Friday, June 29, 2012

Skyrim: Dawnguard First Impressions (Review Part 1)

So I didn't expect that I would have to do a two part review for Dawnguard, the first downloadable content for Skyrim, it's because the whole DLC is so big that it would require a two part review. Not that I haven't completed Dawnguard its just that the game offers two choices to the player and based on those choices the game offers completely different campaigns. And since I have completed one of them on my legitimate character I feel that I have only completed fifty percent of the DLC. My second part of the review will consist of the other choice. 

The story of Dawnguard begins with the return of the Volikhar Clan and its vampire lord Harkon, who aims to end vampires fear of the sun. Harkon wants to use the power of the Elder Scrolls to achieve his aims while the return of an ancient order named Dawnguard vows to stop them. The Dragonborn has the option to join the Volikhar or the Dawnguard. Due to keeping my characters heroic awe and the fact that I love being a Werewolf I joined the Dawnguard and renamed my character Van Helsing (lol joking).

The adventure begins by talking with any guard in any village around Skyrim, they will tell you about Dawnguard Castle and where its located. But it truly begins when the Dawnguard leader, Isran, asks you to raid an ancient Vampire artefact when done you will meet Serana who is carrying an Elder Scroll. She is the daughter of Harkon and will ask you to return her to Castle Volikhar. From that point on you'll have to make a decision. Joining the Dawnguard will give you no real special abilities but will give you access to Castle Dawnguard and all its armour and weapons. One special weapon is the Crossbow the most notable of the latest selection of weapons in Dawnguard. It's a pretty powerful weapon more powerful then my usual Ebony Bow which does thirty odd damage, the Enhanced Crossbow which you get relatively early in the game is about forty odd damage. So a nice addition to all the bowmen out there. It's apparently slow at reloading but I never experienced a delay in the action as I have a good enough range level to reload faster. I found it immensely handy as the bow itself takes less of the players screen space and is far easier for targeting enemies with accuracy. The Dawnguard armour is pretty nice looking ranging from heavy to light respectively. 

Overall the whole vibe Dawnguard gives is a lot similar to the movie Van Helsing, a gothic/medieval approach on the whole vampires vs mortals. Its pretty neat approach but doesn't get ahead of itself like a lot of these type of movies would. What I mean by this is that these movies usually go over the top with its vampires but Skyrim keeps to its own innovations which keeps to their lore. They make a nice addition with these vampire lords but there are not that many of them as you will see when playing.The Dawnguard are also not classic cliché vampire hunters, they don't use garlic, holy water, holy relics to kill vampires. They simply use the classic form of combat to kill vampires which is crossbows, swords and war hammer that add a special damage towards vampires. In total the aesthetic of Dawnguard is very tasteful and distinctive. 

New environments are also present in Dawnguard and are particularly spectacular however discussing them will reveal spoilers so unfortunately I'd rather not discuss it. All I will say is that they're big, pretty freaking big. 
The quest line I chose was really big. I think it was bigger than the main quest line in Skyrim without the side quests, its hard to tell but it took several hours to do. It stretched out quite well and was paced to a sustainable rate, the story twisted and turned in different directions to keep the interest level high and to maintain it at that level. What I found really admirable was just when I thought the game couldn't introduce more characters into the plot, it did. And quite interestingly so, you see the game becomes slightly bigger than just the vampires vs mortals war towards the end and awesomely I learned something about the world of Skyrim and how a certain race came to be. But you'll have to play the game yourself to find out what. As for characters yes, some of them were interesting but some of them became a blur as they re-used voice actors once again and it was hard to distinguish between them apart from using their names.The character Serena appealed to me because she stuck around enough for me to get to know her story, not only that she was also tolerable to have as a companion which I found was difficult to adjust to considering I never like having any followers in any RPG. I kept her around because she was pretty important to the story and she actually contributed to the narrative when I entered new environments. She was almost like a tour guide for the DLC and made adventuring around Skyrim pretty fun. As for Isran and the rest of the Dawnguard they did their job in terms of setting up the story and advancing it, but they didn't do a lot. What I mean by this was that their characters were not explored at all and even Isran's was pretty basic; he was a Vigilant of Stendarr but unhappy with the order he re-established the Dawnguard. Thankfully more characters get introduced to spice the story up. Overall the story was very satisfying and was built up really well, there weren't any blunders that I can think of and I learnt quite a bit of the world of the Elder Scrolls series.

