BitSnark

A place of scribblings located in the darkest corner of the internet. Yup.

Archive for November 2010

EA Confirms Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam & Map Pack 7 Dates

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With my inner war-mongering bastard pretty much exploding as I type this, EA/DICE have confirmed today that the eagerly awaited Vietnam multiplayer expansion for their very-not-shit FPS Battlefield: Bad Company 2 will arrive in digital storefronts on December 21st for £9.99 or 1200 MSP depending on which flag you wave.

The awesomeness however, starts before then, as it was also confirmed today that ‘VIP Map Pack 7’ which contains the highly anticipated remakes of BC1 favourite maps ‘Harvest Day’ and that other one, will arrive tomorrow, free to VIP users (which should be just about everybody to be fair considering that the LE was the same price as the standard).

Hoo-rah!

Written by bitsnark

November 30, 2010 at 4:22 pm

New Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Vietnam Trailer Hits The Interwebs

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Predictably, it looks awesome.

Go watch:

Written by bitsnark

November 5, 2010 at 10:48 am

Battlefield: Play4Free Announced Exclusively For PC

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EA has today pulled the curtain on the newest entry to their insanely popular Battlefield franchise.

Entitled Battlefield: Play4Free, the title shares the same free-to-play model (no shit) as the previously released browser based shooter, Battlefield Heroes. However, unlike that very much hit and miss title, Play4Free will be an FPS and not a third person shooter with the emphasis on cartoony visuals.

Play4Free will mark the return to a grittier, more realistic modern theatre of war as seen in 2003’s Battlefield 2 and the more contemporary Bad Company titles.

Developed by the free-to-play division at DICE, Easy Studios, the title will boast vehicular warfare, sandbox gameplay and 32-player battles. The title will also combine select maps from Battlefield 2 and the character classes and weapons from Battlefield: Bad Company 2 to create quite the comprehensive experience. Speaking of which, Battlefield fans will be pleased to here that aircraft make a welcome return to the franchise with the F-35 jet fighter appearing in the game.

As is the du rigour these days for online shooters, Play4Free also boasts a persistent progression system which allows players to learn new skills and purchase new equipment to further customise their soldier.

Visually speaking, the title is a cross between the older visuals seen in thee earlier Battlefield titles and the modelling seen in the Bad Company games.

The debut teaser for the game can be seen below, and a link to sign up for the closed beta which starts November 30th can be seen below that:

http://battlefield.play4free.com/

Written by bitsnark

November 5, 2010 at 10:23 am

Okamiden (NDS) Confirmed For EU Release On March 18th 2011

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And there was much rejoycing.

And a facebook app that could win you a 3DS, a copy of the game and sickingingly cute plushy things.

Take a look:

http://www.facebook.com/Okami

Written by bitsnark

November 2, 2010 at 4:25 pm

Kane and Lynch 2: Dog Days Review (Xbox 360)

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Sequels generally attempt to move their respective series or franchise forward in a positive direction even if the overall product remains weaker than what came before it. In such cases, this is usually done through the inclusion of new features or gameplay mechanics, which while they may or may not work in the grand scheme of things, still show a basic willingness to expand the existing formula and at least try to move things forward in a positive direction.

Unfortunately Kane And Lynch 2 eschews the above and instead presents us with an experience that not only fails to address anything that was wrong with the original title, but bafflingly regresses far enough past its mediocre predecessor to be considered completely unnecessary and out-dated.

In the same vein as its predecessor, K&L 2 is a third person cover shooter. That’s it. It’s a Tesco Value cover shooter with a three hour single-player gamespan and one that hopes to sustain your interest with its overwrought and poorly executed video nasty stylings.

Gone are the mildly interesting and inspired Heat esque heist sequences and buddy drama plot points from the first game and in its place is a pithy narrative which involves the medicated psychopath Lynch settling down in Shanghai with his ‘girlfriend’ whilst being involved in a large scale criminal deal with his newly arrived friend Kane.

Just as predictably, it all falls to pieces pretty quickly and whatever dialogue that previously gave the player any kind of connection to the tenuous-at-best storyline, is quickly overwhelmed by repeated F-Bomb carpet-bombings and other banal thug vernacular whose only prime requisite being that each sentence must have at least one instance of profanity contained within it.

At least in the original game, where the player took the role of Kane, the unbalanced Lynch seemed like a truly unstable AI personality; he would take bank workers hostage in a bank heist and then just start shooting people and screaming because he ran out meds. As the main character In Dog Days, he is reduced to a groan worthy depressive caricature of his former self; sorely lacking the volatile explosiveness that made him so entertaining in the first game while Kane just tags along shooting and swearing at things.

In addition to suffering immeasurably from the weight of the clumsy and school-boy level dialogue that has been cast across its narrow shoulders, the narrative itself is just completely devoid of emotional investment; instead playing up it’s ‘You-Tube chaser’ and video nasty aesthetics without a care in the world for anything remotely resembling a coherent story or anything even approaching a satisfying conclusion.

And there are just guns. That’s it. Just guns. Automatic or single-shot. There are no grenades, rocket launchers or even melee attacks of any kind. There isn’t even any body armour or other such protective considerations. Nope, cover is your only friend and you better get used to it since you both be spending an awful lot of time together.

While not truly a terrible game, the original Kane & Lynch did have a large number of flaws which nonetheless kept it chained to the altar of cover shooter mediocrity. Kane & Lynch 2 does nothing to rectify anything that went awry with the first game. Enemies are as dumb as a bag of rocks; either pressing toward you in a gleefully suicidal bid to end their uninspiring lives or they shuffle uncontrollably around cover, never seeming sure if they should be in cover or not.

Additionally, the lack of ‘oomph’ attributed to the guns and by proxy the impact that they create remains as lacklustre as before. Indeed, the only indicators which give you any idea that you have just offed a generic, gangland or Special Forces foe, are the poor ragdoll physics and the flickering of your crosshairs to a cross.

Multiplayer, like the previous title however, remains an intriguing, if notably shallow curiosity. The Fragile Alliance game mode makes a return and brings to the table two new modes in the imaginatively titled Undercover Cop and Cops & Robbers modes.

Like the first game, Fragile Alliance still has a small collection of players trying to put their hands on as much money as they can while eluding the fuzz and possible traitors from within their midst. Undercover Cop follows a similar blueprint with the sole difference a randomly chosen player takes the role of an undercover cop and must prevent the team from escaping. Cops & Robbers makes another marginal change to the original formula by having a group of player controlled police officers fighting against the criminals who plan to escape with the cash. New weapons may also be bought at the end of each match but really do little to change or further the multiplayer experience that has largely been brought over wholesale from the previous game.

Ultimately like most video nasties, when you get past the initial shock value the content is vapid and uninspiring, with any queasiness long since subsiding to the fact that you just wasted ninety minutes of your life watching a load of dross. Controversial though such video nasties may be, you at least felt like you were watching something cult and cool at the time because it was denied to you by the ratings board, here, older and hopefully wiser, we can all see this for what it is – a cynical attempt to cloak a terrible, terrible game in a shell that would hope to elicit the very same curiosity that we experienced in our less wiser years.

Good thing we’ve all moved on eh?

Kane and Lynch may be having their Dog Days, but developer IO Interactive’s output has certainly seen better ones.

Overall Score: 4.0

Written by bitsnark

November 2, 2010 at 11:06 am

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