Pick 5: Captivating Video Game Worlds

Captivating game worlds A video game world is a key ingredient in any video game. It sets the stage for the story and the characters, and is essentially the playground for the player. Sometimes the world takes the spotlight more than any part of the game. Some developers take that extra mile to create a very captivating world that would tap your curiosity, making every bit of detail and information ever so sweet as you explore the game. With BioShock Infinite released this week, it was only fitting to make this week’s Pick 5 about those game worlds that really suck you in. There’s quite a lot that achieve this, some are quite iconic, but these five for me are game worlds that really got me invested in the game, taking it slow, taking in everything it has to offer.

Bioshock's Rapture


BioShock was a real shocker when it was first released. Rapture was a world not really seen before in video games, and Irrational Games really made this fantastic world a place worth exploring. From the outside, it looks like a busy city that doesn't sleep, but once you enter the city’s corridors, you find out the city has gone out of control, and its corridors now have crazed citizens and the iconic Big Daddy roaming its corridors. As you explore, you get a glimpse of Rapture’s good ol’ days, getting a good idea of Rapture in its prime. There’s a lot of mystery going on in Rapture - How the city fell in ruin, the Big Daddy’s and the little sister, the power giving plasmids, it’s a world worth investing and to this day, its considered one of the best game worlds to come out of this generation.

Fallout 3's post apocalyptic world


Bethesda did good in this one. The term post-apocalyptic was well imagined in the world of Fallout 3 making it an interesting world to get lost in. Not that I want to be in a world where the nukes have fallen, and now living in the aftermath. It’s just the way the game started. You, born and raised on an underground vault, now emerging from the ground, adjusting your eyes to the bright sunlight, and seeing the brutal wasteland for the first time spikes your curiosity since you yourself is very unfamiliar with this land. A land now filled with bandits and scavengers looking for any kind of food to stay alive, with many groups and organizations attempting to take power and some sort of order. Fallout 3 had a lot of interesting side stories, some are quite disturbing at times but it gave the sense of how bad the world is. With a game mostly focused about finding your daddy, going off course from the main path is the best way to play this game, and the open wasteland made it easy to do just that.

Elder Scroll's Tamriel


This is the mother of all high fantasy worlds when video games are concerned. Tamriel is one world you will most definitely get yourself lost for hours if your into RPG’s. With each game set in a different part, or continent in Tamriel, there’s always something different about each one. While each one is quite similar, the conflicts and issues are different. Tamriel is literally filled with lore if you bother to read a book every now and then. If you like, you can learn the history of a certain city or group. Stories of past wars, or the rule of past kings and queens that once ruled the land. You can actually spend hours on hours reading about this fantasy world. Its crazy how much content and effort was put by the developers making it easy for every player to spend more than 50+ hours just roaming around exploring. be it Skyrim or Morrowind, you’ll definitely not regret your time in Tamriel.

Welcome to Silent Hill


I had to include this. The first time I entered Silent Hill, of course I was terrified. The first game was scary as a kid, but I was really hell bent on figuring out what happened to this town. Why is it so foggy? Where did these creatures come from? What happened to the people in this town? Those questions are really what kept me going and it was great uncovering the mystery little by little as you move on. Silent Hill had those little details that make it memorable and iconic. The dense fog, the creepy static whenever a creature is nearby, and the oh so scary pyramid creature with the huge sword that gets introduced in the third game. The story of Silent Hill in general is a bit crazy, but I don’t think we’ll ever forget our first visit in Silent Hill, walking through abandoned schools and hospitals with a pipe and a flashlight, getting lost half the time.

Metal Gear Solid, and all its conspiracies combined


This is one world that just gets crazier and crazier each time a new game gets released. Ill have to admit that it can be a bit absurd at times thanks to the mind of Hideo Kojima, but I can’t help but absorb every little detail each game provides. A game that at first, was all about stopping the Metal Gear weapon, has become so much more. From Snake’s background, Foxhound, the conspiracies created by real events, all the way to the patriots manipulating the world, this world is madness. It was a wild joyride so far and as much as it has gone overboard in story, it’s definitely entertaining that you will be glued to the screen until the last bit of cutscene. Then, when the credits start rolling, you don’t quite understand some of it, thus the research via the internet starts.

If Deus Ex was turned into a movie, it would be good

Think about it, wouldn't Deus Ex's world be perfect for a blockbuster movie? especially Deus Ex: Human Revolution's plot? Screw movies such as Resident Evil and Street Fighter, there are so many better concepts in the gaming industry  and Deus Ex is one of them. Some think so too - I came across this live action trailer for Deus Ex: Human Revolution that made me think "yeah, I can see it working".


Kudos to the people who made this trailer! If you haven't played Deus Ex: Human Revolution, I highly suggest it. I was worried about the story building up too much, but towards the end it concluded well.


