“Being stuck on an airship with a skeleton crew of strangers tasked with keeping it from being blown out of the sky makes Guns of Icarus Online one of the most thrilling multiplayer co-op experiences and also the most aggravating. On deck, everyone has a role to fill: someone has to steer the hulking bird, man its guns, and make repairs when things catch fire and go to hell. If anyone slacks off or performs their duties haphazardly, everyone dies. But despite some glitches and the occasional frustrations of wrangling inconsistent crewmates, there’s a certain undeniable satisfaction that comes from surviving an intense battle with your ship held together by duct tape and chicken wire.”
“When you wind up on a well-rounded team that works together cohesively and uses each class’s abilities intelligently, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Online’s brutal multiplayer firefights are among the most satisfying you’ll find in a free-to-play game. Matches don’t always click though, and since the fun in each encounter hinges on how well your team works together, getting stuck with a bunch of meathead bullet sponges can spoil your killing groove. However, a great cover system, balanced class perks, and some cool high-tech gadgets make the moments where it all comes together feel immensely satisfying.”
Check out my full written review, and the cool video review featuring the sultry voice of editor Kevin VanOrd, here at GameSpot.
“The meticulously orchestrated chaos that erupts on the battlefield as squads of well-armed future soldiers duke it out in Fray’s asynchronous turn-based encounters certainly appeals on a strategic level. But this multiplayer-only affair rapidly bleeds out its potential with only the lightest prodding. A sparse player community and an abundance of technical glitches spoil the satisfaction that comes from a match well played against a balanced opponent.”
I love going to PAX East. Walking amongst so many fellow nerdfolk for three days is both refreshing and exhausting, but it’s always a good time. This year I covered the convention for GameSpy, and during my many travels and appointments, I was able to check out some awesome games and meet some great folks. Here’s a round-up of a bunch of my PAX East-related coverage from the past week. I’m still working on a few other pieces that’ll be published in the next week or so, but this is the bulk of it.
Mega-PAX East Roundup Feature @ GameSpy [Read it here] I explored many facets of the convention and glob it all together in this massive feature that touches on a wide range of topics and events throughout the show.
PAX EAst 2011: Indie Gaming Extravaganza [Read it here]
There were so many awesome indie games out on display at PAX East that it was hard to catch them all. I spent a lot of time running around to check them out, and here’s a write-up highlighting some of the best I stumbled across.
Portal 2 Preview [Read it here]
The first Portal was awesome. Portal 2 is going to be 400 percent more awesome. I saw the first 6 hilarious minutes of the game at PAX East and also sat down for a lengthy interview with one of the games main writers. Here’s my impressions and rundown of the preview. My interview will be going up soon.
Gears of War 3 Multiplayer Hands-On[Read it here]
I spent some pew-pew time with GoW 3’s multiplayer beta. Good times. GameSpy Editor Will Tuttle grills me about the hot details in this Interrogation Room preview piece.
There are a few other PAX East related things still in the pipeline, so stay tunes.
“Bounding high atop towering buildings and opening a can of Super-Cop whup-ass on the scummier inhabitants of Pacific City had a lot of appeal in Crackdown, but even with a massive open world and sandbox style gang-busting gameplay, something was missing. That something was the ability to pop-a-cap in the do-gooder posteriors of other human players. Aside from two-player co-op over Xbox Live, the original game was sorely lacking any kind of multiplayer feature. Crackdown 2 aims to rectify that unfortunate omission.”
“As a consolation prize for their patience, Nintendo enthusiasts finally get a shot to dig into the tense, gritty firefights and grippingly poignant present-day conflict found in the original game with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare – Reflex Edition. The two year old, dialed down graphics are certainly not as sexy on the Wii, and there are some other subtle blemishes that appear on this port. Nonetheless, it’s a game you’re going to absolutely want to pick up, especially if you don’t have a chance to play it on another console.”
Check out the full review here at Cheat Code Central.
“Unlike PC gamers and the rest of the console gaming community, Wii purists have been starving for high-quality first-person shooters. They’ve suffered through Red Steel, a glut of tired WWII-themed shooters and a few other major disappointments in their quest for blissful headshot salvation. After years of roaming listlessly through the parched desert of FPS mediocrity, a game like The Conduit offers a certain measure of relief. Yes, if you’re thirsty enough, even stale, gritty canteen water can taste like Evian.”