Tag Archives: Christopher Stahler

LittleBigPlanet 3 Review

It doesn’t come as a surprise to me when I say Little Big Planet is back and better than ever. I mean, with 3 new characters, completely new story, new customization, and the ability to play all of the player created maps from the original? Yeah, Little Big Planet is back and it’s better than ever. If you have loved the previous installments, as I have, then there really isn’t a reason for you to not buy Little Big Planet 3. The game offers new characters, new styles of play, and new ways to enjoy your time. Little Big Planet 3 is the best game in the installment for many reasons, but it’s also the biggest one as well.

 

The graphics may not feel like a huge difference than Little Big Planet 2, but there is as the game has a much more crisp feel. Not only that, but Little Big Planet 3 runs in full 1080p on the PS4. While the game may not win any awards for it’s graphics, they are beautiful in their own way. While the PS4 runs in 1080p, the PS3 version is scaled to 720p. While the graphics aren’t anything revolutionary, the game does remain quite pleasing visually. Overall it feels and looks very crisp as a whole. The small details are back and naturally they are better than ever. The levels are beautifully crafted and offer some very great variety between them. It’s actually interesting to see the levels designed for the new characters you get as well, because they look nothing like anything you’ve seen.

The 3 new characters we have bring out the variety of levels and also shift your gameplay up drastically. We have Oddsock, the adorable sock dog thing, who can somewhat climb up walls, bounce between them, oh, and you can also dress him up like a horse. Then we have Toggle, the man with the plan who can go from big to small. Finally we have Swoop, the bird-like sock who can fly through levels. While these characters may not seem like they have much of an impact, they really do. Not only do they have their own unique customization options, which are awesome btw, they have levels specifically designed for them. There are also levels that seem to have specific areas for them as well. The characters are overall awesome and fit perfectly in to the world. It will be interesting to see how custom levels are designed for them.

Sackboy and friends

The custom levels are also back, in more ways than one though. As the game is backwards compatible and allows you to play EVERY custom level from the previous games. Awesome , right? Well that’s not all for custom levels. As they have actually shifted some things for the levels this time around allowing for more things to be done. For instance, you can now make top down levels. You can also craft trailers for your game as well! It’s interesting additions like these that add to the livelihood of the game, as half the selling point of the game can be considered the community creations. There are millions of these levels and Little Big Planet 3 is surely to spawn millions more. The top down levels also grant you the ability to customize the background, as that’s the majority of your canvas for the top down levels.

One of the game’s many levels

With new characters the customization with your Sock person is back and better than ever. As you aren’t just customizing for 1, it’s for 4 now. The customization is different from every character as well. You have the same style for your regular sock boy, but the new characters seem to have very different styles. Oddsock is easily my favorite, as you can dress him up as some really awesome things. Want to be an alligator, sure, why not? A horse, a robot dog, or whatever else tickles your fancy. It’s just really interesting to see how these pieces will fit on him. The customization for everyone else is just as great, I just didn’t expect Oddsock to be so awesome. The ability to make your Sock person look ridiculous, awesome, or serious is still present and that shouldn’t come as a surprise to many people.

Final Verdict:

Little Big Planet hasn’t exactly had any major issues with it’s last installment, so it may not come as a surprise when I say this is as good as a game as it’s predecessors. Luckily though, Little Big Planet 3 doesn’t stop at just as good, it soars above it. With it’s new additions to the series and it’s sheer size it has earned that right. With backwards compatibility that adds millions of levels from the start, it’s hard to say that the previous 2 installments had this much to do at the start of their life. With new depth to the level creation, some awesome new characters, improved graphics, and amazing levels, why wouldn’t any fan of the series pick this up? There really isn’t any reason I can see. I saw a few glitches, but according to my press release they will be fixed with the day one patch. Little Big Planet 3 is back and it’s bigger than ever. There’s little to no reason for fans of the series to skip out on this addition.

 

Official Trailer:

 

Overall Score: 9.5/10

RGN Rating: Platinum Game

Developer: Sumo Digital

Publisher: Sony computer Entertainment

Available Now On: PS4 (Played), PS3

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of the game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20141118 and was last modified on 20141206 .