Review: Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Deus Ex: Human Revolution isn't your average FPS/3rd-person RPG stealth game; it’s carefully designed with a focus on the word ‘choice’. Most definitely it is a fully fleshed-out game and I’m happy to say it took up most of my free time last week. Once you find yourself thoroughly investigating every e-mail, drawer, computer, loot, secret pathways, you’ll know the game has got you. The future never looked or played this good.

The world of conspiracies…

It’s the year 2027, and you play as Adam Jensen, a security specialist for Sarif Industries tasked with protecting a group of the company’s scientists who are in the process of revealing their groundbreaking research. But not all goes as planned during the reveal. A group of trained mercenaries infiltrate the building, taking out the scientists and leaving your character close to death. In order for Adam to survive, he undergoes heavy augmentation surgery, to the point where about half his body is made of metal. Six months later, Adam returns to work for Sarif Industries, determined to find out who was behind the attack. Gotta love a good mystery…

The story’s deep enough to keep you curious and motivated. However, I found myself sidetracked. When I first experienced the freedom of leaving the Sarif Industries complex and saw that there were a few side quests waiting for me outside, I felt like a kid let loose at a theme park. It reminded me of that moment in Fallout 3 when you see the wasteland for the first time, and your eyes start to adjust to the sunlight. I didn’t pay much attention to the main quest. I wanted to explore.

After running around, hacking computers and going through vents looking for those secret stashes, I came to see that the world wasn't as big as I’d hoped. Looking at the map of Detroit, I was shocked by how small it was, and the game’s other locations are about the same size.

Of course, Deus Ex isn't really designed for free-roaming. It evokes that feeling at times but it flows more like you’re going from stage to stage, a structure that works very well for this hybrid game. Based on the first few hours, I was expecting a short game, but I was gladly proven wrong when I realized that I hit 30+ hours. It might take less for some, since I personally enjoy doing all the side quests and exploring.

The story builds up really well and actually gets pretty good towards the end. Throughout most of the game, everything is a complete mystery that gets deeper and deeper with no real answer to what’s going on. The hype builds and builds – I expected quite a lot from the ending, a conclusion that would give me goose bumps with its revelations, and I can safely say that the buildup was worth it. Even when all the cards were finally laid on the table, more questions about the story began popping up in my head, something you can’t say about the story in most games. While the truth was satisfying, the last part of the game felt lacking. I guess I wanted to see more of an epic conclusion.

 Frontal assault or stealth? You choose.

Square Enix and Eidos Montreal have been stressing that you can play this game any way you want, and thankfully they weren’t exaggerating. Just like the past Deus Ex games, there’s always an alternate way to reach your goal. They give you enough tools and augmentations if you choose to charge in guns blazing, similar to the lobby shootout in The Matrix where Neo and Trinity go nuts and kick some ass (yes, I just threw in a Matrix reference – be happy it wasn’t from one of the sequels). Or, if you prefer, you can simply save your items and slip past your enemies unnoticed. Knock someone out or kill them, and you might find the passcode to go directly through the door to your objective. You could find that hidden vent covered by a box that leads into the room. If you’re skilled enough at hacking, you can just hack away. The choice is literally yours.

But even with all these options for tackling your objectives, Deus Ex seems to play most naturally as a stealth game. Sure, you can just kill everything like any other FPS, but the level designs feel more suited for stealth play. It’s not a big deal for me; I enjoy the game more when I’m sneaking around hacking stuff. The freedom of choosing how you want to play feels great since you can change the pace of the gameplay anytime you want. During my playthrough, I made the choice early on to progress mostly through stealth, but one day I decided to screw it all and enjoyed a good old firefight in the office floors.

The AI can be an issue. Sometimes opponents can be tough and outflank you, but at other times you can lure them in a doorway and just stun them one by one. It can be hilariously easy or frustrating at the same time, so there’s some inconsistencies. I still don’t understand, for example, how the indoor enemy AI don’t respond to firefights happening outside once the alarm is triggered.

Deus Ex also has the feature now common in most western RPGs when it comes to the NPC interactions, or the so-called social aspect of the game. In some critical conversations, if you can win the discussion and convince the NPC to either give you what you need or let them understand the error of their ways, you might be treated to an easier way in, or more information about the story. It’s easy enough to convince characters to cough up information, or make them realize that what Adam is saying is true. It gets even easier if you acquire the augmentation that assists you during conversations.

On the topic of conversations, voice acting in the game is top-notch, with the only problem being that you might encounter the same voice actor for different NPCs; it can be pretty hilarious talking to one guy and then discovering another one sounding exactly the same at the other end of the city.

Deus Ex is such a great experience, but unfortunately they had to include some absolutely terrible boss battles that don’t add much to the game – in fact they detract from it. The bosses have a few tricks to them but there’s only one way to take them down. You kill them. In a game surrounded by choices, the boss fights don’t offer much variety. Especially if you suit up your character for stealth, the whole endeavor just becomes frustrating. If there were different ways of damaging the bosses or alternate ways to deal with them, then maybe the fights would be engaging. But as it stands, the bosses were a waste; they take the game from instant fun to pure irritation and ended up being more of an obstacle I was forced to power through to enjoy the rest of the game.

