Ever since the fantastic teaser trailer Ubisoft dropped in our laps from seemingly out of nowhere at E3 2012, the world has been waiting to get our collective hands on Watch_Dogs. Seven months removed from the financial and critical success of GTA5, (PC owners are still waiting) Ubisoft has seen fit to finally let us dive into the networked world of Chicago. The time for anticipation is over, join us as we take a look at Ubisoft’s new open world IP and see if all this hype was worth the wait or if we will be found wanting.

Full disclosure, I typically loath doing game reviews. Testing hardware typically can be done along side of me working on something else, for example, I can test the comfort of a headset while benchmarking a video card, while also writing when tests are running. Games on the other hand require days and sometimes weeks of gameplay for testing. I know some of you might think I’m crazy, because playing games and getting to call it work sounds amazing. But when we have to publish multiple articles a week, it’s just impossible. That being said, a new game called Banished launched just a few days ago and has so far had been extremely popular on steam (it is as I write this the top selling game over a half priced Call of Duty: Ghosts and a whole bunch of games that are 75% off from Ubisoft) and Reddit. I have been playing it non-stop and many of you hit me up on Facebook and on steam asking for my thoughts on the game. Why not put it all together for everyone to see!

With the success of Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed series it is easy to forget that they have another widely successful stealth-action series up their sleeve. Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell has been around since 2002 when it caught our attention with those ever recognizable glowing green trifocals. While the series hasn’t had the annual release attention since 2006, Ubisoft Montreal still kept the series strong with the release of Splinter Cell: Conviction and this year Ubisoft Toronto take the reins with Splinter Cell: Blacklist. Promising to deliver the same stealth-action we’ve come to enjoy, it is time to take a look at the latest installment in the Splinter Cell series.

titleThe action-adventure genre has been getting a decent amount of attention lately with the Batman Arkham games as well as more recent titles like Tomb Raider and Devil May Cry. Remember Me is a title in this same mold from Capcom and Dontnod Entertainment that looks to balance the standard mix of platforming, exploration and combat along with a few unique tricks up its sleeve to deliver us an entertaining experience in a sci-fi dystopia based around the interesting concept of memory transfer. Will this offering prove memorable or fall flat in its attempt? Join me as we take a look.

titleWith Dead Island: Riptide on the horizon it only seems appropriate to revisit the original to see what all the initial hype was about. Released in 2011, Dead Island had already generated its fair share of publicity due to the eye-catching logo and the nice bit of cinema that was the announcement trailer before it even hit shelves.  From that first trailer to the assurance of a full on zombie survival RPG with four player co-op, Dead Island promises players a unique experience they enjoy on your own or with a friend. However with so many zombie games out there nowadays, does Dead Island do enough to distinguish itself or end up dead in the water?

titleWith the first-person shooter genre all but locked down by staples like the Call of Duty and Battlefield franchises sometimes it is refreshing to get the chance to see something new. The release of 4A Games’ Metro 2033 in 2010 was one such breath of fresh air so much so that a sequel was in the works almost immediately. Mired in delays that had very little to do with the game itself, however, it isn’t until now that we have gotten the chance to play it. It is finally time to see if Metro: Last Light stands up to the amazing visuals and story-driven single player that the original did so well.

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Trion Worlds is no newcomer to the MMO market. They have earned a rapport with gamers with their traditional fantasy MMORPG Rift holding strong as one of the few subscription based games still around, but Defiance is another thing entirely. When I first read about the concept for Defiance I couldn’t help but be even the slightest bit skeptical. Designed to run in conjunction with an original TV series of the same name airing on the SyFy Network and set within the same larger world, changes in either the game or the show will be reflected across both mediums. Join me and the Ark Hunters to see if the game portion of this ambitious undertaking stands up.

titleTomb Raider is one of those franchises that has been around forever. Whether you are a lifelong fan, or someone who buys different installments periodically, there is always something to do with Lara Croft on her insane adventures. This time we take a look at the plainly titled Tomb Raider, a reboot by Crystal Dynamics that hopes to bring the franchise back to level of glory it had on the original Playstation. I can only hope that there is something as silly and exciting as locking the butler in the freezer to keep me entertained.

titleDinosaurs and rifles are a dastardly duo. Putting them together in a game is an interesting combination to say the least. It has been attempted before in games like Turok and Dino D-Day. Fans have shouted for a Battlefield 3 expansion with dinosaurs and Lukewarm Media may be here with the answer. Their new game Primal Carnage is a class based first person shooter that pits humans and dinosaurs against one another in an all-out slaughter fest.  Let’s take a look at Primal Carnage and hope that much like John Hammond, Lukewarm Media spared no expense.

