Thursday, August 30, 2012

Gears of War: Judgment Announces New Free for All Multiplayer Mode

So anybody who has braved the exhilarating, yet extremely frustrating (at times), world of Gears of War multiplayer knows that it plays a lot like the campaign. You pop from cover to cover, waiting for that exact perfect moment to strike at your enemy. You spend a lot of time hiding and trying to outflank and outsmart your foes in order to gain a tactical advantage. While that is all fun and good, the next installment in the Gears of War franchise, Gears of War: Judgment, looks to take all that strategy and curbstomp it into the ground.

Enter free-for-all, the newest multiplayer mode in Gears of War: Judgment. The big difference here is that, as the name insinuates, everybody is fighting everybody. No teams, no help, no mercy. It's one big brouhaha of chainsaws, boomshots, digger launchers and bloody goodness. Instead of trying to gang up on your enemies, you basically just point and shoot because no matter who you see, what race they are (human or locust) or what character they are playing, they are your enemy and they will NOT hesitate to ram that retro lancer bayonet right through your gut and toss you to the side like a dirty towel.

While the multiplayer maps in the previous three Gears games have been designed for you to use cover, gain tactical advantages and outplay your opponents as a team, the maps in Judgment have been designed for FFA. In addition to that, these maps appear to be a bit smaller than some of the epic setpiece maps we saw in Gears of War 3. That makes FFA perfect as you probably won't be able to take two dive rolls without running into someone trying to cut you in half. Just hope you're the third player running into a dual between two others, allowing you to be THAT guy, you know, the one that comes in and just wipes out both guys who have be weakened by each other.

FFA also seems like it will be a good way for players to hone their Gears multiplayer skills. Most people, I find, tend to shy away from trying new things in Gears multiplayer because they don't want to let their team down. In FFA there are no teams so there is nobody that can get mad at you for going 1 and 10 three matches straight. This freedom allows you to experiment with different weapons and find out what combo of shotgun and assault rifle best fits your play style. Speaking of learning, there are a few changes to the mechanics of Gears of War in Judgment that differ from the previous games.

One thing that is different is that you no longer have to use the directional pad to switch between weapons, something a lot of players will be excited about. I can't tell you how many times I died because I thought I switched to my shotgun and ended up having my pistol out instead. The Y button is what you use to switch weapons now and throwing a grenade is as easy as tapping the left bumper. This may seem like standard controls for any other shooter out there, but seasoned Gears players may feel a little awkward at first.

FFA looks to be an amazing new addition to Gears and one that many players have been asking for. What's more is that there are still a lot of gameplay modes left for Epic to announce, further increasing the anticipation for the next game in the Gears of War franchise. We all knew that Gears of War 3 wouldn't be Epic's last outing with the series and we're extremely happy about that. Check the video below for a taste of what the new Free-for-All mode is all about.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Mass Effect 3's Leviathan DLC to Alter Game Ending

There has been a ton of controversy surrounding the ending of Mass Effect 3. BioWare compromised, however, by releasing an extended ending via DLC. While multiplayer DLC has been coming out pretty steadily, the first bit of single-player DLC is right around the corner. While it may seem like Shepard's story won't get easier with incoming DLC, BioWare is willing to compromise if you get the Leviathan add-on.

Completing the DLC will create an additional rift in your ending while also adding tons of Easter eggs, subtle changes and references to its story when you reach the Extended Cut conclusion. The Leviathan DLC pack will cost $10 and is coming out soon. Here's a brief rundown on the plot.

Admiral Hackett has been running black ops missions across the galaxy to hunt for an elusive creature known for killing Reapers. Nobody knows where it is, though when a Citadel scientist named Bryson picks up the trail, he is promptly murdered. After that, his loyal assistant blacks out and shoots himself, completely unaware of his actions (indoctrination perhaps?) From here its Shepard's job to track down The Leviathan.

Fans of the game have been hassling BioWare to make combat more difficult and The Leviathan DLC definitely ramps up the difficulty. Tight corridors make it difficult to plan strategies, especially when Brutes are charging at you left and right. Another intense moment comes from charging a door with power cells in order to open it. The tense part is that you have to continually go back for power cells as the power slowly drains away.

From early tests The Leviathan seems to be an action-packed, intense add-on to an already intense and action-packed game. I can't see this significantly influencing the overall ending of the story, though every additional detail just adds to the already incredibly rich story. The Leviathan DLC will cost you $10 when it is released.

Source: IGN - Leviathan Add-On Will Change Mass Effect 3's Ending
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