Here are my rankings of PS3/4 games I’m currently playing on a regular basis. All rankings are based on a 5 star system with 5 starts being a ‘must play’ game and a 1 star ranking being a ‘complete waste of time and money’.
Dragon Age Inquisition 4 1/2 out of 5 Stars Rated MA
Wow, just….Wow! The level of content on this game is absolutely amazing! Even if you race through the main storyline you’re still looking at around 50 hours of game time. Inquisition really combines the best of open world RPG with strategy/turn based gaming. The characters, as usual, are extremely interesting and engaging and actually participate in your decision making and the outcome of the story. Adding in your past history of the previous games really adds to the immersion when playing Inquisition. The storyline itself is very pleasing as well as dynamic. This isn’t like Mass Effect, if you make a decision early in the game it will come back to help or hurt you some time later on. The romance options are varied and this time around you don’t have the option of giving them gifts to win their approval. However, you can perform side quests for them that will eventually do the same thing. Just keep in mind that not every character will be your type so even if they have a high approval rating you still might not have a romance option.
I haven’t played much of the online coop version, but the game play is straight forward RPG hack and slash and your online character is separate from your campaign character. I can’t wait to see what they’re going to add for DLC. Hopefully they’ll give us some hints as to weather or not the next Dragon Age will continue with this storyline or strike out on it’s own.
Far Cry 4 4 out of 5 Stars Rated MA
This game has more content in the first ten minutes than all of Destiny combined! The storyline is pretty straight forward and the decision making between the factions is more personal preference than anything else. Really what Far Cry 4 is all about is shooting guns and finding more efficient ways to take over outposts and fortresses. If you played Far Cry 3 you’ll have no problem with the inventory and leveling systems since their almost identical. The game play is smooth, the graphics are excellent, and the open world is full of interesting places and NPCs. My only real complaint is that the story is not much different from past Far Cry games and that they really didn’t go out on a limb to give us anything new or interesting. However, I still find it much more enjoyable than any of the COD offerings and it’s about 5 times the content of Destiny without much of the grinding.
Destiny 2 1/2 out of 5 Stars
Update: 12/30/14 Dark Below DLC Expansion: It really, really sucks.
This game is a combination of Mass Effect and Borderlands, but completely lacks anything that made either of those games special. Yes, it’s pretty to look at and, yes, the gameplay is smooth for the most part, but its completely hollow. The story is convoluted at best and the constant repetition of meaningless missions and the inability to form a raiding party or communicate with other players in the main lobby is just plain stupid.
This was touted as an open world RPG, but it isn’t, and it was supposed to deliver an epic adventure, but it doesn’t. This is the most pointless FPS shooter I’ve seen in a long time and to make things even worse it’s paired with the same inept and broken PVP multiplayer system as COD: BLOPSII and Ghosts.
Activision has gutted would should have been the next Skyrim and instead delivered to the market a game less enjoyable than Duke Nukem Forever. I wonder just how long it will be until consumers wake up and demand more than what Activision is willing to deliver. It’ll be interesting to see just how many players hop from Destiny to COD: Advanced Warfare which is almost ready to hit the shelves as I write this. I do know one thing, it’ll be a long time before I spend my money on anything from Activision including COD:AW.
Call of Duty: Ghosts ** 2 out of 5 Stars
UPDATE 4/21/14: Well I’m at prestige level 9 and still can’t say that I like the game. Unless something radical changes in the overall game play this is likely my last post about COD: GHOSTS. The online play is so bad anymore it’s not even worth bitching about it.
There’s no doubt that this was a sales monster even though it fell well short of COD: Black Ops 2 sales numbers. Unfortunately, the reason may be that Ghosts isn’t any type of improvement for either the campaign or online multiplayer over BLOPS2. The single player campaign plays well, but the storyline is forced and most of the maps are generic FPS style locations that could be from any FPS in the last 5 years. If you’re just looking for a shooter until something better comes out you’ll be OK with Ghosts, but not impressed.
Where Ghosts really fails is with it’s online multiplayer platform. The maps are a real improvement over BLOPS2, but everything else is a disaster. If you’re like me and were hoping that dedicated servers would clean up matchmaking and lag issues from BLOPS2 you’ll be extremely dissapointed. Here are just a few of the outright fails with Ghosts online multiplayer:
Spawn Points: F If I could give it a lower grade I would. Even worse that Blops 2. Prepare to be spawn trapped/killed without mercy several times each game.
Matchmaking: F I can’t tell you how many times a good lobby was ruined by someone coming into the game late and wreaking havic because of a poor connection. Also, I’m in the middle of the US and have been teamed up with players in Europe, South America, and even once with someone in Australia.
Dedicated Servers: F At first there were very few host migrations or server crashes, but after the first DLC release it’s fairly common. It’s also really obvious that some players are getting a lot of game help when in a full game one players goes 30 -2 and everyone else is .500 or lower.
Cheating/Exploiting: F I’m not sure how they beta test the COD games, but there are so many exploits in every map you have to wonder what they actually fixed before the final version of the game. Also, you can report this all you want, but most of the cheaters simply run up their score and then quit just before the game ends so it makes it tougher to report them and as usual by the time they do get caught and ‘punished’ they just make up a new user account and keep right on going.
Character Design: F Ok, I don’t know why anyone thought it would be a good idea to let a sniper run around like they have a SMG or shotgun and quick kill everyone at close range, but this is really stupid. They’re really isn’t much reason to use any other weapon if you just want to be a punk. Another thing that goes along with this is the speed/sprint characters. Once you get ranked up you can move so fast you’re nearly invincible and invisible. I also believe that this adds to the lag issues as it’s very common to get killed by someone right in front of you that doesn’t appear until after your already dead.
In short, if the COD franchise it going to continue there needs to be a lot of improvement in the overall design of the online platform. It appears that the makers of the COD games are spread too thin and they should really take a look at focusing on improving one franchise. Retiring Ghosts for a few years and re-working the online segment for the next installment of BLOPS should be a top priority if they want to keep COD a top FPS.