The added gameplay perks that I enjoyed most was the addition of the Werewolf perks. To get these perks you simply eat people. Aweome right? Well yea if your a Werewolf not so much if you stupidly got rid of it. You see you might as well become a Werewolf if you choose the Dawnguard because you might as well enjoy the games added perks of becoming one. By becoming a Werewolf you get to join in the ancient battle of Werewolves vs Vampires. Though I'm not really sure who came up with this mash (do not say Stepheine Meyer) but it sure is an awesome one. Check out the Werewolf skill tree below; 
Mind you the rest of the Dawnguard aren't Werewolves sadly, but they never said you can't be one and nor did they say they will hunt them. Its just vampires they hate. 

So overall the DLC is just stunning its long enough to be worth 1600 Microsoft Points and its efficient enough to call it a worthy add on for Skyrim. But lets be honest, we'd all take any excuse to go back to playing Skyrim and I mean any

"Long enough, awesome enough and bloody enough to be worth 1600 Microsoft Points. Nuff said..."

My next part will focus on the Volikhar choice in the quest line and will be shorter....hopefully.

Company of Heroes 2: Forgotten Sacrifice Trailer

It's easy to say that Company of Heroes is one of the best strategy games of all time. With its destructible environment and cover based gameplay, Company of Heroes couldn't have been more cutting edge when it was released in 2006. Now six years and several expansions later, Company of Heroes 2 has finally been announced. With the previous games focusing on the western front of WW2, it was easy to see that Company of Heroes 2 would focus on the eastern front, which was clearly the most devastating of the war. This game will focus on Operation Barbarossa and the Battle of Berlin but hopefully they'll deliver the battle of Stalingrad too. The game will use the new Essence 3 engine which will feature "true sight" which means the player sees what the units see. 

I think that Company of Heroes is a far superior series than any other which is set in WW2. Relic make sick games, and I cant see them stopping any time soon. Check out the trailer here, its as epic as it is educational; 

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Saint Row 3 Review

Saints Row The Third Review
(The following review is NSFW)

"Saints Row: The Third" is a delightfully humourous yet perfectly violent open world game from the gents over at Volition inc. You are the head of the famous gang known as "The Saints" and their meteoric rise to power in the town of Steelport by doing a variety of wacky missions such as hopping onto a dune buggy, lighting yourself on fire and crashing into other cars. The mission also features a variety of other gang related mini games such as taking out rival gangs each with their own unique units, hiring prostitutes and beating people to death with a variety of weapons such as a 6 foot dildo or ripping them apart with a wind cannon.
Soviet giant Oleg is one of the many very colourful members of the cast in this game

Saints Row: The Third has a long campaign filled with a wacky script, which even features a cameo from actor extraordinaire "Burt Reynolds" (Deliverance, Dukes of Hazard, The Longest Yard) as the mayor of Steelport. This game had me genuinely laughing out loud and not just for the crude parts of it's humour as the game can be downright witty. In this game, you rob a bank...vault by tearing it from the bank using a helicopter, cause it to rain sports card, cocaine, cash and sex dolls over Steelport and smash through a planes front window and fly out the other side unharmed... And that's just the first mission. The variety of games, weapons and vehicles and cheap DLC creates a very long series of post-story gameplay. There's a great variety to these mini-games whether they be insurance fraud, Trying to blow up as much shit as possible or even money laundering the local business's in Steelport. Customization also plays a large part in Saints Row 3 with a variety of hairstyles, clothes and costumes to wear ranging from Formal attire to fancy dress to bondage. Cars, bikes trucks etc. are also customizable to the extent where you can improve a cars speed, breaking ability, health etc. and change it's colours. I personally love my own mini scooter which is set to play only Satisfaction by Benny Bennassi. You obviously can customize your characters body as well making them either very fat, muscly or even a deformed zombie character.
Music and Graphics
Saints Row: The Third boasts an amazingly varied soundtrack. Varying from classic power ballads such as "I Need a Hero" by Bonnie Tyler, to Bach's Cantata to DeadMaus and if like me, you don't care for certain genres or particular songs, you can customize what you want. For me, it's nearly entirely a mixture of punk and rock music from artists like Dracula From Houston, Tim and Eric and Motley Crue. The mixture of music perfectly fits into the mood of the missions, hell it even made Kanyé West tolerable during one of the missions. The graphics are a more cartoony style but not soon cartoony that it would be like Borderlands, It's just the right amount. Regardless, it left me very impressed. 
Yup, I wasn't lieing about that 6 foot dildo

