Alright I managed to get my hands on this game really early and have played it for maybe 30+ hours. The Division is set in New York after a terrorist group decided to lace the small pox virus on money to infect the populous and guess what they couldn’t of picked a better day, Black Friday. Yep, Black Friday that day when a lot of cloths, toys, electronics are on sale and basically their prices are cut in half . Now imagine the amount of money circulated throughout that day and think what would happen if the money was laced with a very harmful toxin, that is the setting of The Division. Now lets move on to what you play as and what you are. You are a Division agent and they are supposed to be the final resort, an elite group of individuals that are meant to restore order and government in areas of the United States that have gone to Anarchy or are in chaos. When you are called upon you must immediately drop whatever your doing and meet at a location with other agents, proceed to analyze the threat and end it and bring order to the area. The Gameplay: It’s a third-person shooter that has a fantastic cover system, along with a Diablo style loot system where it will always be different loot drops. Another piece, there are 3 NPC factions that you have to fight, the Rakers: a group of individuals who want to take advantage of the outbreak to steal, murder, and cause all sorts of mayhem for their enjoyment; Cleaners: a group of fanatics that want to burn anything or anyone who has the slight suspicion of being infected; N/A: a group that has military training and has no ideal origin and are suspected to be the ones who started the outbreak. This game so far has been fantastic to play and very addictive. Also the community is great too, they all help each other. Unless you’re in the Dark Zone: The Dark Zone is where the infection hit the hardest and where the best loot is. Here’s the catch players may kill you and proceed to take the loot but you will get marked Rouge when that happens they will be marked by all other players in the area to be able to kill and get rewarded for it so be careful. Rating I’d rate this game a 9.2/10 due to it’s interesting and great replay ability and the great game mechanics. It’s worth the $60 price tag in my opinion.
Background: Long time ago, an alien race known as the Vortigons lived happily in their home world. Suddenly a space time rift was opened and an alien empire known as the Combine flooded into their home world. The Combine’s goal was to take over, to enslave the creatures and to exhaust their resources. Then they would leave that world and move on to another world and repeat this process until they have taken over everything. To escape them, the Vortigons and other creatures [known as race x] fled through an inter-dimensional portal to a border world known as Xen.
Plot: Fast-forward to 8:47 on May 16th in 2000’s, Gordon Freeman is riding a monorail tram, late on his way to work in the Black Mesa Research Facility. After putting on his HEV (Hazardous Environment Ventilation) suit, he goes down to the test chamber. His job is to help in the physical analysis of the Xen crystal GG-3883. During the analysis something goes wrong and a resonance cascade occurs and a portal from Earth to Xen opens up. The aliens in Xen want to put further distance from them and the Combine and use this chance to escape to Earth. Thousands of Xen aliens flood into the Black Mesa Compound. Gordon then wakes up, begins his attempt to kill the aliens and escapes from the compound. He travels through the office to meet one of the surviving science team members and he has been told to go through the rocket silos then to use the decommissioned rail lines to head to the waste management facility. From there, he needs to exit the waste management structure and go along the surface until he reaches the rocket launch site. The launching system is preset so the activation is all that is needed. While traveling through the facility Gordon hears that someone had called the military and a HECU (Hazardous Environment Combat Unit) unit had been dispatched. Soon he finds out that the soldiers are being called in to cover up the incident and are killing everything and everyone. Gordon and the aliens eventually overpower the soldiers and they hastily leave the compound leaving some of themselves behind. Now the government hires a mercenary black-ops team. The black-ops’ mission is to plant a nuclear bomb deep into the facility then blow it up. Gordon finally reaches the rocket launch site and launches the rocket but it ends up without closing the portal. He is told by another member of the science team to go to the Lambda Complex (λ) whereas plan b, they will make a portal to Xen from there he can deal with the alien holding the portal open. Soon Gordon arrives at the Lambda Complex. The remaining scientists and security guards arm him with HEV suit upgrades and experimental weapons. Then they open a portal to Xen and send him through. Black Mesa is soon after nuked. In Xen he defeats powerful aliens and finally battles with Nihilanth, a super alien who holds the portal to Earth and is the leader of the Xen aliens. After Gordon kills him, the portal to Earth closes and a mysterious man known as the G-Man offers him a job. Gordon accepts and is put into stasis in one of the far corners or the universe until further notice.
This game is one of my favorite games and I think others will enjoy playing it. Though it was released in 1998 it goes beyond standards for a modern day game. Even though the graphics aren’t the best, it has one of the most compelling story-lines ever. What really amazes me is that that even though there are thousands of science-fiction games which have you to fight aliens, this game takes one of the most cliche story themes and gives it a new depth that makes it so good! I really hope people will read this and want to check this game out. Of all the games out there, I have liked this one by far the absolute best.
