Gaming

Review of God of War

A new era, a new family, a new purpose, and a whole lot of new things to kill

Kratos is no longer the permanently furious, yelling war machine he once was. He’s a dad now. Okay, so he might still have a voice that makes it sound like he eats rocks for breakfast, and you certainly can’t deny that the swing of his axe is as deadly as his dual blades, but Kratos has changed. Now he’s in a mysterious Norse land, he’s calmer and struggling with fatherhood. By his side is Atreus, his young son who’s handy with a bow. Despite his age you can use this young and definitely very squishy son in double team attacks and use him to translate runes and magic inscriptions, as Kratos hasn’t really mastered that. He is Greek, after all. But there’s far, far more to God of War than a father/son relationship. We’ve got details on collector’s editions, release dates, combat, and everything else you could possibly need.

REVIEW OF THE WITCHFIRE TRILOGY COLLECTED EDITION

Let me preface this review by saying that I am coming from the point of view of a player who initially played the three adventures as a PC rather than as a GM who ran the game.

This means that I come from the perspective of how it ended up not how it was supposed to end up. Nonetheless, I feel that the GM that ran the adventures stayed very true to what was presented with an exception or two which I will note.

Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock Review – Time To Frack Some Toasters

 

Since it’s nice to be confident that a game is going to be good ahead of time and then to have your assumptions justified once you finally play it, but that never manages to capture the same sense of elation as a game coming out of nowhere and blowing you away can. That’s how I feel about Battlestar Galactica: Deadlock from Black Lab Games. I heard about it many moons ago, thought little of it and then was mildly surprised to get review code come through a few days before launch. I was even more surprised when I played it.

The dark, gritty and eventually hugely confusing reboot of the delightfully campy Battlestar Galactica remains one of my favorite TV shows of all time despite its somewhat lackluster ending, and even back when it was being shown weekly I can remember thinking that an RTS set in the same universe would be pretty cool.  It may have taken ten fracking years but Slitherine must have agreed, although they’ve taken the real-time bit away in favor of turn-based strategy in space set during the first war with the Cylons.

Agents of Mayhem Review – Saints of Mayhem?

Agents of Mayhem has been spawned directly from the Saints Row series, and despite not bearing its name in the title it takes place within the same universe, although this time developer Volition have chosen to take a real city (Seoul) and then chuck some sci-fi paint all over it. The game we’ve gotten out of this looks and feels a lot like the newer, crazier Saints Row games, but with a twist.

The game begins so promisingly with a 90s cartoon vibe complete with a vibrant color palette and a guitar riff that sounds so much like my Saturday morning viewing as a kid that my nostalgia gland (totally a real thing) briefly went into overdrive and nearly killed me. You’re going to be working for Mayhem, an over-the-top task force led by femme fatale Persephone who is going up against Legion, helmed by the nefarious Doctor Babylon along with his cast of barmy lieutenants, including the obnoxious popstar August Gaunt who deserves to be eaten by piranhas. Initially, quite lovely cartoon-esque cutscenes set the stage for something that could be a whole lot of fun, but a lot like the rest of the game these sequences seem to go downhill over time.

Are Video Games Teaching Us To Drive Better?

Every day we come face to face with one of the world’s leading causes of death: our car. Nearly 3,287 people die each day due to car accidents. Even in non-fatal accidents, consequences can include sever injuries, extended medical treatment or surgical needs, long-term care, dealing with the insurance and medical bills, impact on employment, and – of course- the cost of repairing or replacing the car.

With this in mind, it is no wonder that scientists today are studying ways to improve driving skills. Recent studies have shown that driver’s education may not be the only way to help drivers improve their road skills. There is evidence that the virtual world helps us develop skills for the real world, like those used for safe and successful driving.

 

Thinking Quick on Your Feet

gaming

Video games help players to make the right decisions faster. One study showed that those who play fast paced video games answered questions and made accurate decisions 25% faster than those playing slower paced games. This is significant because gamers evolve to decrease their reaction times but don’t decrease in accuracy. This feat is extremely advantageous as drivers not only have to react quickly but also maintain accuracy to avoid getting in car accidents.

 

Helping Drivers Watch Out!

Various observational skills may be acquired through video games. Another study found that after hours of gaming, novice drivers developed visual search techniques that helped them to scan for hazards while driving. Playing video games leads to marked improvement between visual information and motor control. In other words, as the player sees hazards in a game, they are able to react quickly and appropriately to visual cues. For example, as a projectile rockets towards them, players are required to react quickly to avoid the hazard. This skill is easily translated to driving as motorists avoid objects in the street, pedestrians, and potential oncoming vehicles on a daily basis.

 

What about Non-Driving Games?

