique rather than holding down the trigger. So far, the bayonet has been fairly frustrating to use. Holding down the B button will engage the bayonet, but you have a limited amount of time that you can run at an enemy to spear them.
In Gears 1 the Hammerburst had a 3 round burst and was not a starter weapon. In Gears 2 however, the Hammerburst was changed it to single shot weapon and allowed players to start with it. In the Gears of War 3 beta it remains a single shot starting weapon, but they have added some new weapon sights! Although it is difficult to describe the look of the new reticle, it seems larger and more square shaped than the previous, with the circle in the middle. If this new look doesn’t suit you, you can change to more of a traditional iron sight.
The Gnasher is another weapon that hasn’t changed much throughout the series, with exception to its usage. In Gears 1 it was all about blindfiring, in Gears 2 you could obtain a stronger shot by aiming and holding down the trigger, and in the Gears 3 we’re back to blindfiring! Don’t be mislead, you can still aim your shot, but it seems more effective to quick scope rather than just holding the trigger like in Gears of War 2.
(Beta)Sawed Off Double-Barrel Shotgun
I have little to say about this weapon because of my lack of experience with it so far. However, from when I have tried it, it seems like an extremely powerful weapon! It doesn’t have much ammo, and it takes a while to reload.
The pistol hasn’t changed much in terms of function or use between the games. It is generally the same.
Power/Pick Up Weapons
When it comes to the Torque Bow, Mortar, Mulcher, Boltok, and Gorgon, they seem to be about the same as in previous games. I think the damage has been modified, but as far as new functions and additions go, there are little to no changes. The Boomshot is similar, but you really have to get a direct hit on someone to kill them. The ink grenades have also changed slightly in terms of appearance - the way they burst when you throw one looks incredible!
The ‘Digger’ is a cool new weapon introduced in the beta. It fires a projectile that actually burrows under the ground and explodes! The firing method is similar to a grenade - you can aim where you want it to land, and then it will travel underground until it gets near an opponent. It makes a sweet trail as it cuts through the ground and sounds awesome!
(Beta)Longshot Sniper Rifle
Sadly, I haven’t used this weapon much, but in my experience the hit detection feels great. However, it tends to bloom when you move, making it hard to narrow down the shot.
Incendiary grenades are also a new addition to Gears of War 3. At first I wasn’t too excited about these new grenades, but after using them I changed my mind! If you manage to land a direct hit on someone, they are pretty much dead, but if it lands on the ground, it erupts into flames and hurt anyone nearby (including you!).
New Game Modes
Team deathmatch wasn’t introduced until the Gears of War 3 beta! It is different from other slayer gametypes in Gears because you get to respawn. Basically, the COG and Locust teams have a certain amount of respawns per game. Once a team is out of respawns, the remaining players on the team must stay alive and clear out the other teams remaining respawns. Whoever runs out first loses!
(Beta)Capture the Leader:
Capture the Leader was also introduced in the beta. To me, it seems to be a mix between the guardian and submission gametypes. In Capture the Leader, each team is assigned a leader. To win you have to hold the other teams leader for a certain amount of time after downing them and picking them up as a meat shield.
King of the Hill:
King of the Hill is self explanatory. There is a highlighted area of the map that you have to hold and control for a designated amount of time. Both teams get infinite respawns.
The beta allows you to play four new maps. The first I will discuss is Checkout. Checkout is simply a store split up in different sections. In fact, if you look at the map it has an electronics section and everything! There are power weapons that spawn at opposite ends of the map and grenades that spawn in the middle.
The second map is Oldtown. Oldtown is a little town or village area with alleys on the side and a more open area in the middle. There are power weapons on each side of the center and grenades in the middle.
The third map is Thrashball. Thrashball is an arena for the game thrashball. The power weapon spawns in the middle of the map so the beginning rush is always exciting to watch! There is also a giant scoreboard in the middle that drops, which can be shot down to make it fall on unaware enemies!
The last map in the Gears 3 beta is Trenches. Of the four, it is my least favourite. It takes place in a more desert-type landscape. It has an open area atop and underneath, as well as multiple vantage points to get access to. Also, it has an occasional sandstorm which fogs visibility for some time.
(Beta) New Features
1. Map Breakdown! Before the game starts it shows you an overhead view of the map which indicates where all the power weapons and spawns are. You can also view this map while in death screen. It proved to be very helpful when playing the first couple games!
2. Finding teammates and weapons! This is made much easier since they changed the way you view things when using the left bumper. If you press it during the game, all your teammates light up allowing you to see exactly where they are, as well as showing the locations of weapons!
3. They also added a function where you can mark members of the other team! It makes playing with people who don’t communicate very well very easy! Anytime you are aiming at someone with the left trigger all you have to do is press in the left analog stick and a symbol will appear over their head for your team to see!
4. Extended executions. I am not going to say much about those! You should find out all that on your own ;] (they are sick!)
5. I like the new addition of challenges and medals for completing specific tasks. Even if you aren’t very good at the game, you can often put in work towards some of the simpler challenges (such as being the first person to die!). Completing certain challenges unlocks different characters and skins for weapons. Overall it has been a great experience so far!