Customize your very own Jensen

You earn a point to use in the augmentation tree every 5,000 XP, and almost everything you do earns you XP. Go through a vent, you’ll earn ‘traveler’, rewarding you 100 XP. Hack a door or computer and you’ll get XP.  Find a new path, more XP. Of course, killing or knocking someone out earns you XP, but you earn more if you do it in a non-lethal way. This supports my theory that the game is more tuned for stealth. What would you choose: killing someone with a sniper rifle and getting 20 XP? Or knocking them out for 50 XP? Well, I’d take the shot myself, but you get my point.

The augmentations (character perks) seem at first to have limited options, but as you progress you’ll see that you’re led to either be more prepared for gunfights or sneaking around. I thought I would be able to end up somewhere in-between, but there isn’t an option to be the all-around kind of guy. Regardless of what augmentations you pick, it doesn’t hinder the choices you have to achieve your goal. In fact, they give you more options. Even if you don’t have the perks like cloaking or the skill to see through walls, stealth can still be an option if you’re tired of dying in gunfights. It just takes a bit more effort.

As for the weapons, Deus Ex’s arsenal is quite limited. Don’t get me wrong, there are enough weapons to choose from, but there is only one type of combat rifle or one type of sniper rifle. The only variation you’ll get is from upgrading them with your weapon mods. Sadly, guns you loot or pick up will always be plain old vanilla versions, so if you spend a couple of weapon damage upgrades on a pistol and decide to toss it, you won’t find another beefed-up weapon like that in the game. Weapon mods and upgrades felt rare, so you need to choose wisely. With no storage in sight, and a neat but limited inventory space (think Diablo-style inventory), I had to carefully decide which guns I wanted to bring around.

Overall….wait, this is a prequel?

Deus Ex is simply an amazing game. So many different elements were worked into the gameplay, making it whatever you need it to be. With such a great buildup, I was scared that the story might fall headfirst off the deep end and not live up to the hype, but I was deeply satisfied when the credits started rolling. The conspiracies and mysteries in the story are worth experiencing. Gameplay is flat-out fun (even though I was just hacking and sneaking around most of the time) and with the different ways of tackling certain objectives, replay value is quite high. The world feels alive and looks glorious. This is an RPG any gamer can enjoy. It’s so good that I’m looking for a copy of the first Deus Ex.

Anybody out there want to share their copy?

Score: 92/100

Played on: Playstation 3


-          Great story

-          The freedom to experiment and explore

-          Game performs surprisingly well, thanks to your having different viewpoints

-          Gameplay is satisfying no matter how you play it


-          Bosses don’t fit well in Deus Ex

-          AI inconsistencies

More Deus Ex goodness! DLC officially announced

Deus Ex: Human Revolution DLC Square Enix and Eidos Montreal finally reveals the first DLC for Deus Ex: Human Revolution, The Missing Link. It's due next month and  this DLC provides more mystery to the conspiracy.

Included will be new environments to explore, new characters to meet, and a chance to rebuild your augmentations from scratch. Yes, I consider it a redo. If by any chance you want to redo your mistakes, this is your chance.


[Source: DeusEx.com]

TMG Podcast Episode 04: "The Revamp show"

And we're at it again, but with changes. The TMG Podcast is a show about the TMG crew having a good conversation about anything related to video games. Be it a new game release, a huge announcement, or just us banter about something completely stupid, or something hilarious about gaming.

In this episode, Quash, Kage, and Tim discuss - News of Dragon Age 3, the evolution of Dragon Age, Bioware as a whole, Mass Effect 3, Diablo 3, Dead Island, Torchlight 2, Age of Conan, Deus Ex: Human RevolutionStar Wars: The Old Republic, a bit of World of Warcraft talk, and even answer a good question " If you could buy only one game, would you pick Guild Wars 2 or Diablo 3??".

SPOILER ALERT!  We mention endings of Dragon Age: Origins and Knights of the Old Republic(KOTOR).  If you haven't finished Dragon Age: Orgins and want to avoid any spoilers, please skip 3:20 to 4:00 to avoid the talk about the ending of Origins. For people who haven't played KOTOR, skip 55:10 to 55:20 to avoid the ending of KOTOR.

Why did we have spoilers? well we're having a free discussion with a recorder in the middle, Thus us swearing a lot. The spoiler just came out i guess when we we're talking. We apologize for having spoilers, next episode we will make sure we avoid spilling out spoilers. Swearing? well, we'll just tone it down a bit. Maybe bleep it out? we'll see, but for now we're keeping episode 4 raw.

Head over to the link now to have a listen of TMG Podcast Episode 4! recorded on: (09/02/11) - http://www.divshare.com/download/15654839-b76

We had a blast so we hope you enjoy it as well. We'd appreciate it if you guys give us your feedback and comments so do hit the comments section.