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Is Gears of War deserving of a next-gen collection-style reboot?

Gears of War has fallen behind since the excitement of its last release
Gears of War has fallen behind since the excitement of its last release

Gears of War has been one of the cornerstone franchises for the Xbox 360, and while many fans are looking forward to the next installment of the franchise a question the Gears of War developer, Black Tusk Studios, must ask themselves how to re-invigorate the series. Could 343i’s Masterchief Collection prove to be the perfect course of action for their own next-gen game?

As 343 Industries preps the next-gen of Halo players for the continuation of the Halo universe, Gears of War has lost quite a bit of traction since their main installment of the franchise.

Releasing a combined collection of Gears of Wars 1-3 could prove vital to the continued success of the IP and 343 Industries has provided the perfect blue-prints to follow.

After re-playing the original Gears of War the game has surprisingly aged substantially. Very surprising considering the awe gamers were in among its initial release. An update to the graphics of the game, while maintaining the core game-play mechanics would be the best course of action to help fans fall in love with the story again.

Adding in every DLC map-pack, an intuitive combination of all multiplayer experiences together, and a beta invite to Gears of War 4 would be a perfect update to the franchise.

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Setting up next-gen Halo success

Halo 2 alone could entice millions to pick up the Masterchief collection
Halo 2 alone could entice millions to pick up the Masterchief collection

A new generation of consoles also comes with a new generation of gamers, and a lot of them have yet to have a proper introduction into the Halo universe.

That time is soon to arrive as the Masterchief Collection is released November 11 this year.

While some may think the Masterchief Collection will be catered to the former fans of the franchise, the game has an even greater purpose. Incorporating all four main Halo games (Halo: Combat Evolved, Halo 2, Halo 3, and Halo 4) will set the stage for a new generation to get excited for Halo 5 and future games of the franchise.

The long-term success of Halo on the Xbox One is crucial to how well received this upcoming installment is. Everyone can rightfully assume that with just Halo 2’s remake alone it is almost impossible for this game to fail.

With a new forge mode for Halo 2, an updated multiplayer experience across all games, and a Halo 5 beta, all for only $60, this collection is not only prepared to be a block buster hit, but a console selling masterpiece.

For Halo fans, one of the most exciting aspects of this revamped universe will be how this game leads to others. This may very well open the door to a new Halo Wars, a Halo:ODST, or maybe something entirely new.

Halo Wars itself is a very likely candidate to also get a reboot as well. Though it was somewhat disappointing in regards to popularity, the lack of strategy games on consoles leaves an entire demographic of gamers hungry for a quality RTS.

Phil Spencer was particular to the idea himself:

Halo’s Development Director, Frank O’Conner, heavily hinted the prospective game as well.

343 Industries will certainly be exciting to follow with all the directions that their franchise could expand and grow.

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Opening the doors to creativity – Sunset Overdrive

sunsetoverdrivescreenshot1
Sunset Overdrive takes an entirely backwards stance (in a very good way).

For the last decade or so the most popular emphasis developers have had for their game has been realism.

Their trailer even mocks the idea of this game being anything close to realistic, and that is what could make Sunset Overdrive the best upcoming next-gen game.

Be who you want and do what you want seems to be the mantra for this game; even if what you want doesn’t make any sense. This idea is crucial to unlocking the other-wise unseen potential of the creative use of next-gen hardware. While most other games focus on getting more and more polygons, they often forget the most important characteristic of a game – is it fun?

While most games do find a way to tell an exciting story with a captivating setting there has been a distinct lack of games to counter that. The popularity of the Burnout series and the Deadrising series show that sometimes, gamers just want to relax with some mind-numbing chaos.

Sunset Overdrive is poised to capture the essence of mind-numbing chaos with it’s vibrant art-style, fast-paced action, and its flat-out ridiculous gameplay.

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GTA V on next-gen; Worth it to buy again?

Grant Theft Auto V is just the beginning of Rockstar North's next-gen presence.
Grant Theft Auto V is just the beginning of Rockstar North’s next-gen presence.

GTA V has been out for eight months now, and free updates for the online play have rolled out consistently for the fastest selling entertainment product in history. One might think that with how many people that already own GTA they may struggle for their upcoming next-gen console release in September 2014. That could not be further from the truth.

Grand Theft Auto V is just the beginning for Rockstar’s involvement in next-gen games. In an interview with CVG almost a full year ago, Rockstar President, Leslie Benziez, said “We’re just going to add on new things to it, new places all the time.”

The most notable aspect of that statement is “new places”. Rockstar has created an incredible world to start from. There are animations, characters, and scenery that are so fluently well done, yet hardly used. There are ideas that can be heavily explored with GTA’s engine powering the way.

GTA V’s release on next-gen is just the beginning. With greater processing power to improve an already beautiful game, and much greater hard drive space to play with on PS4 and Xbox One, the window for massive add-ons to enhance the GTA world is open.

Will we see an updated Liberty City or Vice City again? Or maybe something entirely new?

The future for Rockstar’s next-gen invasion is very bright.

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Destiny proves promising by building off of Halo’s success

Destiny Landscape
Bungie is going to have a massive task ahead to market Destiny to the people to encourage them that this new franchise is indeed going to be incredible.

So far the quality of the game looks outstanding. The game has been presented extraordinarily well in the just the limited Alpha stages of game development. A staunch difference in comparison to their 2013 simple and straighforward trailers, the game has shown an incredible blend of classic Halo 2 multiplayer mid-game objectives and the power-up abilities introduced in Halo 3/Halo: Reach.

 

The classic scramble for the Sword (or other powerful on-map weapon) returns in a new style. A scramble for your own special weapon ammo occurs on the map randomly with an alert to all players. This brings together intense fire-fights in areas where you otherwise wouldn’t expect to face-off.

The power-ups of Halo: Reach take a new role as ‘supers’ here, but just how many will be included in the final game remains to be seen.

Combining the past success of their games will be crucial to ensuring the game takes off with early support from Bungie fans, and the game is sure to have a very Halo-esque feel to it. It will be exciting to see how they continue to build on what they’ve been able to showcase so far.

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What is Valiant Hearts?

Can an emotional story be told with the style of game that Valiant Hearts is aiming to be?

The narration of the trailer alone peaked my interest in what this game was and how it will progress.

The trailer was beautiful and the story sounds heartfelt as well, but I question how deep the game can be with such a bright art style in a side-scroller. There are some side-scrollers that are able to pull off the serious feel, but they are typically very particular with their art style to help invoke the mood.

While the trailer for Valiant Hearts excites me, the older examples of gameplay, and the art style make me question if this game will just be lost in its identity.

 

Updated Review

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Bungie’s Destiny – Coming 9-9-14

Bungie has now set a date to release its newest project. Destiny is expected to release September 9th, 2014. With an incredible fore-running game like Halo to live up to, it will be exciting to see how the game progresses and changes over time.

Set in a mythic sci-fi world, Destiny shares many gameplay elements that Bungie’s games tend to have. It certainly has shown to have its own twists but the style remains very reminiscent of Halo. Destiny is prepared to unleash another new-wave multiplayer game, in which the singleplayer and multiplayer are directly tied to each other rather than separate aspects of the game.

How players will react to this world after becoming accustomed to the typical Bungie multiplayer experience will surely be exciting to follow.