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Battlefield: Bad Company 2
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Battlefield Bad Company 2 was a shock to play for me, someone who loves shooters. As I never really played PC games that offered online multiplayers (outside MMORPGs) I never really knew what to expect, but 10 minutes into playing the demo of this game I was absolutely hooked, so much so that I had ascended up the unlock tree to the very highest height that the demo offered. When I eventually pried myself away from my PS3, I pre-ordered this wonderful game.
A lot of people compare this game to Modern Warfare 2, an obvious comparison, if you feel that all shooters are the same. To me, they're as different as Deus Ex and Doom. DICE really put their all into this piece of work and it shows. The graphics are very impressive, the actual mechanics to the shooting are fluid and easy to pick up, and the story is actually interesting.
I feel Bad Company 2 has been given a bad rap due to the distinction between the single and multiplayer modes. I've read people saying that the single player campaign (quite possibly the main event for most games) just isn't worth it in Bad Company 2, but this isn't true! The fact is that BC2 actually has a very impressive, engrossing single player campaign, but the problem here is that the multiplayer is just so damn addictive that it completely overshadows its offline component. It wouldn't matter if the single player campaign won an Academy Award, the multiplayer would still dominate the average player's time. This game might literally have the perfect multiplayer component, in my opinion.
DICE have streamlined the multiplayer to really put an honest to god emphasis on teamwork. The two sides to the battles are divided up into 4-man squads that can communicate via headset etc, and you will rack up the points a whole lot faster if you work together and go after the objectives rather than sit in a corner and kill people. Granted, it is fun to sprint around collecting opportunistic kills but I find it much more rewarding to help my teammates, be it repairing their vehicle, re-supplying them or healing their wounds. Turn your concentration to more of a support role and you will fly through the ranks and unlock more guns than you could get to grips with.
Also the sound deserves a mention here, it really is brilliant. Obviously the graphics are great but the sound really stands out, it probably COULD win an Academy Award. Play the game and you'll see what I mean!
Anyway, stop reading this review and buy this game! I'll see you in Arica Harbour!
Rock Band 2 (Solus)
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I managed to pick up a copy of the first Rock Band for a tenner and was immediately hooked, having already played through both Guitar Hero and it's sequel years earlier. Once I heard that you could export the Rock Band songs and any you'd downloaded to the second one, I went about trying to find a copy. Once I finally did find a copy, I started playing and pretty much haven't had much of a break!
These games outweigh the Guitar Hero franchise in every aspect, in my opinion. The gameplay is incredibly addictive and social, the graphics are great (not groundbreaking but then it's a music rhythm game, not Flight Simulator) and everything gets ten times better once you manage to get a whole band together with your friends.
The instruments Harmonix released for this game are far superior than those made for the original game. They're a lot sturdier and less prone to breaking due to being overplayed (which if anything I think is a testament to how fun these games are to play). I managed to get a cheap copy of The Beatles: Rock Band with the Hofner Violin Bass controller and it looks pretty darn stylish.
There's seriously nothing better than getting your mates round and cranking this up, especially if you buy Rush's 'Moving Pictures' album off the store. That's a brilliant album to play on drums!
This is absolutely party game perfection, can't wait for the third one.
Resident Evil 5 (PS3)
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Since the Resident Evil franchise had its control scheme and gameplay revamped with Resi 4 (Faster enemies, no zombies, faster action) I've been slightly divided about it all, as have many people I've talked to about it. Some love the new direction it went in, some longed for the shambling zombies of old. But since playing the demo of Resi 5 (extensively) I've decided that even though the enemies are in the same vein as Resi 4 (Las Plagas infected humans, no zombies) the action is still frantic, scary and an absolute blast with a friend. Luckily the demo offered both an offline and online multiplayer, both of which are superb fun. The allied AI is competent in the single player but if you really want the best experience, play this game online with a friend and a headset! And of course a massive HD television! I've got it pre-ordered, I suggest you download the demo from PlayStation Store and try it yourself! Resi 5 only lost a star because it's not to everyone's tastes, but the graphics are top notch, animations are smooth and realistic (within the context of the Resident Evil OTT style of things) and the gameplay is fast and rewarding...so far!