Tis the merry month of May, my friends, and the future of gaming is looking brighter in some spots. Well, brighter than it was not too long ago when gamers were divided over which console smelled better than the other or who ran what at 1080p. With Microsoft finally realizing that things would have gone a lot more smoothly had they listened to the consumer, the Xbox One has a chance now to bring gamers what we deserve … quality Xbox games unique to Microsoft whether its the recently announced Halo sequel or more Gears of War. Oh yeah, you will soon stream Netflix or Hulu without a Gold Xbox Live membership so there’s that as well.
Of course, there is also E3 2014 to look forward to in terms of the numerous titles we can come to expect from both Microsoft and Sony as well as our struggling friends at Nintendo. The surprises will be plentiful, of that I could assure you, my gaming brethren. Already we have heard from our friends at Ubisoft who have already announced such titles as Far Cry 4, Tom Clancy’s The Division, The Crew and Assassin’s Creed Unity just to name a few titles we can expect from them.
Speaking of Ubisoft, this month also finally brings us Watchdogs … a game that we here at Game Revolver have been dying to play for a long time and one that we will be reviewing as soon as it becomes available to us. An open-world game where we can turn Chicago into our own playground is so damn enticing that we will be celebrating this game’s release with a contest. We’ll be announcing this contest soon so keep your eyes peeled.
We are excited about the prospects of this upcoming E3 show and will bring you more news in the coming month. In the meantime, I would like to welcome back our own Valentine del Toro who will be not only reviewing games again but will offer up her funny take on bad gaming with her column Valentina’s Adventures in Bad Gaming. Welcome back, Val, we missed you and your chimichangas.
Developer: Obsidian Entertainment
Platform: PlayStation 3 (also available on Xbox 360)
Genre: Role-playing Game
ESRB: M (Mature)
Release Date: March 4, 2014
Review By: Angelina Sandoval
After having played a number of games that make use of the South Park license, I had officially given up on that one game that would be true to the characters created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Then South Park: The Stick of Truth was announced and everything surrounding this role-playing game, including the fact that the Comedy Central show’s two creative forces would be directly involved, made this title well worth the wait. As it turns out, The Stick of Truth not only turns out to be one of the best South Park games available thus far but it is also one of the funniest games you will play this year.
MEET SOME FRIENDS OF MINE
As Eric Cartman explains in the beginning of the game, a make-believe world (that somewhat resembles a bastardized version of Tolkien’s Middle Earth) is tossed in a war between the forces of good and those that want to claim the ultimate treasure of them all … the Stick of Truth. So, as you can see, it is a good day for you – the new kid in town – to be forced to go out and make friends with fellow fourth graders that are playing this massive citywide child’s game.
After designing your own voiceless character, you come to meet your first real friend by saving a boy everyone knows as Butters. From there, your new friend introduces you to Cartman and, of course, the game. From there you are given the choice between being called a douche or a douche as well get to pick your character class whether you’d like to be a fighter, a thief, a mage or maybe a Jew. Strangely enough, choosing the Jew class doesn’t really add much except that Cartman won’t like you as much as he would if you were a mage or a fighter.
The town of South Park is then open to you as you are given quests by not only Cartman but also by the various resident of the Colorado town whether it’s Mister Lu Kim who runs City Wok or other familiar faces scattered throughout. In fact, one of the things that make The Stick of Truth the ultimate South Park game is the fact that it incorporates not only the main characters but also the entire town.
As a matter of fact, South Park itself is a character in itself and if you’re a fan of the show you will be happy to see all the familiar haunts such as the City Wok, Jimbo’s Guns, the Bijou Theater, Stark’s Pond and South Park Elementary just to name a few key locales. Better yet, thanks to the in-game map, we finally get a better idea of where things are geographically speaking. For example, did you know that Stan, Kyle and Cartman are actually neighbors?
RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH!