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare Review w/ 2 Authors

Going in to a game with little to no expectations is one of the best things you can do. It’s hard to do that with Call of Duty games, as they are constantly hyped or constantly bashed. There seems to be no middle ground and it’s a shame. As the new Advanced Warfare isn’t the best Call of Duty to ever come out, but it’s far from the worst as well. It manages to change up the combat just enough to make it feel somewhat unfamiliar. This may be because I have not played a Call of Duty intensely since Modern Warfare 2, but this version has managed to push it to a new level. While it’s not a perfect game, it definitely should reel in some of the older crowd back in for a bit.

We won’t be going over the Single-player here as it will have it’s own standalone review. This one is all about the online mode! It’s online does just enough to make people return. The jet packs and your Exo’s abilities do enough to change up the way you play. The cloak is one that really does it, a sit allows you to be virtually invisible for a short duration, but if your enemies get up close they will more than likely see you. The exos somewhat act like a perk, but asides from that there really aren’t many perks to be had.

What does remain rather impressive is that in all the years, in all of the installments, the kill cam has always remained inaccurate. It’s rather impressive as it almost is never accurate in the kills. What’s new to this installment as well is another annoyance, the melee inaccuracy. I can’t tell you how many time sit has not worked for me. I have stood directly over someone as they lay motionless, attempted to melee them, and nothing. Making it somewhat as inaccurate as the kill cams, it’s an impressive addition to the game though.

The biggest issue aside from that is that the maps have returned to almost the same size as Modern Warfare 3. Which I hated, but the maps a lot better done here. There are more ways to go, more ways to jump, and more places to get shot in the back from. It’s not as terrible a sit would be in a normal Call of Duty, but I still think bigger maps would have made the game a lot better. I admittedly get angry at this game 90% of the time, as my guns never seem to work and said anger is also aided by the inaccurate kill cams. That needs to be the next thing addressed really, as I believe 8 games have had kill cams and they are still annoyingly inaccurate. The maps though are very different from previous installments because they don’t feel the need to be big with the movement being so different. You can traverse a lot differently this time around and it’s rather exciting.

While some people may call it a Titanfall rip off, it doesn’t come off that way to me. As the Goliath is significantly different than an actual Titan and it feels that way. It feels much more vulnerable in that sense as well. The biggest issue might not be that it’s a rehash, it’s a clone, or any of that. The biggest issue is that the game suffers from a seriously lack of options when it comes to online. The game does have a good amount of customization options for your soldier. It’s not anything to rival RPGs, but it feels like more than in any of the previous installments. With a good amount of preset characters to choose from you also unlock articles of clothing as well. You can make your character look somewhat unique and that somewhat surprises me. Luckily for us, the emblem system is back as well. I have yet to see a penis or a swastika, so that’s a victory… but I am sure I will come across one here soon.

The online does just enough to pull players back in. It’s new traversal system has done this outdated and rehashed franchise a real service as older players will find out. You somewhat have to actually learn how to play the game all over again as things really have shifted the play in to a different direction. Is it the best Call of Duty ever made? No,I feel like Call of Duty 4 was and still is the best. The biggest issues with this one though are the map sizes, the inaccurate melee and kill cams, the lack of perks, and the lack of dedicated servers. These are all problems that have persisted in the franchise for a while and they really need to end. While Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare isn’t the best FPS or Call of Duty, it’s definitely more than I expected.

The most unfortunate thing for users is the season pass has returned to the ridiculous price, $50. Even Activision doesn’t take it seriously as it is advertised as “4 DLC Packs 1 Great Price*” which to me indicates that they do not believe it’s a great price, because it isn’t. Just like in previous games, there are overpowered guns as well, this was expected.It doesn’t seem quite fair that zombie players will have to purchase the $50 season pass just to get more of a taste. It’s also somewhat unfair to only include 13 compact maps and then charge $15 for packs of 4.

