Monthly Archives: June 2017

The Crew 2

As I mentioned previously, the biggest feature that differentiates The Crew 2 from its predecessor is that players have a ton of options as to how they want to race. From piloting airplanes to riding a dirtbike, there are a ton of options to choose from. Switching between vehicles is super easy too, as the right analog stick can be used to automatically shift from a car to a plane or a boat without any load times. It’s amazing how a player can be speeding down the highway in a sports car one second, and then take flight without missing a beat.

Of course, this switching can be done for more silly purposes too. Want to drop a boat in the middle of a city? You can totally do that. It won’t be able to do much of anything without water, but you can just stare at all of the unhelpful computer controlled cars that seemingly don’t care that a boat is in the middle of the Bronx. I really enjoyed going from an airplane and trying to line it up so my car could drop a few hundred feet onto a street. Most of the time I missed my target and ran right into the wall of a building, but hey, you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.

While I was easily entertained by the antics I was getting up to in The Crew 2‘s open-world, I also was impressed by the variety of the actual races. The first race had me riding a motocross bike on a dirt track. This was a lot of fun as I was able to boost into jumps to make sure I could clear them, and take sharp corners to pass opponents. It probably won’t rival MXGP 3 in terms of courses, but as a fan of two-wheeled racing I came away impressed.

The next race was completely different, as I was racing a powerful car on an oval race track. This required a far different strategy compared to the winding turns of the dirt track I was just on, but the racing still felt great. I was really impressed with how no matter what vehicle The Crew 2 put me in, I was still able to adapt and have fun straightaway. I didn’t end up winning the race, but I had a good time nonetheless.

It’s not all about regular races, though, as the third event I participated in was a drift challenge in the streets of New York City. Here I was competing against another player to see who could score the most points while drifting around the city’s streets. While drifting requires some reckless driving, it’s also important to drive safely as a good drift doesn’t mean anything if it ends up with the player hitting a street bench. I learned this lesson the hard way, as there’s more of a learning curve to the drifting mechanics than the regular driving, but near the end of the event I had started to get a real handle on it. It was almost enough to comeback and win, but I had to settle for second place.

 

Rocket League Tips

Rocket League is a game that is easy to play but hard to master. Many of the pros have thousands of hours in the game. For someone who is just jumping in or has been playing for a while and just wants to be better, watching the pros could be very intimidating. It may feel like you will never even be close to that level. However, with a  little bit of practice and a little bit of determination I believe many people can be quite good at rocket league. That is why I have compiled a list of 10 tips that will make you a better rocket league player. This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the tips that will make you good at Rocket League. It is a very extensive game even for how simple it seems. These are simply some of my own personal Rocket League tips to help you up your game.

  • DO NOT BALL CHASE.

I repeat DO NOT BALL CHASE. When you are new to the game it may sound like a crazy concept that you shouldn’t always drive towards the ball every second and you shouldn’t always hit the ball every time you can. There is many times where you should simply defend rather than try and hit the ball. There are also times where you should be there for the pass or be there as backup when your teammates are pressuring the ball. It is important to know that you do not always have to be going after the ball. This will make you a better defender, attacker, and a much better teammate (ball chasers always run into their own team).

  • Practice Aerials

Aerials are an important aspect in Rocket League. Early on it may seem like you need to aerial for only a few balls a game. But as you get better and progress in the game, you will realize that if the ball is in the air and you can get their first, you should almost always be in the air. At a higher level most of the game feels like it is played in the air. If you practice going up for aerials early on, when the game develops to where most of the balls are in the air, you will be ready.

  • Do the Custom Training Levels

When I started playing rocket league there was only three training Levels: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. These trainings were vital to teaching me the very basics of the game. Now there are hundreds if not thousands of custom training levels available. These will help you practice shots, saves, and aerials so that you can better hit them in game. However, do not become dependent on the them. The shots that you hit in these training levels will rarely happen the same way in game as they do in the training. You simply need to take what you learned in the training levels and apply that to the game.

  • Mess with Settings

There are two major things that I believe you need to change. One is the camera settings. This is important. The default camera settings are far from the best camera settings. You will want to change the camera to what works for you best. To get a good starting point I will list the camera settings that are most common among the pros right now. It is also important that you turn camera shake off. This will make the game run smoother but also will not jar you as much when getting bumped or when someone gets demo’d. The second setting that I believe you should change is your air roll button. This is a button that many people may have completely missed if you did not do the training. When you are in the air the default air roll button x on Xbox one or Square on PS4 will allow you to roll left or right. However, this makes it hard to boost and air roll at the same time which becomes vital for aerials. If you move air roll to Left Bumper instead, you can boost and air roll. Many people have different ideas for what air roll should be so, if you are curios you could look up what other players use.