Like most role-playing games, you start the game at Level 1 as you level up by completing quests and surviving various battles that occur the minute you accept to take a part in the game. Of course, you are given a crash course in combat, learning not only about the strengths of your opponents as well as their different attacks but also learn the intricacies of turn-based combat that everyone within the game finds quite lame.
In fact, combat is The Stick of Truth’s biggest disappointment as it is not only bogged down by its repetitive old-school nature but also by the turn-wheel mechanics that make selecting your attacks and special abilities somewhat of a nuisance. Sure, you can upgrade your equipment, armor and your choice of weapons but in the end you will find that you’d much rather avoid combat than get locked into battle with the “elves” or even those damn Mongolian kids.
Still it’s something of a rare treat to be siding with a number of South Park’s recognizable characters in combat. Having Butters by your side swinging his little hammer or gently patting you on your back to heal you is downright adorable but it’s also a blast to summon the likes of Mister Lui Kim (in his Chinese battle garb he wore when he tried to fight off the Mongolian horde in that one episode) or Stan’s hilarious father who teaches you the mystical art of – well – farting. Think of flatulence as a special spell much like the Shouts in Skyrim.
The game is filled to the brim with Easter eggs that will have you busy whether it is trying to locate every Chinpokomon as well as a variety of side quests … many of which are available at specific times. The story is well written and what began as an elaborate child’s game turns into something even bigger that threatens the town itself whether it is battling against Crab People, alien visitors or a conspiracy involving tacos. Oh yeah, even Mr. Hanky makes an appearance. Thankfully you will have a number of companions that will aid you in saving the town and the world that includes everyone from Tweek to Kenny (who really is the fairest Princess) even if you have to go through (or inside) Mister Slave.
Delightfully enough, The Stick of Truth looks exactly like you’re playing an episode from the show itself – which, in itself, is not a difficult task to accomplish considering the fact that the show was purposely made to look crappy. It’s also great to see numerous nods to episodes from the show that pop up throughout your exploration of the town itself. There are sight gags aplenty as well, many of them of the mature variety that are true to many of the characters themselves. For example, if you happen to be in Eric’s house take a quick side trip to Mrs. Cartman’s room and you’ll get what I’m saying.
Even better, though, is the fact that the voice acting found throughout the game come directly from the talents of the voice actors themselves and I’m not talking the usual sound clips found in other South Park games. Matt Stone and Trey Parker provide some truly hilarious dialogue that won’t fail to crack you up or put a smile on you face all throughout the game. Then there’s the music that is classic South Park as well as some memorable tunes that can be heard over the radio such as “Taco-Flavored Kisses,” Finger Bang” and a song about too many minorities in the water park just to name a few songs heard.
South Park: The Stick of Truth will be remembered for not only making brilliant use of the show’s license but also bringing us one truly hilarious role-playing game that would fit nicely with the show’s current season. Sure, combat is not as satisfying as eating a bag of Cheesy Poofs but the story and the ability to explore one of the best little town’s in Colorado definitely makes it worth the price of admission alone. South Park fans, you do not want to miss out on this game … I am super cereal.
GAME FRONTLINE RATING
Review copy provided by Ubisoft
Watch Dogs will be available worldwide on May 27, 2014 for PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. The Wii U version will be available at a later date.
In Watch Dogs, players assume the role of Aiden Pearce, a new type of vigilante hero who, with the help of his smartphone, will use his ability to hack into Chicago’s central operating system (ctOS) to control almost every element of the city.
Our Take: We finally get a release date for a game we have been dying to get our hands on since we got a close look at it during last year’s E3. This is definitely one of those games that will make 2014 a very good year for gaming.
We hate resorting to Micro Reviews but the ending of 2013 and the beginning of January had myself and my review crew very busy designing a few features that will make a debut really soon but – in the meantime – we have a fist full of Micro Reviews that celebrate the beginning of a new generation of gaming that is just barely showing us all of its full potential.
