Crystal Dynamics and their reboot of Tomb Raider came in to reintroduce the iconic Lara Croft to the world. The game serves as an origin story to explain how Croft evolved into the dual pistol wielding no nonsense adventurer we’ve grown to know and love.
In Tomb Raider, Croft finds herself stranded on a strange island after a shipwreck and is forced to defend herself from the animals and people lurking. Alone and wounded, Croft is portrayed in the early part of the game as vulnerable and even scared yet savvy enough to navigate her way through the hazardous terrain as she searches for her crew mates and for answers.
However, while the overall game is excellent it doesn’t come without a few faults. Namely con- tinuing the trend of purely single- player games having a multiplayer aspect tacked onto it and having it feel more like dead weight than a useful addition.
Mass Effect 3 was another game that brought in multiplayer and had fans fearing that it would come at the expense of the single- player experience. Admittedly, Mass Effect 3’s multiplayer was a pleasant surprise, and served as an exception to the rule.
While Mass Effect 3 may have gotten multiplayer right, even a year after its release the game’s controversial ending still causes strong reactions for appearing rushed and resorting to a deus ex machina of sorts. Since then, Bioware has provided additional content for the game culminating with the release of the final piece of DLC.
The Citadel DLC gives fans a bit of closure and ends things on a high note as it’s packed to the brim with humor, action and one last get together with all your favorite characters from the trilogy. It’s a complete tonal shift from the rest of the game’s “the world is ending” vibe, but the DLC makes sense within the context of the story as a much needed vacation gone awry in a hurry.
Though the DLC isn’t meant to replace the original ending of the game, it certainly feels like the end because with this Bioware has officially moved on, although Mass Effect 4 in undoubtedly in the works.
Many gamers are weary of the next iteration in the Mass Effect franchise not because they don’t have faith in Bioware to bounce back from that polarizing ending, but because they don’t have faith in the publisher, EA, who they feel caused the downfall of the series.
EA’s reputation took another hit upon the release of SimCity where the game was essentially rendered unplayable because the servers couldn’t handle the influx of gamers who were ready to play the game they waited ten years for.
To combat piracy, EA and developer Maxis attempted to make SimCity an online only game that players had to log in to enjoy, even if they wanted to play alone or on the road. That drew the ire of many though they were willing to look past that until they weren’t even able to play the game, or lost creations they spent hours working on.
The backlash was so large that Amazon put up a notice warning potential buyers about the server issues and also went against policy to offer refunds to disgruntled customers who downloaded the game. One reviewer summed up the overall experience by saying, “But buying this game? In my opinion, you would be wiser to take three twenties out of your wallet, and light them on fire.”
This may seem harsh, but for many, when it comes to EA, this is the straw that destroyed the camel’s back. EA has adopted a reputation of hurting the credibility of once beloved developers from Bioware, who caught flack for the ending of Mass Effect 3 and the lackluster Dragon Age 2, to Maxis and the hoopla surrounding SimCity. Not to mention that the Madden series is often cited as what happens when a company doesn't have any competition.
The PlayStation exclusive MLB: The Show series is one game that does its sport justice, and this year’s iteration once again knocked it out of the park. With its realistic game play and eye- catching graphics, MLB 13: The Show stands head and shoulders above MLB 2K13 which has been called a $60 roster update. That’s a disappoint to Xbox 360 owners who don’t have an alternative.
Gears of War: Judgment, a pre-quel to the Gears of War trilogy, could have softened the blow for
360 owners, but its multiplayer, a hallmark of the series, felt like a downgrade from previous titles as did the entire game overall. The adventures of Damon Baird and Augustus Cole, both part of The Kilo Squad that is put on trial, are a step down from the antics that occurred in the main trilogy and Judgment doesn't quite match up to its predecessors.
On the other hand Bioshock Infinite has drawn favorable comparisons to the original Bioshock game as opposed to the sequel that left a little to be desired. Infinite has been highly touted and comes highly recommended as a game does everything right, from graphics, to storytelling to game play all combined to make one unforgettable experience.