Additional Review Notes:

Jon Ireson, Editor-In-Chief discusses the campaign portion of Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare:

Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare’s campaign mode attempts to put the powerful emotion and cinematic intensity of Hollywood Action films back into the COD franchise, and to its credit nearly succeeds entirely. Acting is good at the start but then Kevin Spacey’s character begins to feel at times like he’s over-reacting which feels fake. This is because, without giving away any major spoilers, the plot twists way too soon. The game starts out with a relate-able Kevin Spacey that players can almost understand the genius of before fearing his army Atlas’ horrifying destruction. We don’t get to hear that side of his character out long enough though to really seal the bond to this story mode, which in its own right is full of spectacular moments that make you feel fully alive and as if you’re an awesome hero in a real-world setting busting caps in fools for the greater good. Once Spacey’s character goes over the edge though, it doesn’t feel the same. He seems like a raving lunatic and it leaves you feeling much more disconnected from the game since it no longer feels like a real-world setting.

As far as gameplay goes, things are vastly improved over old campaigns. The aspect of ranking up in a story campaign are finally realized in Advanced Warfare. The game has changed, and changed enough to where it actually matters. Exo Suits come with abilities as Chris has described above and in the campaign they are given a piece at a time based on your performance as well as the mission at hand. Watching which parts of the suit are live by a diagram of your spine flashing before a mission helps add to the immersion a bit and is a nice touch for campaign mode as well. Musically and visually the game’s campaign flows with its gameplay properly. Sledgehammer Games might have had a hard time proving themselves to me, but this campaign was worth giving them a chance. It’s awesome.

Lots of vehicle driving, unexpected moments, Michael Bay level explosions and rapid moment-to-moment happenings, and did we mention 60 frames? Yeah, that’s a thing you might want to know about. It’s still 60 frames per second, thank god. Veteran mode is a bit too easy, making me feel like more of a challenge should have been offered off the bat. Graphically everything looks excellent on the Xbox ONE, especially when we consider this is a new game engine based on the foundation of old COD engines. Old COD engines of course, have been heavily modified versions of Quake and id engines from the golden days of shooter gaming.

Sledgehammer Games really went all out with improving the code though. This game’s animation and rendering system are solid and as next-gen as it gets. After seeing the launch of Call of Duty Ghosts and reviewing the game at a 6 it’s easy to see that Advanced Warfare is a much higher quality game in terms of Co-Op, Multiplayer, and Campaign modes.

Exo Challenges in Campaign as I mentioned above add a great deal of engagement to the player in addition to the rich storytelling found in Advanced Warfare. For those that are reading this and know nothing of the plot, players are inducted into a private military corporation / army called Atlas and given a cybernetic second chance at the soldier’s life. The chance of a lifetime if you ask me…

Parting notes before I let Chris come in with his Final Verdict on Advanced Warfare; there’s a very good variety of enemy behavior in this game when compared to past COD’s. This is easily the best COD campaign we’ve seen in recent years. Shootouts while mid-freeway and incredibly action-packed moments help prove that this game stays true to its classic arcade style shooter roots and core. The cinematic quality of Advanced Warfare successfully keeps Activision up to date with other major AAA publishers putting out more emotional and film-like content such as Sony. The trend for a more emotionally rich game industry focusing on video games as an art medium doesn’t have to come at the cost of awesome action, fun gameplay, and replay value. Thanks Sledgehammer and Acti for showing us that.

Final Verdict:

Christopher Stahler:

I think this is only half of a revitalization of the series, it is fun and can stand on its own two feet, but the pre-existing issues are what continue to hold back the series. Whether this be the fake promise of dedicated servers, small maps, overpowered guns, or a rip off for a Season Pass, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare isn’t a bad game, but feels like it needs more value to it.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 7.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Bronze Game

Developers: Sledgehammer Games

Publisher(s): Activision

Available Now On: XO | PS4 | 360 | PS3 | PC

Played On: Microsoft Xbox ONE

Review copy info: Two physical copies of the game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20141112 and was last modified on 20141112 .

Assassin’s Creed Unity Review

I haven’t fully beaten an Assassin’s Creed game since the 2nd installment. I would lose interest in the game far too quickly for several reasons. This series hasn’t been able to captivate me since that title. Black Flag is a toss up, as I ran out of time to play it. Assassin’s Creed Unity is a somewhat different experience for me as I am able to play for hours on end without falling over due to boredom, so in that sense we are seeing improvement.