While we can go into how powerful Sony’s console is and why it outsold Microsoft’s Xbox One, we are of the opinion that what we are seeing so far is just the tip of a virtual iceberg that will not fail to surprise. Already there is the announcement that Sony will bring us 100 games this year as well as the introduction of its impressive PlayStation Now service. On top of that, the Xbox One has a number of features that go well beyond exclusive titles such as Titanfall.
Oh yeah, this is but the beginning and the year is young so let’s get right to the Micro Reviews, shall we?
Killzone: Shadow Fall (PlayStation 4)
The Killzone franchise has certainly developed quite a following since its introduction on the PS3 so having Shadow Fall be among the PlayStation 4’s initial launch lineup is a pleasant surprise and even more so since the game was built specifically to show of the new console’s amazing graphics capabilities. What we get is a first-person shooter that delivers an immersive, action-packed and gorgeous-looking game that brings to mind the Half Life series in the best possible way. On top of that, the multiplayer component comes together nicely to keep you playing this one long after you finish the single-player campaign.
OVERALL GRADE: A
Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One)
Capcom’s quirky zombie-slaying game hasn’t really changed all that much since we were first introduced to photographer Frank West on the Xbox 360. This third installment of the Dead Rising series is no different as you play new character, Nick Ramos, who finds himself in the infected zone of Los Perdidos. The Xbox One is able to produce some decent graphics that allow even more walking dead on the screen at once and it really is impressive but then again its all running at 720p and 30fps. However, you won’t find any features here that revolutionize the series enough to make it a refreshing new start on a new console. Still, with all zany missions, plenty of weapons and vehicles, Dead Rising 3 is still loads of fun to play.
OVERALL GRADE: B+
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (PlayStation 4)
After the lackluster performance of Assassin’s Creed III, the fourth installment set its sights on the high seas as you assume the role of Edward Kenway, a young pirate who just so happens to get caught up in the world of the assassins and the Templars. Not only do you get to command the Jackdaw but also you can set sail to explore an open world filled with exotic islands ripe with booty and fight off Spanish galleons and English fleets with cannon fire. There are also the many missions and side missions to jump into that are true to the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Sure, the game was released on the PlayStation 3 as well but the game looks especially enticing on the PlayStation 4.
OVERALL GRADE: A+
Call of Duty: Ghosts (PlayStation 4)
Nobody found it as a surprise when Activision announced a new Call of Duty game and it was even less of a surprise that a next-gen version of the game would coincide with the release date of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. While not adding anything new to this series even on two new consoles, Ghosts manages to be the same entertaining thrill ride we have come to know from past Call of Duty games and that’s alright for dedicated fans. Anyone else will find this more of the same but with better graphics and, of course, a fantastic multiplayer portion that is reason enough to keep playing and even more so with a few key additions.
OVERALL GRADE: B
KNACK (PlayStation 4)
Knack is a game that we had been looking forward to playing since it was announced and who wouldn’t have been excited over a PlayStation 4 launch title that looks that original. What we get instead is dull and repetitive combat combined with a frustrating difficulty setting and so-so level design with a world that offers very little to interact with throughout this disappointing title.
OVERALL GRADE: D
Forza Motorsport 5 (Xbox One)
The Forza Motorsport series has always done a brilliant job of making us fall in love with the world of racing and it this fifth game in the series continues to celebrate all things vehicular. While there aren’t more new roads or even more cars than the fourth game, Forza Motorsport 5 is still an improvement that will have you happily jumping back behind the wheel and even more so on the Xbox One. Frankly speaking, this game is what will make you happy you bought Microsoft’s new console.
OVERALL GRADE: A
Battlefield 4 (PlayStation 4)
The fourth installment of the Battlefield series doesn’t even attempt to do anything particularly new except provide fans with what it is best known for … a completely absorbing, challenging and addictive multiplayer option that makes this worth the purchase price. Thanks to a few updates, the online multiplayer has improved greatly but, sadly, the single-player campaign isn’t anything to write home about once again since there isn’t much of a story here.
