Commentary

January 18, 2013

Fly Over: ‘Halo 4’, ‘Call of Duty’ Black Ops 2

In game stores:

Halo-4-poster

‘Halo 4’ – Master Chief back for more

Over the last decade, one video game has continuously raised the bar for all others.
From its emotionally charged story line, to its unparalleled graphics and online experience, the Halo video game series continues to blow video gamers expectations out of the water.
The latest installment in the series, Halo 4, is no exception.
The game starts out by introducing us to Dr. Catherine Halsey, the master mind behind the Spartan II Program and a familiar character to anyone who has read the novels.
Your mission in Halo 4 revolves around two objectives. The first is to get your trusty sidekick, Cortana, to Dr. Halsey, as this is her only chance of surviving her descent into rampancy, which is essentially AI death. The second is the race to get Cortana back to Earth. In typical Halo fashion, it isn’t long before some new enemy prevents you from an easy passage.
Along the way, new characters, such as the Forerunner Prometheans are introduced, adding new challenges for the player as the character Master Chief. The Prometheans have different units that work together to make your game play more challenging. Choose your targets wisely or you will find yourself wasting ammo and no closer to eliminating the enemy.
The twists and turns throughout the game are as exciting and intense as ever, and if you’ve read the Halo novels, you’ll notice that the game, for the most part, closely follows the same storyline.
Graphics in a video game can make or break the player’s experience, and once again, Halo’s graphics definitely make the game.
“Characters look like live-action actors, and their movements and emotions have a realistic, almost film-like quality. This technique has been used in other games, but Halo 4 raises the bar for others to emulate,” according to CNN reporter Larry Frum.
Most gamers know one of the main attractions in a game is the quality of the online experience. The updated online play for Halo 4 is leaps and bounds ahead of its predecessor.
Added and improved customizations enhance not only appearance, but with weapons and armor, make playing online more challenging and more rewarding.
Additional game modes include “Flood” and “Regicide.” These new game modes add a spin to your regular multiplayer experience.
Halo 4 also includes a type of mini game series called “Spartan Ops.” Spartan Ops lets you take your customized Spartan into battle to complete weekly missions that can either be done with friends or in matchmaking.
Finding special points or terminals throughout the game will unlock a special series of mini videos that tell the Halo story more in depth.
Time and time again, Halo delivers in every way possible. Setting the bar for the industry, it continues to dominate its competition.
The only way this game is going to be outdone is with the release of its successor, Halo 5, which is expected to début in fall 2013.

 

…..and also in game stores, Call of Duty’ – Black Ops 2

Call_of_Duty_Black_Ops_II_Game_Cover

Another year, another “Call of Duty” released. It seems as though the series releases a new “Call of Duty” every year just to make money, but I have to say that Black Ops 2 might be the best so far.
From the campaign mode to zombies, a player can put an endless number of hours into this game.
The story in this game is by far the best in the series. It actually has a beginning, middle and end unlike previous releases that have random moments put together to make a story.
There are times in the story line you make decisions that will impact the ending of the game. I’m not going to give away any story details because that would be a huge spoiler alert. But just know that the story line will leave you speechless.
Multiplayer is top notch yet again. You still have your standard modes such as team death match, domination, capture the flag and more. One feature they’ve added in multiplayer is the Pick 10. When you create your class you have 10 slots from which to choose that can be used for anything. If you only want to have a pistol and five perks, go for it.
Building your class in Black Ops 2 feels more like an in-depth role-player game that forces you to carefully weigh where best to spend skill points. Kill Streaks have been replaced by Score Streaks. Capturing flags or laying down defensive equipment yields points to fill up your Score Streak meter. This encourages players to act as a team instead of lone-wolfing their way around the map to keep their kill/death ratio up, and playing as a team is more fun.
Zombies are back and better than ever. It’s still the same rules as the original Black Ops. Survive and try to kill as many zombies as you can. This year’s big change for zombies is called Tranzit. It’s like four zombie maps rolled into one. The map includes a bus that can be boarded in order to access different areas of the map.
Also new is survival and grief. Survival has you picking one of the maps from Tranzit and simply trying to stay alive for as long as possible, while grief puts two teams of four against each other in one of the smaller zombies maps. As a twist, the teams can’t kill each other. The first team to get killed by the zombies loses. It’s a new edition to the zombie series.
Even though Black Ops 2 is enjoyable, there are some downfalls to the game. The knifing is horrible. I barely use the knife button anymore. When you try to melee the enemy, the knife is sluggish. By the time you knife the enemy, you’re already dead, especially with zombies.
Also, this game is mostly submachine gun based. Don’t even try to use an assault rifle because they never work. Hopefully Activision will release a balanced “Call of Duty” next year.
Overall Black Ops 2 is a well designed game. It seems as though the developers listened to the customers and made a “Call of Duty” game that meets most of the gamers’ goals. I give “Call of Duty” Black Ops 2 three and a half stars.




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