Thursday, 13 March 2014 20:09

Quick Hits: Titanfall, Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, South Park: The Stick Of Truth


A quick look at some recent game releases including Titanfall, the new mech-stomping multiplayer behemoth from Electronic Arts, Plants Vs Zombies goes third person multiplayer shooter and the kids from South Park wield the Stick of Truth in a surprisingly deep RPG.

Titanfall has landed – Microsoft is hoping this EA published multiplayer juggernaut from those that brought the world Call Of Duty, will shift a few Xbox Ones.  Failing that, hopefully it will shift a few Windows systems or even the odd Xbox 360 or two.

Having spent a great deal of time during the beta phase it was nice to try out the full blown game this week.  What can I add to the words expounded in the beta discussion?  Not a great deal, the full game adds a bunch more maps, all just as high quality as the two on show in the beta.  There is plenty of verticality, as well as pilot hidey-holes which are needed when a man on foot takes on a twenty-foot mech.

Because I was playing just before the general release, the servers (particularly those closest, but not actually on the Australian continent) were not overly populated.  This made playing the campaign multiplayer mode – as opposed to the classic multiplayer mode – problematic.  Lack of opponents made spending time at the “connecting” screen obnoxiously lengthy.

Still that is a first world issue if ever there was one, and now that Titanfall has hit the streets – like a heavily armed Atlas – there will be plenty of comrades and foes to take you through the campaign levels.  These are peppered with voice over flavour, but not much else that distinguishes them from the classic mode missions.

If firing rockets at big clomping mechs is not your bag, perhaps peppering zombies or plants might be more up your street.  

CONTINUED on PAGE 2 colleague David M Williams has already exposed the limitations of clear labelling of game boxes, lamenting the lack of a single player experience in a game derived from  the very popular original single-player garden tower defence release.

Here however, in Plants Vs Zombies: Garden Warfare, players take sides in a multiplayer only challenge.  Valve Software’s extremely successful class based shooter Team Fortress is the closest comparison, replacing medics with Sunflowers and Zombie Scientists as well as four other class based characters and a third person perspective.

The Welcome Mat sees generic plants take on zombies, with the more whacky upgrades saved for when you feel up to graduating into the big leagues.  It is here where you can show off your customization skills, and wielding an entire fun arsenal of upgrades on both the undead and botanical sides.

Unlike EA’s normal approach, as yet, there is no real need to spend money on micro-transactions.  Instead, saved money earned in-game is spent on sticker-packs.  It is here you can unlock customisation options as well as consumables for the hoard mode where plants must defend stationary gardens against waves of zombies and zombie bosses.

I found PvZ:GW a hoot, this is a fully fledged class based shoot-out that can come down to the wire in some matches, contains a heap of upgrades that feel easily achievable and even a commander mode for added strategy.

Finally we have spent some time down at South Park with the foul-mouthed 2D lads from the hit TV show.  


Ubisoft and Obsidian Entertainment have produced a surprisingly deep and fulfilling role-play game.  But be warned, this, just like the show, is not for kids.  This game is rated R 18+ in Australia, (a fact not lost on the developers as they modified the game for this region, removing the anal-probe and instead inserting tongue-in-cheek jokes about the change)

Other examples of what is in store are present right from the start.  For example your character is referred to as “douche-bag”  regardless of the name chosen, and the usual RPG class choices of Mag, Fighter and Thief is augmented by a fourth choice in Jew.  Get the picture?

As the new kid in town your quest is to become….. well,,, cool.  Along the way you must wander the streets and denizens of South Park, picking up loot, making friends, perhaps surprising parents in compromising positions, and battling the Drow Elves - and a myriad of other foes - who have made off with The Stick of Truth,   needed to control the universe.

Underneath the flat graphics, the somewhat awkward controls, the toilet humour and cartoon violence is a sophisticated RPG with turn and timing-based combat system that is greatly satisfying.

SP:TSOT might get overlooked, available on Xbox 360, PS3 and PC if you can keep up with the humour form a team including Stan, Kyle, Cartman and “the princess” Kenny, manage your inventory, spells, skills and perks then you are well on your way to enjoying a Western style RPG to rival anything from Japan.


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Mike Bantick

joomla visitor

Having failed to grow up Bantick continues to pursue his childish passions for creative writing, interactive entertainment and showing-off through adulthood. In 1994 Bantick began doing radio at Melbourne’s 102.7 3RRRFM, in 1997 transferring to become a core member of the technology show Byte Into It. In 2003 he wrote briefly for the The Age newspaper’s Green Guide, providing video game reviews. In 2004 Bantick wrote the news section of PC GameZone magazine. Since 2006 Bantick has provided gaming and tech lifestyle stories for, including interviews and opinion in the RadioactivIT section.



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