While Unity doesn’t perfectly capture the darkness that truly was the French Revolution, it does a great job at immersing the player through its story and helps bring back players by adding Co-Op. Sadly, Unity also suffers from a lot of the woes of previous Assassin Creed games. It doesn’t do much in terms of gameplay  to add to the franchise, and sadly you won’t see any naval combat in this installment. Unity did manage to hold me for a few hours at a time every session consistently, which other Creed games fail miserably at, but not much is to be expected aside from that. Players who took a big LEAP OF FAITH (<-) on this installment may be left feeling somewhat disappointed.

The graphics are a rather decent step up from what I saw in Black Flag, this was somewhat to be expected. Where the technological jump really comes from here is the crowd, as it’s full of people. The issue? The performance is not steady. I don’t think there will ever be a time where Ubisoft is known for their rock solid frame-rate performance, but if there is then it’s definitely not going to be because of this game. The graphics themselves aren’t the issue, the issue is that the game struggles to pull 30 frames at a constant rate. I don’t believe it reached a solid 30 FPS for either system nor even for higher end PC’s. If this is unacceptable for your eyes, don’t even bother with the game.

This trend is an increasing one for my experiences with Ubisoft games. While the sheer amount of people in a crowd during Unity’s gameplay is rather impressive, the price paid is dealing with a shitty frame-rate the entire length of the game. The game’s beauty is marred by shoddy optimization. I have not seen or heard of a steady frame-rate for this game on any platform. A good thing to come from this though are the animations. The animations are a rather huge step in the right direction for many as the Mo-Cap in game is extremely impressive. So obviously, Ubisoft knows what they’re doing and just needs to get this frames per second stuff fixed to really show off what they can do.

Where Assassin’s Creed Unity really holds player is the gameplay. While there aren’t too many new features to be had, it is worthwhile to go through the Co-Op missions with friends, that’s really the big deal here. It’s interesting to experience the game with other players. I am sure this is something really enjoyable for players who have people to actually play with it will be enjoyable, but if you are the loner type, there really isn’t much new. Black Flag brought back, improved upon, and gave us some new things, but Unity doesn’t seem to do that. It won’t add too much for players who don’t want to experience Co-Op. After 6 installments though this is somewhat to expected, it’s kind of getting on it’s last legs as far as features come. What’s also not too surprising is they took out the emphasis off of the boats. With Rogue out the same day, it’s not really a surprise that they took out the boats. Also, let it be known that the French Revolution did have naval battles.

The place where Assassin’s Creed somewhat shines is it’s story. Unity really isn’t that much different, as it has a very interesting story in one of the darkest times in history. This time around we have a somewhat odd Romeo & Juliet feel, as our protagonist is in love with a Templar, how charming! Where it doesn’t quite shine though is in the somewhat bland missions. The Co-Op missions I played were fine and dandy, but they don’t take up the entire game. The story missions just aren’t that great and sadly they don’t do much to hold your attention at a constant rate. Some of the missions are very enjoyable, while others seem to drag on with little to no excitement. The issue with Assassin’s Creed is that the series feels rather drawn out at this point, it hasn’t done much to really shift the experience in some time and the one thing that really did that (naval combat) was taken out.

Final Verdict:

Assassin’s Creed Unity isn’t a bad game by many means. It’s a somewhat enjoyable experience that can hold the player to their console for a few hours without break, but it won’t see many binge players. It’s most impressive leap forward is on the animations, there is one kiss in particular that has shaken a lot of people, it’s because of how realistic it is. To quote someone who put it perfectly: “I will say the faces and mo-cap quality is excellent, it actually has a kiss that doesn’t look like 2 robots rubbing their faces together, so there’s that.” – Total Biscuit.

The sheer number of AI in the crowds is something to gawk about as well, it’s really impressive. What isn’t very impressive is Unity’s not so stable frame-rate, its bland missions, its removal of a few AC gameplay aspects, and the fact that there’s nothing really new in this game at all. While most will complain about the frame rate, my biggest issue doesn’t really lie there. My issue lies on the somewhat stale game that Assassin’s Creed has become, with the series at 8 games, Ubisoft needed to do something pretty big to revitalize things and Co-Op just isn’t good enough.