In Conclusion: 
 I've heard a lot of people compare this to GTA IV, which is only natural seeing as they are similar games, however I would pick Saints Row over Grand Theft Auto any day. Saints Row I felt was just more entertaining as a whole when compared to GTA. A lot of people critiqued this game saying how it wasn't like GTA. If you want a game like GTA, you should buy GTA. However this game is essentially a piss take of what GTA is. Besides that, I was enjoying every minute of the game and still am to this day. I highly recommend this game to anyone as there's very little to complain about in it despite the occasional glitching through walls but Volition inc have even employed a fail safe to auto re-spawn you in most cases. The only genuine problem that I could find with this game is the repetitiveness of some missions but this is still but a minor fault with an otherwise near-perfect game. I highly recommend this game to anyone which is why i'm giving this games a 
Well done to Volition Inc, I'm eagerly awaiting Saints Row 4


Meet The Pyro is Finally Here! (Team Fortress 2)

May the hilarity continue....
This is definitely my favourite out of all of them;


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Skyrim: Dawnguard DLC is up and ready to play!

Good morning folks, today we are graced with the presence of Dawnguard the first DLC for the Elder Scrols V: Skyrim. So for many Skyrim fans, like myself, the least thing to say is that we're fucking pumped. I have literally learned nothing from this DLC as I wanna discover myself what its all about. The only thing I have seen is the trailer which looks ridiculously impressive which you can see here; 

Looks crazy cool, hell I'd download it just for the horse combat and the crossbows, well I'm gonna go off and play this ridiculously cool game with this ridiculously cool downloadable content. Expect a review shortly.
P.S. I suggest you do the same.....

Its K, We're Back!

This is how we all feel right now......
So the lengthy absence is over and I'm happy to say we're all ready to start Bl4rGing again and as with that we also felt a new change was needed. Yup we changed the template again, because it's just plain fun doing so. And I feel the more work you put into making the blog shiny, the more you'll want to invest in it.

The lengthy absence was due to final exams that needed to be put down, and thankfully they're all over :) 
May this time line help you understand our situation; 

First we we're all like...

...then a little like this...

...but more of this....

...eventually we felt like this...

...but when it was over, we couldn't help but simultaneously do this...

....and this.

The only little change we made is the addition of Disqus as it's awesome and much easier to use and faster to use compared to bloggers comments. And I suggest you try it out for yourselves. 

So we'll be Bl4rGing so much now, and here's hoping this next session will be the best and will serve with the most Bl4rG entry's, and it should considering it is summer and a lot of this goes on. 

Anyway I hope you join us on our quest of digging into all things Bl4rGable, it shall prove for an eventful ride, farewell and goodnight! 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Prometheus Rant (and why I love it!) NO SPOILERS!

Hey guys! Long time no see, yea I get it we haven't posted in quite a while but we're approaching are final year in school and as always exams ensue. So least to say we're pretty freaking busy at the moment. And yes, I know this Bl4rG looks abandoned but we're working on a return to the usual repertoire of all things..........Bl4rGable? 

Anyway, I logged on to talk about one thing and that is this years highly anticipated Sci Fi movie Prometheus. I am not going to review it because I don't have time to, maybe later this month if possible. But I just wanted to say my two cents on the movie and I'm glad to say that I cant say anything really bad about the film itself, it's a truly enjoyable movie that Scott has directed. But I just want to clear up anything everyone has said about...what exactly this.... film is....

Now it is a prequel, that is obvious, but what I came away from was a film that broke the rules of the original 1979 classic Alien. And for that I'm truly grateful Scott, the Alien franchise had already killed itself so long ago that the original Alien itself was now a children's toy easily accessed at Disneyland. The horror! So I consider this the best achievement the film set out to make and that's all I'm going to say about the actual movie. You can judge for yourself what the film achieves you like most and I can say that it makes quite a lot of them. It's a pretty ambitious film to say the least. 

Now the question I asked myself before seeing this movie and was killing me for the past week. Where should my expectations lie? Simply look at film for what it is, don't consider it as an Alien prequel and recognise it as a new movie in that universe, so try look past the Alien similarities. And for the love of God don't think they're going to answer every question in one movie! That would make for a baaaaad movie, just saying folks. 

Hope you guys enjoy the movie when it gets released in wherever you live, it's pretty fucking awesome. 

We'll be back Bl4rGing soon kk bye

P.S. Fassbender is amazing! I'm dressing up as David for Halloween...........or just for fun.

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