Black Desert Online

Before you begin, you need to know that Black Desert Online isn’t just your average MMORPG by any means. The game is mechanically one of the largest and most difficult games to learn for those whom aren’t accustomed to tutorials. If you’re just getting started, the game is one that has a lot of great ideas, many of them are right under the games hood, which makes some of its core systems rather enjoyable. While it’s one of the best out there, there’s no doubt that the learning curve is steep, and one that will send players reeling when they begin to learn crafting, trading, and the base bit of adventuring.

Just like all MMO’s, you already know that your character class is one you’ll select at the very beginning. Unlike most MMO’s, however, Black Desert Online approaches the game a bit differently than others. While we certainly could talk about character creation and classes all day long, it’s something the game will explain to you quite well, and in-depth when doing so. With that noted, we will be taking a look at something a bit more serious, a few things that you need to know when first getting started in the overly complex, but rather enjoyable title.

Instead, just focus on the ones that the Black Spirit gives you for now. Remember, it’s there to help you, and like games such as Guild Wars 2, he or she’s going to push you forward so that you can make way through the games base campaign. The Black Spirit won’t cut any corners with getting you started. It’ll begin by having you learn the games core mechanics. These include walking, running, auto-traveling, and even how to level up. When the spirit doesn’t have quests for you to do? Feel free to grab a few that have an exclamation mark. These quests are integral pieces of your adventure and will help you work on moving forward with it.

If you do decide to grab a few side quests, remember, they won’t increase your level, but they do come with something called “contribution experience”. These quests can give you thinks such as special items, inventory space, or even teach you something new. More importantly, these points are good because they make work of hired NPC’s within the game. They make these guys do all the heavy lifting for you, and trust me, you will want that in the long run.

Crackdown 3

Quirky visuals, super-powered crime fighters, high octane action, a traversable city full of enemy grunts to fill full of lead; when you break it down into its constituent parts, the similarities between Crackdown 3 and Agents of Mayhem are strong and many, and with that in mind it’s no surprise that Microsoft decided to put the brakes on their upcoming open-world shooter and give it some space following the recent release of Volition’s similarly themed crime-fighting third-person action-adventure. Of course, there will have been additional reasons for the delay, but giving Crackdown 3 room to breathe seems reason enough, regardless of what else may or may not have pushed the game into 2018.

That’s not to say that they’re exactly the same, because they’re not. Most notably Crackdown 3is looking to the Cloud to power certain parts of its explosive experience (although the multiplayer-focused Wrecking Zone wasn’t something we were able to see for ourselves at Gamescom), but there are other things that set them apart. You can, for example, pick up a lot of things in the world and fling them around, and that’s something we did many, many times during our two playthroughs of the Gamescom demo that Microsoft hosted at its booth in Cologne. If a car door was blown off, we picked it up and hurled it at a bad guy, and when a civilian slumped to the floor after a misplaced grenade ended their innocent existence, we picked up the corpse and sent it hurtling into a crowd of advancing security guards (which, when you think about it, is a bit grim). We wasted no time in grabbing anything and everything that dropped around us, and used these makeshift projectiles to take out as many enemy grunts as we possibly could.

There’s a lot of verticality in the world too, and collecting orbs lets your character improve various abilities, for example, letting us jump to new heights and explore the city above the streets. Buildings are also constructed with helpful ledges perfect for a jet-powered agent to grab hold of as they look to find a vantage point from which to survey the area. We struggled to find finesse as we climbed up to the tops of towers, but it’s possible to use the hand holds to climb up pretty high, combine that with the jetpack and double jump, and then use that elevated position to gauge the challenges below. Jumping down from a lofty perch also allows you the pleasure of hitting the ground at high velocity, the resulting shockwave sending anyone caught in the area of effect flying in all directions.

One thing we did like was the fact that you can pick up the weapons your enemies drop, and we found ourselves regularly mixing things up, particularly when the heavies showed up; the shotgun seemed a much more efficient way of dispatching these more stubborn adversaries than the assault rifle, although a handy lock-on feature allowed us to concentrate rapid fire attacks before moving onto the next. During our demos we focused on taking out a couple of enemy strongholds and clearing them out as quickly as possible before heading off in search of even more adventure. Destruction is a keyword, and it’s thanks to weapons like the Singularity Gun (which fires a black hole that in turn sucks in items nearby, often to explosive effect) that players will be able to really make their mark on the city.