Interestingly, studies found that both driving related and action games invoked development of the aforementioned skills. Action games were linked specifically to the player’s ability to avoid distractions and make quick decisions. Driving games were linked to lane precision and motor control. However, each game serves a different purpose depending on the audience. Novice drivers learn better from driving games because they are able to develop skills related to maintaining control of a vehicle. Experienced drivers, however, improved in their ability to predict “input error signals” through FPS games.

 

So whether you are a pro or a noob, video games may hold the key to making you a better driver and the roads safer. Play a game, save a life.

5 Addicting Simulators You Need to Try

Have you ever wondered what it’s like doing or being something you normally wouldn’t? Well, that’s what simulators are for. A simulator is a machine that projects a virtual reality with a set of controls that lets you do anything like flying a plane, maneuvering a ship, or even driving a garbage truck. Simulators can be played anywhere from places like an arcade or even at home on your computer.

“The Sims”

If you can’t have the perfect life and family in real life, then the Sims is just the simulator for you. You’ll spend hours upon hours making your Sim do things on the game you wouldn’t or couldn’t do in real life. The Sims is a life simulator where you make a family, build or buy them a home, set career goals, have a family, etc. The Sims is a way to escape the reality you’re in and jump into one that is the exact opposite. You’ll spend hours upon hours making your Sim do things on the game you wouldn’t or couldn’t do in real life. There are four installments of the “The Sims”; “Sims 1”, “Sims 2”, “Sims 3” and the latest version, “Sims 4“.

“American Truck Simulator”

Too afraid to drive the big-rigs in real life? “American Truck Simulator” can help with that. With this highly addictive simulator, you become a truck driver in hopes of making money and buying new trucks. That’s what this game is about.

As you drive down long highways, trying to deliver packages or getting to a designated area within a given time, you get to see what an everyday truck driver experiences. The game gives you the option to listen to live radio, add your own favorite channels and import MP3 tracks. You’d never expect truck driving to be so relaxing, but “American Truck Simulator” can be downright therapeutic.

“Zoo Tycoon”

Zoo Tycoon” is a perfect game for people who are business savvy. It’s not hard to become addicted to this simulator because of the fact there are animals to interact with. It focuses on building the perfect zoo.

Players have to create or expand one of the zoos by buying various types of animals, creating their ideal habitat, and hire capable staff to help run the zoo and maintain the animals. There are three modes to choose from such as scenario, challenge, and freestyle.

“Microsoft Flight Simulator X”

Flying a plane or a jet in real life is a very difficult thing to learn and master. Thankfully, Microsoft created the ideal simulator to help you fulfill your dream of being a pilot. As the name implies, “Flight Simulator X” is the tenth version of the well-known flight simulators.

There’s a standard version and deluxe version of this game. The standard version incorporates 18 planes, 28 cities, and more than 24,000 airports. The deluxe version is still the same game except with six more planes and 10 more cities. With the easy controls and breathtaking views this game has, you’ll be addicted in no time!

“Minecraft”

Minecraft” is an open-world, sandbox type of simulator. There are three modes in “Minecraft”: Survival, Creative and Hardcore. All of which you play as a character named Steve and create almost anything you want. You can farm, build houses, have a pet wolf, trade resources with villagers, go mining for coal and iron and even fight a dragon. You’ll find yourself playing this amazing open-world simulator for hours.
You can do anything in the real world and whatever you can’t do is what the simulator is for. Not only is it a source of entertainment, it’s also educational as you experience what it’s like being a pilot, business owner or even a truck driver. Playing simulators is a way find out more about the world as they are based off real life things.

