Plugged In

‘Destiny 2’ impressions — The first week


“Destiny 2,” the ambitious first-person shooter from Bungie and Activision, has been out in the wild for a week now. During that time, I’ve been doing my part to return Light to the universe and, of course, collect as much sweet loot as possible.

Though “Destiny 2,” like its predecessor, is largely designed to be played with a group, I have again decided to take the lone-wolf approach to experiencing all the game has to offer. I’ve spent the first week focusing on the campaign and tackling an assortment of story-driven side quests available, known as Adventures. I’ve also lent my rifle to helping other Guardians take down bad guys in large-scale public events — not to make friends, of course, but to collect that lovely loot and level up my own Guardian so that I can continue on my mission.

I’ve not yet finished the campaign, so I’m not going to assign an official score to “Destiny 2” today. Instead, I thought I’d offer up a few observations from my time with my review copy thus far:

Continue reading…

Review: ‘Battlefield 1’


While other first-person shooters continue to push into the near-future and beyond, developer DICE has taken a step back with its “Battlefield” franchise. Back in time, that is.

Set during the first World War, “Battlefield 1” stands out from the crowd by offering a more grounded shooting experience that draws heavily from the source material with era-specific weapons, vehicles and settings. Indeed, playing “Battlefield 1” is an adrenaline-fueled history lesson that manages to pay reverence to the tens of thousands who fought and died during that brutal conflict while still providing an intense gaming experience.

This is especially true during the campaign, which plays out in a series of stand-alone missions centered around specific characters and their respective stories. Each of these bite-sized adventures also help serve as an introduction to the skills you’ll need to be successful in the game’s multiplayer modes. Whether you’re taking on the role of a hotshot fighter pilot, driving a tank through the German lines or facing insurmountable odds as a member of the Harlem Hellfighters, the single-player portion of “Battlefield 1” is both a learning tool and a painful reminder of the horrors of war.

While the campaign certainly deserves your attention, the real star here is the vast multiplayer suite.

Continue reading…

Make no mistake about it — I love Ubisoft’s “Far Cry” franchise. And when the latest installment, “Far Cry Primal,” was announced last October, I was genuinely excited. “Far Cry” with perhaps a dash of “Apocalypto” and woolly mammoths? Sign me up.

What intrigues me most about “Primal” is its unique setting, and how the shift back in time should fundamentally change how you approach situations within the game. The “Far Cry” series helped define the open-world first-person shooter genre, but with “Primal” taking place during the Stone Age, this clearly isn’t going to be a typical FPS. And that opens up a world of possibilities.

I’m hoping to see a greater emphasis on crafting weapons from the materials you scavenge. I want to see more stealth options available since going into a fight with guns blazing isn’t exactly going to work in a world without guns. Fire has always played a key role in “Far Cry,” and I’m hoping to see it become an even more integral tool in “Primal.”

The ability to control animals is another feature that could be unbelievably cool — if implemented well. Taming predators and using them as weapons against your enemies? Again, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Hopefully there’s a honey badger roaming around somewhere to sic on unsuspecting foes, because those little guys were relentless in “Far Cry 4.”

If everything comes together, “Far Cry Primal” could become one of the year’s most exciting titles. After all, the struggle to remain at the top of the food chain isn’t something you find in most games. Luckily we won’t have to wait much longer to find out as the game launches Feb. 23 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

‘Doom’ launching May 13

Publisher Bethesda Softworks has revealed that the next installment in the pioneering first-person shooter franchise “Doom” will launch May 13 on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC.

Developed by id Software, “Doom” will again pit players against the forces of Hell in a “brutally fun and challenging modern-day shooter experience.” Multiplayer is, unsurprisingly, a major focus with several different game modes and a new SnapMap game editor that allows player to create and share content.

The studio also announced plans for a collector’s edition of the game, which includes a 12-inch statue of a Revenant demon and a copy of the game packaged in a “battle-worthy metal case.” The collector’s edition will retail for $119.99.