While the Co-Op is an interesting addition to the game, the missions aren’t exactly anymore lively than the single player missions after a few runs. Assassin’s Creed Unity won’t revitalize your love for the series, but if you still enjoy the game it might be able to hold your attention. It’s not a terrible Assassin’s Creed game, but it’s not the game that will reel in every person burnt out on the series either. If you enjoy the original games you may enjoy this as well, because despite all of it’s flaws Unity does hold true to the earlier character of this series.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 7 / 10

RGN Rating: Bronze Game

Developers: Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher: Ubisoft

Available Now On: XO | PS4 | PC

Played On: Sony PlayStation 4

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of the game was provided to the author by the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20141112 and was last modified on 20141119 .

Sunset Overdrive Review

It’s hard to describe this game as a whole, it’s as if Insomniac Games decided to mix several awesome games together and make an even ‘awesomer’ game. Welcome to the Awesomepocalypse, where we make up words and life isn’t nearly as boring. Sunset City has been taken over by some of the weirdest mutants of all time and the culprit behind it all? An energy drink. Sunset Overdrive combines some awesome gameplay mechanics, with an entertaining story, interesting art, and some awesome customization. It’s a game that takes away from other games, but still manages to hold it’s own and it stands tall.

The gameplay is such an odd mix, at first it looked as if Sunset Overdrive might get old after a while, but during my stay in Sunset City I am surprised to say that I have not been bored once. I some times just grind around and about for fun, because it’s awesome. The gameplay throws hordes and hordes of enemies at you and the more diverse your play-style, the better you become. As your style level unlocks some interesting perks and you unlock more by doing this. The game sets you up with a variety of interesting weapons, amps for those weapons, and traps.

Its alternate modes, challenges, and story set up an interesting game that doesn’t have a dull moment. One of the most interesting things you won’t see mentioned elsewhere is the respawn system. As it kicks you back in with style. I’ve seen my guy come out of a coffin all Dracula style, come down from a rope (assuming it’s from a helicopter or something), some futuristic portal type deal, Star Trek teleportation style, Portal, and a couple of others. The online during E3 was rather basic, but during it’s final release they improved upon it drastically. Originally it was only the defense, but now you build up the Chaos meter by completing multiple missions. The Chaos meter determines the difficulty of the defense.

For example, my first run was about 90%, we had meh hordes rushing towards us, 3 Herkers, and it wasn’t exactly difficult. Our 2nd run however, was much different with the Chaos running at 160%. We were introduced to about 6-10 Herkers, overwhelming Hordes, and a more intense experience. The mode wasn’t difficult, but we were in the first district and even then it’s rather rewarding, as my level 1 gun jumped to level 3 in round.

The story is something to be interested in as well. It feels somewhat like Borderlands, with some ridiculously hilarious moments, but there are also some serious moments as well. It’s the type of story that reels you in to the characters through comedy and then gives you a deeper understanding of them by switching out to a more serious tone.

While the serious tone doesn’t happen often, it’s still present in the game and it gives you that deeper look and connection. The story can’t help but be ridiculous and it’s truthfully a relief. As games go for the more serious tone it’s always refreshing to see one that doesn’t want to follow the crowd. While Borderlands has done this, it’s a genre that has plenty of room to grow. The game is always breaking the 4th wall and is doing or saying something ridiculous. Even the tutorials are rather ridiculous as they break the 4th wall throughout. The game’s story is also complimented by it’s ridiculous customization and awesome art style though. It has a ridiculously satisfying ending as well, it’s awesome from start to finish.

The art is similar to the story really, as games are always attempting to tackle more realistic visuals. These aren’t the most realistic, they aren’t the most detailed, but they do the job and they do it right. The art in the game is something else refreshing though and I love it. It fits the story and compliments the game in every way. It’s really the perfect style for the game. The graphics for this style are the best I’ve seen, but they aren’t used very often. The character models are very well done and the OD look extremely interesting.