titleI will admit that when Wes first told me I would be reviewing Gunblitz I was nervous. This is because I don’t consider 2D shooters to be one of my favorite genres. This is because I tend to get frustrated and rage at games very easily. I cannot tell you how many controllers I destroyed trying to beat a high score on Geometry Wars Evolved! I am excited to do this review though, because not only is it a game developed by Rapture Studios, a place we recently toured and reviewed here but also because it will be a nice relaxing way to get back into the genre. Let us take a look at Gunblitz, and hope that I don’t break any keyboards in the process.

titleWhen Wes first asked if there were any games that I had in mind to review, I immediately thought about Far Cry 3. It’s a game that looks like a blast, but not one that I would be likely to purchase. This is due to problems I had with the second Far Cry, which were mostly PC related issues. However it is with an open mind and heart that I take a look at Far Cry 3, but with shooters being a dime a dozen, and open world games starting to run their course, let us hope that Far Cry 3 has that something special, that little extra “uhmph” to make it something that I will enjoy reviewing rather than regret.

titleInnovation is a tough thing in the gaming industry. Not just coming up with something new and exciting that will get fans of all ages to line up to play, but once you have those fans you must innovate to keep them. This is something that the Assassin’s Creed franchise has had great success with. With the original release of Assassin’s Creed, it was something that gamers had never seen before and it was awesome. The gameplay got a bit repetitive and bland at times, but Ubisoft quickly improved on it with the next installment in the series giving gamers more things to do and a more in depth storyline. After that followed multiplayer and countless hours of online fun. I am extremely excited for this review of Assassin’s Creed 3 because it is set around the American Revolution, a time that has not been looked at before in the franchise and an interesting piece of history in my eyes. Sit back and grab your muskets because “The British are coming, the British are coming!”

titleWith the release of Batman: Arkham Asylum in late 2009, gamers finally had a super hero game that they could be excited about. The game was very well received and one of the most talked about titles of the year. When a sequel was announced for a 2011 release I, among hordes of others, were amped for another chance to play the man behind the mask. Get ready, put on your capes, and join me as I clean up the streets of Arkham City.

titleCall of Duty is one of the best selling franchises of all time. You can say what you will about it, but the sales numbers speak for themselves. With storylines that manage to keep you entertained and feel like a part of the action, and multiplayer that gives constant rewards and never seems to end, there is always something to do in a Call of Duty title. With the yearly installments however, the franchise has come under more scrutiny for not having enough innovation or added content year to year. It is time to take a look at Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 to see if it can still wow us and live up to the standards that gamers have come accustomed to over the years.

titleWhen 2 Dawn Games contacted us about doing a review on their first title, Ravaged, I was both excited and nervous.  Excited because I really enjoy indie games and playing stuff developed by small game companies. Indie companies are not restrained by being too large. They are able to listen to their fan base and give players what they want (to an extent) and it often leads to some really cool and enjoyable features in game. I was also nervous however because Ravaged because my experience with class based shooters has been very polarized, they are ether amazing or a total flop. Let’s hope that being an Indy game will help Ravaged be one of the great games. With that being said, I head into the post-apocalyptic storm ravaged world that is Ravaged.

titleBorderlands. While most people know what the game is now, not many had heard of it before its release in 2009. It quickly became a smash hit and a household name with its clever writing, enjoyable gameplay, and its bazillion guns. With the sequel launching on September 18th this year, I saw my entire Steam friends list switch to Borderlands 2 only moments after its launch. Gearbox has done it again, I have only managed to quit playing the game long enough to write this review.

 

Engie_Update_LogoHowdy partners, circle the wagons, light a fire and I'll spin ya a tale of science gone mad. Of course I'm speaking about this past weekend's latest Team Fortress 2 update: The Engineer Update. Join LANOC's Tim Ashdown as he breaks down the latest update to best multiplayer game going.

BioShock2_2010-04-03_13-40-09-32_lanocfrontWhen the first Bioshock was released back in 2007, one may have considered it a sleeper hit. At least at first. It wasn't long before the title became immensely popular, even to the point of spawning perhaps one of the most substantial phrases in the current gaming era. Bioshock 2 has since enjoyed the limelight its predecessor had acquired, being one of the most anticipated games of 2010. Several weeks after it's release, and some fresh DLC, I take a look back on the title. Would you kindly join me?

 

Trine_LeadHaving the opportunity to play a game that hasn't gotten a lot of press is a chance to make known the truth about something most people may not have tried. It's kind of like when a new flavor of energy drink comes out. I mean you don't want to waste your money on it (FYI, RockStar Cola sucks). Hit the jump as I take you through the world of Trine and let you know what makes it good, what makes it bad and most importantly why loin clothes are making a comeback.

 

Altitude_TitleAltitude is best described as a mish-mash of everything people like about multiplayer games. Seeing as how all of the editors here at LanOC Reviews have put many hours into the likes of Call of Duty, Team Fortress 2 and myriad of other multiplayer titles we all decided to give Altitude shot. Here's what we thought.

 

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