Arjoneel Dhar, 7th Grade
Unreal Tournament is probably one of the oldest games out there right next to Duke Nukem, Quake, and Counter-Strike. Unreal Tournament is one of those games that throws almost any type of team work and the term “Slow and steady” out the window and into the next content. The game throws you into a guy (They really don’t give you a back story at all… Ah, lovely plot) who is wanting to get the prize money from the tournament for lord knows what reason. The sponsors for that tournament say “Don’t worry we have a way to magically respawn you”. For the people who love the fast paced action games like Call of Duty, welcome to its crazy twin brother that is even faster, has more Ramboistic tendencies, loads of chunks from people flying everywhere, and weapons that make borderlands gun system hoarder mode to the max. You will find someone remotely good at the game to wreak havoc on your team, crazy robots that want to kill you, conspiracy theories, and a whole whopping one-hundred grand prize for winning the tournament (Totally worth dying about over a hundred times and killing about thousands of robots, Scar, rebels, humans, and crazy people). There is a final boss that makes you ask your self “Who’s this guy and why is he the final boss”. THEN Unreal Tournament is the game for you. In my honest opinion it’s a worthwhile game that is really enjoyable for some reason. Rating 9.1/10.
Star Wars: Knights of The Old Republic (KOTOR), is a fairly dated RPG game set in the Star Wars universe. Your actions in this game are a heavy focus, giving you many choices to make and giving them heavy impacts. You can follow the Sith Code, gaining Dark Side Points and becoming a much darker Jedi, or follow the Jedi Code, gaining Light Side points and becoming a valiant defender of the Light. The places you travel to in your star-ship, the Ebon Hawk feel alive, and the people you will meet will have intricate backstories. You can meet companions to travel with you along your journey and get the chance to play as them as you continue your adventure. Since this is an older game, there are no “quest markers”, and you’ll have to explore many locations on the planet to continue the quest, but finding many side quests along the way. The story in this game is detailed and could even be considered better than the 7 Star Wars movies’ stories. The replayability value is high, as you can do many playthroughs with different choices that will affect your character and the overall story. This is a great game, and I highly recommend it.
Cole, 8th grade
Undertale, a fairly new video game, is a very unique RPG (role-playing-game.) The game takes place in a world that has both monsters and humans living together. However, war broke out, and the humans were the victorious species. The humans sealed the monsters underground with a magic spell, nothing can get out, but anything can get in. You take the role of a child who has fallen down through the monster barrier. You will meet many characters who you can choose to befriend or kill. In fact, you can go through the entire game without hurting a single person, you could kill everyone you meet, or combinations of these two. Whatever you do will affect the ending of the game, and the endings will make you think twice about the choices you’ve made throughout the game. I won’t go into much details to prevent spoilers, but you can get the game and soundtrack for $10 or try the free demo here or you can get it off of Steam. Speaking of the soundtrack, this game has the best one I have ever heard, from “Megalovania”, to “Bonetrousle”, to “Spear of Justice”. The main aspect of this game is humor, character dialog, and player choice (Undertale Website). There are a wide range of characters, ranging from sans to PAPYRUS, each with their own personality and memorable quotes, from “do you wanna have a bad time?” to “NYEH HEH HEH!” This game, many, many, times, breaks the fourth wall. Some characters remember what you did in previous runs of the game, others will talk to you about certain things that actually have meaning with multiple runs of the game. Overall, this is the best game I have ever played and I highly recommend getting it.
Cole, 8th Grade
ARK: Survival Evolved is an open-world survival game. However, it is not an average survival game, as this one is set on an island that contains extinct animals, such as dodos and dinosaurs. These dinosaurs may try to eat you, run away from you, or protect themselves. But, if you are able to make one unconscious you are able to feed it and in return tame it, giving you control over its actions. If you tame dinosaurs you can be able to put saddles on them to swim, run, and fly around the island as you please. If you wish you can also breed them to create new baby dinosaurs. This game is fun in itself, but if you use the multiplayer feature you can team up with your friends or meet new people to create a tribe, which shares many features. However, your enemies may also team up and make a tribe, taming their own dinosaurs and building their own structures, and could possible attack you. Scattered across the island are random drops, shipment of items that float down from the sky and could benefit you. This is the way to get items that are more powerful than the ones you can craft, or even give you a blueprint so you can craft them. ARK also has stunning visuals to leave you in awe. It is still in Early Access, meaning that it is not yet complete and does have some issues. However, it is constantly being updated with new creatures, items, and even new biomes, leaving you with a surprise whenever you go to play it again. This game is available on Steam and is soon coming to PlayStation and Xbox.
Cole, 8th grade