The variants of the OD are always creepy and interesting to look at as well. The game offers 3 factions for you to get murdered by the OD, Fizzco, and Dicksmokes (Actually Scabs, but Insomniac’s Senior Community Manager has an interesting nickname for them). The game just has this beautiful look to it with the art style done oh so perfectly. It’s ridiculous art is only furthered by it’s ridiculous customization.

What naturally makes Sunset Overdrive a much more enjoyable experience is it’s customization. During my stay I played as a big man with a lumberjack beard, track shorts, a cape, goggles, and elf ears. While he didn’t look normal, he was the perfect video game version of me that ever was. While you can’t do much in terms of your body type you can do a ton of things for your clothing.

They give you a wide variety of things to choose from. You can be serious, whacky, or seriously whacky. What’s fun is that no matter what you decide, you will always be insulted by the shop keeper! While you can only select from presets on your face and body type, it does rather well with the clothing. The odd thing is that they decided to preset the voice actors as well, I would have loved to choose a different one, while mine does his work, it would have been nice to have the option.

While Sunset Overdrive isn’t awesome it does manage to be something completely different, in the spirit of making up words, Sunset Overdrive is FUAWESOME, F*cking Awesome. It’s legitimately the best IP this generation. It has a whacky story, great customization options, and it basically sets up a rather high expectation for new IPs to come. While most games won’t follow Sunset Overdrive’s footsteps, it’s a rather impressive step forward and it remains enjoyable throughout the entire game.

The only complaints I have are the story, while fun & awesome, is seemingly all over the place and it’s music doesn’t fit at times. It’s online at times can be rather easy and chaotic as well, but with the right group I can see it being rather enjoyable. It’s a game I can grind on for hours and have.

Final Verdict:

To the people calling it Sunset Overhype, I implore you to give the game an actual chance, as it turns out to be Funset Over… drive. Anyway, what Sunset Overdrive has done is given the Xbox One an interesting and unique game in the AAA season. While it is a blend of some other games, it still manages to hold it’s own and it does it properly. From the looks of it, Sunset Overdrive could spawn one of the more interesting series in recent years.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 9.5 / 10

RGN Rating: Platinum Game

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Available On: Xbox ONE Exclusively

Review Copy Info: The author of this article received a digital copy of this game from the publisher for the purpose of this review.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20141027 and was last modified on 20141027 .

Elder Scrolls Online Review

Alright let me start off by saying this review is for leveling through 1-50. The game is not even half way over for me as I explore Veteran Ranks and even with that said I have over 5 days of time played. I can easily say that there is no other MMO like TESO that has brought me this much binge playing thus far. I have played few games in between and have craved the game when I am not on it. My sleep schedule has taken a toll as hours fly by and I am never aware of the time. The Elder Scrolls Online is almost exactly how I want it to be. It has the exploration I seek, the thrilling PvP I crave, and a crafting system that actually takes time. I was not very excited for this game and bought it last minute during a spur of the moment type of deal. I am very happy with what I have gotten to play and what I have experienced. While there are some issues I only encounter them only so often and understand they are working them out. I am an avid MMOer and have played many games on launch so bugs, glitches, bot, and just general annoyances of launches are nothing new to me and barely phase me, but if they do to you then you should wait for a month or two, but even then this game is just plain out fun.

Exploration is a huge thing in the Elder Scrolls series and it holds up well in the MMO adaption of the game. I sheltered myself from the game before it came out and was on the fence the week before it launched. While playing you notice a couple of things. The exploration is not hindered like many MMOs. It is on a smaller scale than the normal Elder Scrolls games, but it is great compared to most recent MMOs. The sites are beautiful, the zones are interesting, and the shards add some mystery to the game. You can quest and explore while doing so, finding public dungeons, open dungeons, mundus stones, world bosses, raw materials, treasure chests, and just random sites. The zones are large and offer something different than the previous zone. While playing I got a very nostalgic feeling of exploration and curiosity. You can find a good amount of stuff form exploring and it really brings an element that has not been seen in MMOs for some time.