OVERALL GRADE: B
Tomb Raider: The Definitive Edition (Xbox One)
When Tomb Raider was released a while back, it didn’t really need to be remade seeing as the game was not only brilliantly entertaining but also easy on the eyes just like its protagonist. Still, this Definitive Edition not only brings us all the DLC but the game was build from the ground up visually to make this an even more graphically-stunning game. If you haven’t bought it the first time, buying it now is highly recommended. We count this among one of the best Tomb Raider games available as well as one hell of a great survival title.
OVERALL GRADE: A+
First Add-On Content Pack Brings Three New Lethal Characters: Blackbeard, The Orchid and The Jaguar
SAN FRANCISCO — December 9, 2013 — Today, Ubisoft® announced that the first add-on content pack for Assassin’s Creed® IV Black Flag™ multiplayer, Blackbeard’s Wrath, is available tomorrow for download on PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, Xbox One, the all-in-one games and entertainment system from Microsoft, Xbox 360 games and entertainment system from Microsoft and Windows PC for $2.99, and is included in the Season Pass.
Three new characters join the hunt: Blackbeard, The Jaguar and The Orchid, each bringing their unique set of skills to battle for the title of best Assassin.
Blackbeard, wielding his sword and short temper, is not to be trifled with. His reputation as a feared pirate is justly received, and his preferred kill moves include using his tremendous strength to throw his targets off balance and quickly finishing them with one clean strike.
The Orchid, a deadly Assassin, grew up in China and served as a military advisor during the Qing Dynasty, honing her murderous skills. She executes opponents swiftly and gracefully with her blade, an extension of her mind and body.
The Jaguar, Cuali, an Aztec warrior from Mexico, took to the sea to fight against the Spanish conquest of Central America. A fighter, he survived the destruction of his community and joined forces with a growing contingent of native Templars who sought renewed peace and order. Driven by a mystical force, The Jaguar strikes swiftly and quietly with his preferred weapon, a discreet axe.
All three characters are available for download from online marketplaces starting tomorrow in Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flagmultiplayer, where they will join the hunt for survival.
For players interested in the Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Season Pass, it’s available now for $19.99 and includes Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Freedom Cry – a nine mission, self-contained story featuring Edward Kenway’s first mate Adewale, as well as the exclusive Kraken Ship Pack, additional single-player missions, weapons, skins, and collectibles, including the Blackbeard’s Wrath add-on content as well as upcoming new characters for an expansive multiplayer experience.
For more information on Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, please visit assassinscreed.com and facebook.com/assassinscreed. For information on Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag multiplayer, please visit assassinscreed.ubi.com/en-us/players/multiplayer.
About Assassin’s Creed
Initially launched in 2007, the first five Assassin’s Creed games have sold more than 59 million units worldwide, and the franchise is now established as one of the best-selling series ever. Recognized for having some of the richest, most engrossing storytelling in the industry, Assassin’s Creed transcends video games, branching out into other entertainment experiences including comic books, mobile games, novels, as well as a feature-length movie currently in development.
Ubisoft is a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, with a rich portfolio of world-renowned brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s, Rayman and Far Cry. The teams throughout Ubisoft’s worldwide network of studios and business offices are committed to delivering original and memorable gaming experiences across all popular platforms, including consoles, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. For the 2012–13 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of 1.256 billion euros. To learn more, please visit http://www.ubisoftgroup.com.
© 2013 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Assassin’s Creed, Black Flag, Ubisoft, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the US and/or other countries. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
December 9, 2013 – Excitement over the release of Tom Clancy’s The Division has us here at Game Revolver already counting the days before we will be able to get our hands on Ubisoft’s latest release that marks the introduction of a Tom Clancy title specifically made for the next-generation consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. That’s right; The Division was designed with the next-generation gaming consoles in mind since it will be using the Snowdrop engine, which will allow for some impressive real-time large-scale effects that will push the realism factor to newer and better heights that the current-generation just can’t handle.