Shock Tactics Review – The Wrong Kind of Shock

When Firaxis brought back the venerable XCOM series from the dead nobody could have predicted how damn good it would be, its turned-based tactical mayhem creating a palpable sense of tension. It was difficult, too, demanding that you contemplate every move or else lose your soldiers forever. XCOM 2 had a rough launch, but it still managed to improve on Enemy Unknown, refining various parts of the core gameplay. Unsurprisingly several companies have attempted to leap onto the bandwagon. Shock Tactics happens to be the latest game trying to capture the magic of yelling at virtual soldiers because they missed a 90% chance to hit. It’s also not that good.
But let us assume for a moment that you aren’t familiar with the turn-based genius of XCOM: the basic idea is that you’ll take control of a squad of soldiers and guide them through the level. During your turn you can move them, attack and activate special abilities, all of which are governed by an Action Point system. Cover is vitally important to surviving, and because of that flanking the enemy is key to killing them, otherwise you just end up trading mostly ineffectual shots. When it comes to firing at a foe the chances of hitting will be displayed above the target, which also means lady luck plays a big part in whether you live or die; sometimes a soldier will nail a shot despite having a mere 5% chance of hitting, and sometimes you’ll miss even though there was a 90% chance of hitting them right between the eyes. If all else fails you can just stick your squad into Overwatch which means they’ll open fire on the first bad guy who moves during the A.I.’s turn.
But the truly important thing to know is that if a soldier dies he’s gone for good. Shock Tactics embraces this aspect of the XCOM series, and while you do have a window of opportunity to rescue a downed squad member once that’s over they vanish into the nether realm. The only way to replenish squad numbers is by embarking on specific missions where you have to battle your way to them, of course meaning that you risk getting even more soldiers killed in the process.
Sadly, it’s hard to get attached to your little squad, so their death means nothing more than frustration because you’ll have to find somebody else and patiently wait for them to level up and thus actually become useful. In XCOM you could not only name your troops but also play with their color scheme and facial features, which combined with their unique abilities in the field made them surprisingly endearing. They had their own stories and histories forged through prior missions and their deaths actually made you feel sad. In Shock Tactics your troops are just faceless goons with only their armor color being something you can alter.
Still, within the turn-based tactical combat there are flashes of brilliance, moments where the game nearly manages to match X-com’s tension-filled battles as one of your troops lands a seemingly impossible shot or somehow survives a barrage of firepower that should have surely mown them down. Sure, there isn’t enough variety in enemy types nor enough abilities within your own ranks, and the different classes of soldier feel much too alike, but the XCOM core, which has not so much been copied as stolen outright, remains fun. It’s just flashes of brilliance, though, amidst a lot of….well, okayness. It says a lot that the only thing Shock Tactics does well is what it lifted straight out of Firaxis’ turn-based masterpieces.
The first problem is the level design which bounces wildly from being rather good to outright annoying thanks to what I assume is random generation. There’s a nice amount of verticality to play around with, although it and the thankfully uncommon interiors are marred by an awkward camera that frequently gets caught up on scenery or hides lines of sight. More annoying are the stretches of empty ground that force you to either leave troops out in the open at the mercy of the enemy or play a boring game of trading shots over long-distance that have minimal odds of actually hitting anything.

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus

Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus may feature more blood, amputation and beheadings than most timeless works of art, but in its own way, that’s what Sweden-based developer MachineGames set out to do with its take on the Wolfenstein franchise.
In New Colossus, players – through the role of William “B.J.” Blazkowicz – are first transported to and then fighting against a tyrannical America – a place in which Nazis haven’t just taken root, but are its guiding light.
The game takes place in a 1961 Nazi-occupied America. But the occupation is, at least at first blush, mostly hospitable. Americans have taken to the fascist party like fish to water.
It can’t help but elicit the question: Is The New Colossus meant to be, in any way, a parable of modern times, a warning of what could be to come under a far-right American leadership. When asked, Matthies called the game “timeless,” and said it was certainly not meant to be commentary. According to him, he and the team drew more inspiration from films like Inglorious Basterds and Django Unchained than they did reality.

The Wheelchair

The two levels that press were granted unfettered access to included one in which BJ awakens in a sub, lying on a hospital bed. Nazis have discovered them, so he must pull himself from the bed and into a wheelchair.
The rest of the level is played from within the confines of that chair: BJ expertly maneuvering the chair around corners to pop off shots at encroaching Nazis, hurdling over bumps and down passageways in what can only be described as the world’s most handicap-accessible submarine in existence.

Nazi America

Once the wheelchair level wrapped up, we were pushed forward through the game, to a save point much later on. It opens with BJ, now walking, visiting a small town in Southwest America, deeply ensconced within, happily embracing the new order of Nazi rule.
BJ is here to blow shit up. But first, he has to wander this cozy little town to find his contact, a man who runs the local soda shop.
Matthies tells us that he and the team deliberately avoided watching the Amazon Prime series The Man in the High Castle – which also takes place in an America ruled by Nazis.

The Big Bomb

My final mission in my time with the game was to sneak into a command center and nuke the whole place.
Where the earlier missions were bookended with clever dialog and tight writing, this was more classic Wolfenstein: a steady, bloody churn through endless Nazi enemies using an increasingly diverse – but always lethal ¬– mix of weapons to part Nazi life and limb from Nazi body.
The melee death-dealing of a stealthy BJ is only less satisfying than BJ methodically mowing down Nazis with a weapon in each hand.
The developers spent a lot of time building out the gore system, which enables BJ to do things like grab a Nazi by the shoulder and then lop off his leg before killing him.

5 GTA Bucket-List Items

Everyone loves Grand Theft Auto (the games, not the actual crime). Whether it be for the storyline, the freedom of a sandbox city, or even just playing out the road rage you’d never get away with in real life, GTA has something for everyone. With so much freedom, it’s hard to figure out what you should actually do in-game, though. That’s why we put together a list of five things you’ve got to do in GTA 5 before dropping the control.