Now, lets go forward to PvP. Which is pretty amazing if you can find a group, guild, or get in to the right campaign. There are several campaigns for the PvP and depending on which you pick you could be winning, tied, or getting crushed. The PvP zone Cryodiil itself is giant with plenty of things to do. You can hunt down the Skyshards, attempt to take keeps, take resources, or hunt down players. No matter what you do though the time speeds by. During actually sieges the fine details are what really matter. The walls show damage, battering rams actually reveal cracks in the doors so that you can see other players, and it is overall an actual challenge for players. You have to follow the numbers and you have to be organized. PvP is not something you can just do and while that may dissatisfy some loners it is not meant for you. You can’t take a keep by yourself and you can’t defend one alone either. There isn’t much you can do alone except get ran over. The PvP also has some PvE flair as you can do quests and to take keeps as well as resources you have to kill the guarding NPCs. I have not fought an Emperor, but seeing videos they look like the main attraction in a raid, requiring large amounts of people to focus him.

The combat can be very exciting, but at times can be very buggy as well. In some instances the combat can bug out and basically kill you, but when this doesn’t happen the combat is fluid, fun, and very much alike to previous Elder Scroll games. It is a different pace from most MMOs and makes auto targeting a thing of the past. While some other MMOs have done this it hasn’t really picked up in the mainstream. You can have 5 abilities, an ult, and at level 15 you unlock a second set that you can switch to even in combat. While the combat isn’t anything revolutionizing to me it is still fun and a great addition to the game itself. The spot where the combat shines is synergy, synergy is an effect that occurs with several spells and requires your group to activate them. Spells like Choking Talons which hold enemies in to place have a synergy ability that deal damage when it notifies members of your group to press ‘x’. The synergy feature adds in a whole new level of combat especially for dungeons. The combat can have its ups and downs, but this is really one of the first MMOs where I have grinded (By choice) and haven’t been insanely bored. As with groups of 3 or more the game gets really hard and forces you to focus. You can’t really expect to run in to large groups and easily come out alive.

The crafting system in the game so far is fantastic. You have to put time and effort in to the actual system. The system makes you find Motifs in order to actually craft certain styles. The motifs can be found in many places and aren’t overall very hard to find, but you need them to craft different styles. The styles include all the races as well as Primal, Barbaric, Ancient Elves, and Daedric. Moving forward you have to research traits on your items. The traits give your item a great bonus such as stronger enchantments, stronger armor, spell resistance, etc etc. After you research a trait the time for the next trait doubles and overall it takes 60 days for a player to research every trait for just one item. If you level up your crafting eventually you can research 3 traits at a time. The traits are also only found on existing items that you have to use to research them and are destroyed in the process. In order to get the best gear possible you would have to research all 8 traits on every piece of armor you wanted which can take up to 60 days for a single piece. While searching for some items can feel tedious it is all worth it in the long run.

Overall The Elder Scrolls Online is an MMO worth playing. It has beautiful scenery, beautiful graphics, and a huge map that people will surely enjoy. Exploration is rewarded in a great way and leveling overall is fun. The combat is fluid, the PvE content is difficult, the PvP can be epic, and the game is beautiful. Overall this game is an Elder Scrolls game, but online. While there are some major complaints such as bugs, bots, exploits, and glitches those are not a definite part of the game and I will not be reviewing them. I am reviewing the game itself and what is meant to happen. There is no point in reviewing a game based on temporary set backs in which the developers are tirelessly working out. This game is worth playing and any Elder Scrolls fan should definitely check it out. It is a huge game with a huge future that can only be halted by its developers. I am addicted to this game and have not been able to pull myself away from it too often. The game truly feels like an Elder Scrolls game and is something I’ve been wanting for some time. If you can ignore the bugs of an MMO at launch then it is very easy for me to recommend this game to you. Really for me the only thing holding down Elder Scrolls Online is Zenimax. They have to hear customers and respond in a timely manner. The future for me looks very bright as they already have their first content patch on the way and have been very interactive with the community.

Official Trailer:

Overall Score: 9/10

RGN Rating: Gold Game

Developer: ZeniMax Online Studios

Publisher: Bethesda Softworks

Available On: PC

Review Copy Info: A physical copy of this game was purchased by RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this review.

Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20140428 and was last modified on 20140428 .