Saturday, April 28, 2012

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 Confirmed, Coming in November

Well, the moment you have all been waiting for (or not been waiting for) has finally arrived! Black Ops 2 has been officially confirmed. Many of you out there probably aren't surprised by this, especially considering the amount of leaks and rumors that have come out about the product in recent months, but at least now you can know 100% that the game is coming, whether you want it to or not.

The "official" announcement of the game isn't scheduled until May 1st when the first trailer of the game will air during the NBA Playoffs. However, thanks to some pre-order reservation cards that popped up at Target, we now know the official title and release date of the game. Like many speculated, the game will be simply titled Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and is set to hit (at least) the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 13, 2012.

Now as far as I'm concerned, the Call of Duty franchise has grown a little stale. I was completely in love with Modern Warfare 2 and its multiplayer components but I found myself growing tired of playing the same game with different maps and (some) weapons when Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3 came out. Granted, I did like Modern Warfare 3 loads better than I did Black Ops.

In my opinion, Black Ops was a complete and utter disappointment. The graphics were atrocious, the gameplay broken and the multiplayer irritating. Now I did like some of the new additions to multiplayer, mainly the betting system and the few new game modes you could partake in. Though even those weren't enough to keep me entertained. Even Nazi Zombies, the insanely addictive and popular multiplayer mode made famous in World at War, was terrible and I freaking loved zombies in WaW.

For me, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 seems like a quick way to cash in on the Call of Duty name while gamers wait for Modern Warfare 4 to come out. With multiplayer shooters like Battlefield 3, Gears of War 3 and the upcoming Ghost Recon: Future Soldier (the closed beta of which is now live) adding so much innovation to the genre you have to wonder how long CoD can keep pumping out the same game with a different paint job.
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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Star Wars: The Old Republic Legacy Update 1.2 Now Live!

Star Wars: The Old Republic Legacy
The highly anticipated game update 1.2 has finally gone live for Star Wars: The Old Republic making available new Operations, Flashpoints, PvP Warzones, gear and the all new Legacy System. Game update 1.2 is by far the largest update to hit BioWare's insanely popular MMO since the game launched back in December 2011.

One of the biggest updates to the game is the new Legacy system. The Legacy system in The Old Republic allows you to link together all of your characters on a particular server in a sort of family tree scenario. The first character you get to complete the game's first chapter (for my Jedia Sage it was around level 35) becaomes the "head of the family". From here every other character on your server can be linked to your main character via the Legacy system.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Legacy Family Tree

You can make all of your other characters related by making them siblings, children, adopted children, spouses, allies or rivals, allowing all those gamers out there who really want to make their own unique story to do it. However, you do get different unlocks through the Legacy system as well. One of the coolest unlocks you get is species unlocks. For every character you rank to level 50, that species then becomes available to every single class in the game.

For instance, the Sith Pureblood race is restricted to the Sith Inquisitor and Sith Warrior classes but if you rank up a level 50 Pureblood Inquisitor, then on your next playthrough, you can run as a Pureblood Smuggler or Pureblood Trooper. This feature was designed to make players want to create another character and go through the whole ranking process again and again. Although, if ranking one character was all you wanted to do, you can always buy the other species unlocks with in-game currency.

Also added with the Legacy system is Legacy gear. As your Legacy rank increases, you can get special Legacy gear specific to your Legacy. If you're running through as a Jedi Sentinel and you are rewarded with some Legacy gear that would be perfect for your Bounty Hunter character, you can always mail it to that character via the in-game mailing system. BioWare is planning on doing big things with the Legacy system in the future, which is hinted at in the game's new Legacy window, giving you something to look forward to.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Operation Explosive Conflict A new operation, Operation Explosive Conflict, and a new PvP Warzone, Novare Coast, have also been added with update 1.2. I've yet to play Operation Explosive Conflict but here's a little snippet about the Operation from The Old Republic's website:

In Explosive Conflict, the legendary warlord Kephess has united two warring armies under his flag, declaring Denova's independence and proclaiming himself its ruler. Now the Republic and the Empire, each battling for control over the planet's vital resources, send their most powerful heroes to battle through the warlord's army of soldiers and mercenaries before facing off against Kephess himself for control of Denova.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Warzone Novare CoastI have played the new PvP Warzone Novare Coast. Novare Coast plays like the Alderaan Warzone with three massive turrets that each team will be vying for control of. According to the website:

In the Novare Coast player-vs-player Warzone, opposing forces battle for control of three mortar turrets that overlook a strategically vital beachhead. Control of the turrets means control of the beach, which very well may decide who takes control of the contested world of Denova!

Teams will need to control two turrets to win, just like Alderaan, which means a combination of offense, defense and teamwork is key. Of all the PvP Warzones this is by far my favorite one. The bright, outdoor beach scenario is fresh and entertaining and the ability for multiple teammates to take control of the turrets simultaneously to speed up the process adds extra tactics to the game.

Star Wars: The Old Republic Legacy Tauntaun Ram PetAlong with update 1.2 there are a lot of bug fixes and tweaks as well as the addition of some new mini pets, one of which you get just as a reward for playing. As a special gift, players will receive the Legacy Tauntaun Ram Pet, which is both cute and terrifying at the same time. You will receive your pet via in-game mail by April 25th so keep checking your inbox for that. In addition to that, Level 50 players and players with a Legacy Level of 6 will also receive 30 days of playtime for free! Not a bad deal if I do say so myself. There are also Guild Banks and the addition of UI customization, something fans have been waiting for since launch.

Legacy update 1.2 is now live and will download automatically the next time you launch the game so jump back on The Old Republic and start living out your Legacy!

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