Ride a Plane

“Ride a plane? You mean go to the airport and steal a jet?” Not so, hypothetical reader. While stealing a plane or helicopter might be step 1 of this this 2 step plan, the objective is to actually ride on top of a plane. It will take a good amount of skill and timing to line things up properly, plus a lot of prep and luck to not die in the process, but if you can manage to jump on top of a plane in mid-flight, those multitudes of death will all be worth it.

Steal a Tank

It’s as simple as that. Go steal a tank and wreak havoc across the city. Deceptively simple as it sounds, there’s actually a lot of technique in getting a tank into the position for stealing it. The best and most fun way to do so is to get some friends to help. After enough attempts to try and steal planes and helicopters from the military base, the army will usually mobilize to come get you, including at least one tank. Once that happens, it’s all a matter of finding the hatch and breaking in without being shot a thousand times first.

Get Lost in the Woods

While it might sound unusual given the violent nature of the game, one of the most relaxing things you can do in GTA is to get lost in the woods. Either teleport to a random area of the forest or wander out, disable your map, and try to find your way back to the city. It’s a fun little journey that might uncover some Easter Eggs.

Moon Gravity Skydiving

Easily the most hilarious thing you can do in the game is enable the moon gravity cheat. Characters and cars slide all over the ground like it’s made of ice. But the most fun you can have with this cheat isn’t on the ground, but in the air. Piloting a plane or helicopter to the highest point in the game you can manage and bailing out is a sight to behold, your character falling to their death in slow motion, screaming and flailing the entire time. The only thing it lacks is the ability to dual wield some SMGs and fire them behind you.

Jump Off Mt. Chiliad

Similar to the last idea, jumping off Mt. Chiliad is fun all on its own. Aside from watching your character’s lifeless body tumble down slope (with multiple chances to do it again as you respawn on a lower point), it’s sure to be one of the highlights of your night. Optionally, you could just bring a hang glider and fly over the entire city.

Get to It

These are just five of the bizarre and hilarious things you should definitely try while playing GTA 5. With such a huge game and freedom to do basically whatever you want, there’s no end to the fun you can have. So get to it and start causing chaos.

5 Pieces of Gaming Gear You Need Today

In the world of gaming, your experience is often determined by your equipment. If you’re looking for ways to stay current with gaming, then check out these 5 pieces of must-have gaming gear.

 

A Gaming Keyboard

For PC gamers, a run-of-the-mill keyboard isn’t going to cut it. Instead, look at specialized gaming keyboards with ultra-responsive and tactile keys. These will allow your character to react faster than with your average keyboard, and should easily help raise your kill count.

 

Wireless Bluetooth Headphones

Regardless of your preferred console, wireless earbuds are a must-have for any serious gamer. Things can get intense sometimes, and when you’re jerking your controller around during a fight, you shouldn’t have to worry about headphones being yanked out of your ears. As an added bonus, wireless Bluetooth headphones will usually have a remarkably clear sound quality, which can be a huge help in letting you feel immersed in your gaming experience.

 

Gaming Glasses

It’s no secret that playing hours of your favorite game can lead to eye trouble down the road, but you no longer have to choose between mastering your game or having 20/20 vision. New, specialized gaming eyewear is designed to simultaneously reduce strain on your eyes while eliminating glare. This means that you’ll be able to play at any time of day, and for as long as you want without worrying about the health of your eyes. It’s important that you keep your glasses clean and clear for optimal vision, so invest in a specialized, non-toxic, non-scratching glass cleaner. You might want to try Melaleuca Clear Power, which does a better job than store brand glass cleaners according to online Melaleuca reviews left by customers.

 

Upgraded Mouse

For PC gamers, it’s all about how quickly you can react to what’s happening on the screen. Having good reaction time is a good place to start, but that can only take you so far. If you’re looking to take your gaming to the next level, invest in a gaming mouse with programmable buttons and a high-speed scrolling wheel. Otherwise, you’ll waste precious seconds scrambling to find buttons on your keyboard, which can often mean the difference between winning and losing.

 

Footboards

Anyone who played video games in the early 2000s already knows that, historically, footboards have been underwhelming. Thanks to new technology, though, footboards can now be an excellent tool to up your game. Simply program in-game actions to your footboard, and you instantly free up your hands to perform different functions.

 

Game On

Gaming is only going to get more competitive, which means you’ll need the latest gear to keep up. Use these 5 gaming tools to make sure you’re staying at the top of your game.

GODSANDHEROES

Rome Rising is a mature, full-scale, action-adventure, massively multiplayer online role-playing game that immerses the audience in Roman mythology.

Players strap on gladiator armor, lay waste to monsters and command minions while seeking favor from the gods.

Contact

2991 Sandy Avenue,
Costa Mesa
CA 92626.

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