What this means is that Tom Clancy’s The Division will not only feature an incredibly detailed environment but, thanks to the Snowdrop engine, the game will drop us in an environment that makes the environments and the characters interact with it in a realistic manner that will add to the gameplay elements.
Here are some visual examples of what the Snowdrop engine is capable of displaying and give you an idea of what it is able to create during your gameplay experience.
No release date has been issued as of late but we can expect this title to be available in 2014.
The Division takes place in New York three weeks after a lethal virus, released on Black Friday, has swept through the city. One by one, basic services have failed. Society has collapsed into chaos. The President invokes Presidential Directive 51, and The Division, a top-secret unit of self-supporting tactical agents, is activated. Leading seemingly ordinary lives, Division agents are trained to operate independently of command in this type of emergency situation. When the lights go out, their mission begins.
In a Tom Clancy universe dedicated to realism, players can explore the once-familiar streets and landmarks of the Big Apple, now decimated by looting and overrun by clans that will do anything to survive. From Central Park to the subway to the Statue of Liberty, nowhere is safe. Discover a persistent, online, open-world New York where exploration, combat, and RPG player-progression are essential.
And for the latest on all of Ubisoft’s games, visit the UbiBlog: http://www.ubiblog.com.
Here’s a link to the trailer of Tom Clancy’s The Division on YouTube … http://youtu.be/UXeH9OqygzI
Ubisoft is a leading creator, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment and services, with a rich portfolio of world-renowned brands, including Assassin’s Creed, Just Dance, Tom Clancy’s, Rayman and Far Cry. The teams throughout Ubisoft’s worldwide network of studios and business offices are committed to delivering original and memorable gaming experiences across all popular platforms, including consoles, mobile phones, tablets and PCs. For the 2012-13 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of €1,256 million. To learn more, please visit www.ubisoftgroup.com
RADIOHEAD DLC PACK NOW AVAILABLE FOR UBISOFT’S ROCKSMITH 2014 EDITION, THE FASTEST WAY TO LEARN GUITAR
Ubisoft announced today that the Radiohead DLC pack for Rocksmith® 2014 Edition is now available for download on Xbox LIVE for Xbox® 360, the PlayStation Network for the PlayStation® 3 and Steam for PC and Mac.
Songs included in this 5-song pack are “Creep”, “Just”, “Optimistic”, “Karma Police” and “My Iron Lung.”
Individual songs are available for $2.99 or the complete 5-song pack for $11.99.
New music packs continue to be released on a regular basis so please continue to watch for updated information.
Rocksmith 2014 Edition is the sequel to 2011’s immensely popular Rocksmith, which taught over 1.5 million players how to play the guitar by enabling players to plug any real guitar or bass with a standard ¼” jack directly into their Xbox® 360 video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, the Sony PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system, PC or Mac®. Rocksmith 2014 Edition includes new features, new modes, optimized tracking and responsiveness, and completely redesigned interface, new techniques and tunings, and much more. Aspiring guitarists can now learn to play guitar in just 60 days with Rocksmith 2014 Edition.
Check out the YouTube trailer right here … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6gOuRuocKs
Ubisoft is a leading producer, publisher and distributor of interactive entertainment products worldwide and has grown considerably through a strong and diversified line-up of products and partnerships. Ubisoft has offices in 29 countries and has sales in more than 55 countries around the globe. It is committed to delivering high-quality, cutting-edge video game titles to consumers. For the 2012-13 fiscal year Ubisoft generated sales of €1,256 million. To learn more, please visit www.ubisoftgroup.com.
© 2012-2013 Ubisoft Entertainment. All Rights Reserved. Rocksmith logo, Ubisoft, and the Ubisoft logo are trademarks of Ubisoft Entertainment in the U.S. and/or other countries. “PlayStation” is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Windows, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft.