Halo Echo: Chapter One

In 2517, Dr. Catherine Halsey kidnaps seventy-five children for the Orion II project. After the augmentation process, thirty-three Spartan super-soldiers remained. Unbeknownst to Dr. Halsey, six others survived the augmentation process. They were handpicked by Admiral Margret Parangosky to be her personal special ops force. Codenamed Echo team, they would be used throughout the insurrectionist war as well as the Human – Covenant War. At the conclusion of the war, Echo team was just as valuable, aiding in eliminating any and all threats to the fragile peace that was in place. Now under direction of Admiral Serin Osman, Echo still leads harrowing missions into enemy territory, all for the protection of the human race.

Date: April 2558; ONI Prowler, UNSC Reaper of Souls; Location: Classified (Somewhere in covenant controlled space)

Deep within Covenant held space, The UNSC Reaper of Souls shadows the Covenant Fleet of Indignant Retribution. The Reaper’s cloak masks their presence as they search for their target. The Reapers crew seeks the fleet’s flagship, more importantly the commander of the fleet, Lat ‘Onis. During the Human-Covenant war, ‘Onis commanded a battlecruiser in the Fleet of Righteous Purpose. He took part in many engagements including the glassing of Reach. After the Great Schism he joined the Servants of Abiding Truth in an attempt to reunify the Covenant by eliminating the Arbiter and quieting his supporters. “We’ve located him sir,” exclaims the sensor officer. “Very well, have Echo team report to my ready room,” Captain Jones responds.  Captain J.P. Jones is a career naval officer. He joined the service toward the end of the Human-Covenant war and was offered a position with ONI upon his graduation from the Naval Academy. He is one of the youngest ship commanders in the fleet but has proved himself worthy many times. He is known as daring and bold in his attacks but very mature in nature. He enters the ready room as Echo team has already assembled. At the desk is a holo-projection of the covenant carrier as well as Echo teams A.I. Samantha.  Captain Jones addresses echo team, “I know you men have been asked to do a lot, but I have another tough one for you. Tensions between the UNSC and what’s left of the Covenant have been strained to say the least. A week ago a civilian transport was attacked by a Covey cruiser. That cruiser was tasked by The Fleet of Indignant Retribution. The carrier Bringer of Truth is the fleet’s flagship. On board is the Fleet Master, Lat ‘Onis. He is to be captured and brought back to The Reaper. ONI believes he is trying to reunite the splintered Sangheili tribes so he can reform the covenant. This mission is of the utmost importance and must not fail.” Captain Jones turns to Echo team’s leader, Aaron, to continue the briefing.

Commander Sierra 012 Aaron rises to his feet to address his men. Aaron is the epitome of a spartan. He is a crack shot and an ace pilot. He’s a brilliant tactician and a natural leader. All though equals, the rest of Echo team has always looked up to Aaron. While a superior soldier, he has suffered from a lack of respect toward authority and has been, at times, overzealous in battle. These traits that have garnered the ire of his ONI handlers have endeared him to his men and created an unbreakable bond amongst them. Aaron addresses his team, “We know the current path of the carrier and have spotted a debris field close to their current trajectory. We will leave on booster frames and be sent adrift in the field. Once the carrier has passed we will follow behind in their wake and land on the ship making our way to here,” pointing to a hanger bay door on the schematic of the covenant carrier. “We will enter the carrier and find the nearest computer terminal. Samantha will locate ‘Onis and we will pick the quietest way to him. We will do all we can to avoid contact till the target is secure. Make sure everyone has one silenced weapon on them. Once the package is secure, we radio Reaper for pick up. We will make our way to the nearest hanger bay and grapple gun out on pelican 2-niner, any questions.” Jack looks to the commander, “What kind of resistance are we expecting?”

Sierra 064 Lieutenant Jack is Echo teams second in command, a rock solid officer and an even more loyal spartan. Jack was originally the leader of Echo team. In their first engagement, Echo team was surrounded and Jack froze in the moment. Aaron stepped up and led the team to safety. From that moment Aaron has led Echo. Though uncomfortable at first, Aaron and Jack learned to coexist and Jack accepted his role as first officer. “Resistance will be heavy. The fleet is a full battle fleet with ground forces and special ops. There is also an unknown amount of Zealots on board the carrier. The less attention we can attract, the better,” Aaron responds. Echo team’s pilot Vince chimes in afterward, “Those engines are going to be throwing off a lot of heat. Will our shields hold long enough?”

Sierra 077 Vince is the ultimate pilot. He can fly or drive anything better and faster than any other human. As long as it has an engine, he can pilot it. He has a very cold and rough personality. Some of the ONI doctors worried about his inclusion into the spartan program fearing a mental instability. This trait was exactly what Admiral Parangosky liked most about Vince. He would be willing to take on any task without as much as a second thought. Aaron informs the team “We will use the power from the Gauss cannon to boost our shielding, trading fire power for defense. The boosted shields will have enough strength to make it through to the ship. Any other questions?” asks Aaron. The team nods in agreement and with their mission clear, Echo makes their way to the hanger bay. A silent calm washes over the team as they focus on the mission at hand, knowing the danger the lies in front of them.

The Reaper makes its way to the debris field and de-cloaks as Echo exits the hanger bay and takes their positions. Before long the covenant fleet streams past and Echo team begins their pursuit. The ride up to the carrier is rough. The heat being thrown off by the carrier’s engines is immense, the small booster frames getting thrown around like dice. Echo manages to maneuver past the engine blast and up to the hanger entrance. The booster frames land with a thud as the magnetic landers suck tight to the hull of the covenant carrier. The team exits their boosters and approaches the hanger door. Aaron and Evan peer into the bay.

Sierra 016 Evan is Echo teams Scout/Sniper. He’s an expert marksman and an extremely stealthy scout. He has always been the pretty boy of the group. Blonde hair and blue eyes have made him quite the ladies’ man, and gotten him plenty of ribbing from the rest of the team. He and Aaron have developed a good friendship over the years. Anywhere Aaron would go, Evan would be right at his side, earning him the nickname shadow. Evan peers into the hanger to reconnoiter the situation. Evan informs Aaron, “I’ve got two grunts guarding the entrance. They’re sleeping.” Aaron smirks, “Lazy little sloths. Take them out quietly.” Evan pulls out his silenced magnum pistol and activates is active-camo. He enters the hanger bay and slides up to the two sleeping grunts. He pulls out his knife and plunges the blade into one of the grunts skulls. The other grunt awakens, startled as Evan de-cloaks and lands a single headshot directly through the cranium of the second grunt. Evan signals the rest of echo with the distinct six tone whistle of Oly Oly Oxen Free, or all clear. The rest of Echo team enters the hanger bay and Aaron makes his way over to a terminal near the doorway and plugs his A.I. chip in. Samantha pops up and begins searching.

Samantha has been Echo team’s A.I. for two years now. Commander Aaron carries her in his helmet but she is able to monitor the entire team wirelessly. She’s blonde with reading glasses and a British accent. She has a bit of a sassy elegance to her. She was cloned from a doctor that worked for Oni several years earlier. Samantha runs a quick search of the ship and locates ‘Onis. “I’ve got him. He’s three decks up and eight sections forward. We can take a service tunnel up from here and there will be a corridor on your left. We can take that all the way forward. I’m marking a waypoint now. Pull me commander.”  Echo deftly moves forward through the ship, taking out several guards and sentries along the way. They approach the door to ‘Onis’s quarters and prepare to move in. The door pops open and the team rushes in like a gust of wind. They move so quick that ‘Onis is on the ground and cuffed before he even realizes what has happened. Aaron orders Ryan and Silas to secure the prisoner for transport.

Sierra 032 Lieutenant Ryan, Echo team’s intelligence officer, is Echo’s resident genius. He can hack into any system, human or covenant. He is also Echo team’s medical officer and engineer. If Echo team needs to destroy something, he knows just where to hit it. He’s the youngest member of Echo, making him the “little brother” of echo.

Sierra 091 Silas is one of the biggest spartans on record at 7’4” and 325 lbs. His specialties include heavy weapons and hand to hand combat. Off the battlefield he is a gentle giant with a heart of gold, on it, he’s a ferocious fighter and as loyal as they come. Aaron depends on him as Echo’s rear guard. His favorite tool of destruction is the shotgun that he commonly wields. Aaron radios back to the ship, “Reaper, we have the package and are moving to extract.” Captain Jones responds, “Roger that Echo, pelican 2-niner is on standby.”

Echo moves through the narrow corridors towards the extraction point when they are confronted by a squad of jackals. Aaron shouts, “Hostiles forward, weapons free.” The team opens fire as a hail of bullets makes short work of the overmatched foes. Echo hastens their pace now as the entire ship is awash with the sound of alarms. The entire ships garrison has been alerted to their presence. It won’t be long before more trouble is headed their way. About fifty yards from the hanger they encounter a large group of twenty covenant soldiers.  Echo splits, taking cover in doorways. They begin working through the hostiles, gunfire ringing throughout every nook and cranny of the hallway, as they take out their foes, one by one. “Watch the right side Vince. You’ve got two coming up,” warns Aaron. Vince turns his pistol and drops two grunts with two precise headshots. Two elites charge toward the team. Aaron signals to Evan, “Two on the left moving up. You got them?” Evan trains his sniper rifle on the two approaching elites and lets two shots fly. The 114 mm ammo screams through the air as both rounds hit their targets. The squish of flesh and crack of bone ring out as the two elites drop dead in their tracks from two bull’s-eye head shots. Echo clears the hallway and guardedly approaches the hanger bay door.

The door opens to fifty plus covenant waiting as they enter the room. The entire team fans out like a tidal wave, rolling up the enemies as it crashes upon them. “Three coming up the middle, Ryan watch the prisoner. Silas, come up to support!” Aaron calls out above the fracas. Silas steps to the forefront wielding his M90 shotgun. With three mighty blasts he drops the three sword wielding elites in succession. Their corpses fall to the deck with a thud. Jack signals Aaron, “Four coming up on your left commander.” Aaron turns, producing two spartan knives. He thrusts both knives down striking one in the face and the other in the neck. The two trailing grunts turn and run. He sends one knife whistling through the air as it hits one of the cowards in the back of the head. He simultaneously pulls out his pistol and drops the other one with one shot clean through the back of the skull. He walks up to pull his knife out of the grunt when he hears the sizzle of an energy sword an energy sword behind him. He turns on a dime and sinks his knife into the side of the camoed elite. Aaron then stands and looks at the wounded elite as it de-cloaks. He raises his second knife and buries it deep into the elite’s throat. The look of terror on the elite’s face is haunting as his life is extinguished and his body crashes to the floor with a thump. Calmly, Aaron turns to his team and orders them to ready their grapple guns. Aaron reaches down and grabs an elite ranger helmet off the deck and slaps it over ‘Onis’s head. “Here, you’re going to need this,” he quips. The pelican takes its position outside the hanger bays shield. Echo fires their hooks out into the pelican’s back door. They hook up to the lines as a team of elite zealots bursts into the hanger bay. Aaron looks up at them as the grappling line tightens. He raises his hand towards the zealots and waves with a smirk as the entire team gets sucked out of the bay. The pelican reels them in and plunges into the hanger bay of the de-cloaking Reaper. The ship re-cloaks and slips away into the shadows.

Raymond W.

Chapter 1

Thank you for reading my creation. If you enjoyed it and believe others might, please share this story with everyone you know. Stay tuned for chapter two.

TBoD Presents – A Christmas Console

Yuletide greetings Teabag or Diehards,

‘Tis the season of goodwill and in the spirit of Christmas we thought we would give you this very special episode which sees us rework (read: butcher) a classic tale.

A Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night.

-Quim

Click here to get your gift

 

The TBoD Podcast – 82 – Wubbing myself off

Hi everyone,

The boys are back in town with a similar kinda funk again this week. We talk:

The Game Awards winners, including:

ZELDA!!!!

Witcher 3 – Wild Hunt; and

Bloodborne

The PS1 turns 20

Our indie game this week is Before

As ever, listen, enjoy, laugh, cry, subscribe, rate, the usual. Hit us up on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and all the others.

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download

See y’all soon!

The TBoD Podcast – 81 – Gettin’ Stuck on the D

Greetings friends,

All the gang is back together on our inaugural fortnightly cast. This episode, we riff on:

Halo 5: Guardians news

Blizzard’s new FPS/MOBA, Overwatch revealed

Arkham City easter eggs still being found

And we discuss the latest trailer for Telltale’s Game of Thrones

Our indie game this week is Zombie Night Terror

Enjoy!

Right-click here and choose ‘save as’ to download.

The TBoD Podcast – 79 – Porn Judge Wang Dong

Goulish greetings Teabaggers!

In honour of Halloween this week, we have a spooky theme running through the show.

More of a discussion show this week, and we also cover:

Black Glove potentially coming to PS4

DayZ – hardcore mode

Fan remake of Resident Evil 2

Enjoy!

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download

The TBoD Podcast – 78 – A Night with the Oscars

How do chaps and chapettes,

on this weeks show Crinbot, The Quim Ninja and myself discuss all kinds of gaming stuff including;

no respawn,

Hatred,

favourite levels,

and this weeks indie game is the delightfully strange “Oscar“.

enjoy, like, subscribe, comment etc

right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download

- eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – 77 – The Krapton Fyctor

Hey dudes and dudettes,

Thanks for tuning in for another installment of the TBoD podcast. This week, we talk about:

Dragon Age Inquisition

Halo 1 and Halo 2 gameplay from the Master Chief Collection

With Clementine from Telltale’s The Walking Dead getting her very own action figure, we talk about what unlikely characters we’d like to see as action figures.

Our Indie game this week is Elegy for a Dead World

And finally…we do a short profile of 2BC Productions, a YouTube channel Crinbot has been watching a lot recently.

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download

As ever, get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, or in the comments below, and head over to YouTube to see out latest videos.

TBoD Greatest (S)Hits part 2

Howdy guys and gals,

Constraints on time means there’s no regular podcast this week. Instead, we have another installment of our Greatest (S)Hits. So put on some comfy clothes, settle into your favourite armchair or sofa, and crack open some booze to mitigate the aural assault we’re about to put you through.

Also, look out for some Eurogamer video diaries coming very soon.

Enjoy!!!

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download

The TBoD Podcast – 72 – Barry Gibb Looks Like a Lion

Hello again friends,

We’re back again for your weekly dose of gaming news and banter. This week:

Destiny ships $500 milion on day one

Microsoft to buy Mojang?

Embarrassing sales figures for XBOne Japan release

What’s the future of mobile gaming?

PS4 and XBOne GTA V release

And finally……this guy completed Dark Souls, using a Rock Band controller…

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download

As usual, leave a comment below, or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.

TBoD 71 – Punching dragons to death

Greetings!

Thanks for tuning in to episode 71 of the TBoD podcast. This week, we discuss:

Destiny live action trailer

Remastered Resident Evil

Consumer rights issues for Valve

#Gamergate

Our indie spotlight this week is on Framed

And finally, Many a True Nerd: YouTuber, Redditor, and gamer who completes interesting challenges. The latest challenge, completed at the end of August saw him killing everyone in Fallout 3.

Right-click here and choose ‘Save as’ to download

As ever, comment below, or hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, and the usual other places

The TBoD Podcast – 70 – The Morgan Freeman Mod

Yo Teabaggers,

Welcome back for episode 70. We have super special guest BadMotherLicker joining us in Crinbots absence this week you can find Licker on @megaspaceninja on twitter. He joins in the fun to chat with us about;

And much more.

Tune in, listen, comment, like, subscribe etc.
eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – 68 – Patchy Erections

Good morrow friends, and welcome back to the TBoD podcast!

This week, we have mostly been talking about the Gamescom expo, with the old familiar tangents thrown in too.

Listen, enjoy, comment, subscribe etc. in the usual places: Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or comment below.

/crinbot

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The TBoD Podcast – 67 – Ether One Interview

EtherOneTBoD

This week Quim and I were lucky enough to be joined by the lovely Pete from White Paper games. After a Q&A session about Pete’s work in the industry and in particular on the studios debut title Ether One‘ Pete was kind enough to stick around and discuss some of this weeks big news including;

Yogs(mis)ventures,

early access on consoles,

Journey down roads travelled,

and

Thanks again to Pete for joining us, we had a great time chatting with him and we hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
The music used in this weeks show is from the Ether One Original Soundtrack by NJ Apostal and is available as part of the Deluxe edition.
Special thanks to Donnie aka @Murderzmedia for the image.
- eremenko

Cosmodrome Care Package

Now the dust has settled and the Destiny Beta is long gone, I thought I would gather up the video’s eremenko and I made showing off the mayhem we got up to.

Also redeem these trading card codes below onto your bungie profile for some mystery stuff come launch. There is no limit on how many people can use these so what are you waiting for?

LeZd0HV

TBoD podcast – 66 – Skill Tree Huggers

‘sup baggers, we’re back apologies for the delay but we do have a rather special show for you today.

We are joined by three brilliant guests this week David Weeks aka @DestinyAuthor, SpiemanW from @The8bitbeards and last but by no means least @JustinBryce from the Drunken Halo podcast.

This week we’re talking Destiny and all Destiny.

Sit back relax and have a listen to our impressions from the beta.

Skill Tree Huggers

- eremenko

TBoD Podcast – 65 – Interview with Tara “Skunkie” Bellafiore

Hey all,

We were super stoked to have the wonderful Tara “Skunkie” Bellafiore of Punklabs fame join us for this episode. We spend the majority of the episode gaining insight into the life and work of an indie developer but we also manage to cover some news;

Goldfarb goes indie,

Popular YouTubers in cash for vids shock,

the tides are changing,

We had a great time with this one so I hope you all enjoy listening as much as we enjoyed recording it.

Interview special w/Tara

- eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – Episode 64 – Barbershop Duet

Barbershop Duet (right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download)

Bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum bum

try getting that one out of your head.

Quim and Menko are once again a twosome for this weeks episode, joined in brief cameos by This is Reklaw and BadMotherLicker. The focus this week is in shooters with the following up for discussion;

Destiny,

Cliffy B’s Bluesteak,

updates to Titanfall and BF 4,

all rounded out with a discussion about Violence in games

 with comments from Ken Levine.

- eremenko

TBoD Podcast – 63 – Towerfall Intervention

Hey all,

Apologies for the delay this week, I am useless.

This week we cover;

A few listener questions and,

the punishment of death,

games win prizes,

and our ‘we called the dog….’ section covers the gorgeous ‘Long Dark’

Crinbot was once again absent so no song …. sorry.

Right click and hit ‘save link as’ to download

eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – Episode 62 – Statistically Masterful

Howdy,

We’re short a member again this week, Crinbot’s absence means we have no song either so apologies for that. We do have the usual content for your listening pleasure so without further ado the stuff we cover;

Continued support for X360,

Kingdom under fire and the new ‘Blueside’ engine,

PS now service update,

Console to PC parity,

Live GTAV in first person,

Oculus controller?

We called the dog ….. Anna!?!

…. and finally the WOW player who hit 90 as neither horde nor alliance.

as always thanks for listening and com-like-a-scribe.

Statistically Masterful

 – eremenko

The TBoD Podcast – 61 – Burrows of Passion

Hello Teabaggers,

We are firing on all pistons this week and have plenty to cover. Among other things we talk about the rebranding of Xbox, the always controversial Phil Fish and his recent comments on YouTube revenue. Dean Hall has set up his new games company and he wants it to be the Valve of the South Pacific.

We also have a chuckle about Sunset Overdrive’s little dig at Assassins Creed Unity‘s lack of female character, then talk about the importance of representation and choice in games. We also wax lyrical over whether YouTube will replace the website as the main source of gaming news. If so we are buggered

Burrows of Passion – To download just right click here and Save as

Cheers

The TBoD Podcast – 60 – Tribute

Howdy baggers,

The regular TBoD aural assault is here for your listening pleasure.

This week we talk;

Mortal Kombat,

XBOX exclusives headed to PC,

again,

Hohokum,

Terraria,

One way trip,

Uncharted back on track,

Valvetual reality,

Oculus and Samsung pair up,

and our ‘we called the dog..’ section is about a website this week,

got spare money to spend? buy this…..

Enjoy mother funsters….

Tribute <right click and hit ‘save as’ to download.>

eremenko

 

 

The TBoD Podcast – 59 – Deeply Dippy

Ok folks, welcome back to another episode of the TBoD Podcast, our lively debate this week consists of the following stories;

BF: Hardline leaked,

Dice promise to look after BF 4,

this old article sparks some discussion,

new PS+ content,

and
right, I’ve been eremenko, like, com, scribe and all that shite
.
Deeply Dippy right click and choose “save link as” to download.
go away.

TBoD Video – State of Decay: Lifeline Review

Hey guys,

Undead labs were kind enough to provide us with a steam key for the latest DLC for the epic Zombie survival game State of Decay, I threw together a quick review featuring gameplay footage from my playthough of the game.

Check it out here or over on our YouTube channel.

 

Special thanks to The Wach for helping us to secure this review copy.

You can see The Wach’s review in print over on PGCR

 

TBoD Podcast 58 – With an open hand

Another week, another installment on the TBoD podcast.

The topics on the smörgåsbord for discussion this week are;

Xbox stuff,

Frankie is unhappy,

Will Ubi win E3 for the second year running?

Dinner, Dinner, Dinner, Dinner …. BATMAN,

Middle Witcher, Assassin of Mordor,

Evolve,

Destiny,

in no particular Order,

Google/YouTube is feeling Twitchy,

IFightBears Lumberjack-em-up Fist of Awesome comes to mac and pc,

And Greenlight,

and our Indie game of the week is “Total Chaos“.

As always thanks for tuning in, if you like what you hear leave us a comment or a review on iTunes, if you have a burning question that you need answering in a meandering tangenty fashion by all means give us a shout on Twitter, Facebook or leave a comment here on the blog.

With an Open Hand < — Right click and choose “save as” to download

– eremenko

My Spider-Sense is Tingling…

Another Summer, another Superhero game!

Another Summer, another Superhero game!

Or rather has been going off the scale since The Amazing Spiderman 2 game was announced by Activision and Beenox.  Not only is it a follow-up to a fairly good movie tie-in, but appeared to provide a huge throwback to the one title that made Spidey games huge:  Spiderman 2 which was launched wayyy back in yesteryear for the O.G. XBOX, PS2, and other consoles of that time.  For a movie tie-in this game set a new precedent for superhero games, and even made it to XBOX’s Platinum hits, which is no small feat for a traditionally shitty movie based game.

Spiderman 2 was the first in the long series of titles modeled after our friendly neighborhood web-head, which offered a free-roaming New York to go about fighting petty crimes, and baddies in a GTA style environment of quasi-freedom.  It was even voiced by Toby Macguire – the Peter Parker we’re all doing our best to forget. Especially the Emo-Jazzcat version in Spiderman 3.  There were other additions to the series with this style of freedom based gameplay that were NOT based on a movie release, most notably for me as a drooling spider-fan:  Spiderman: Web of Shadows.

Getting back to this day in age, as soon as this game was announced I knew it must be mine, and so it is.  So True Believers:  Is this game worth your money and time?  Let’s swing into The Amazing Spiderman 2 and you be the judge.  (And no, I will not apologize for ANY corny Spidey jokes in this post.)

One feature which perked my interest with this game was the re-vamped web-sling mechanic.  In application it is very reminiscent of Spiderman 2’s more realistic version of web-slinging.  Unlike the previous Amazing Spiderman game you can’t magically “Sky-Sling” high above the skyscrapers, and must rely on buildings that are in-range and relative to your altitude.  Much like Spiderman 2, each trigger corresponds to it’s respective web-shooter while traversing Manhattan.  This made for some clumsy, noobish and embarrassing web-slinging at first as I wrapped my head around the new hotness, and to the artificial onlookers on the sidewalk it must have appeared that Spidey was black-out drunk.

Admittedly after a good 6-7 hours of gameplay I still find myself over-shooting a turn while chasing a getaway car, or slamming into the side of a building as I attempt to live up to the Parker hype.  Trust me, it’s fun learning how to web sling, and after a fairly early unlock you gain the web-boost ability which helps you use speed and accuracy to launch yourself into the air, or use a webline to vault gaps in the skyline rather than helplessly fall to the street.  Use caution when boosting however, I discovered a game-breaking bug which clipped me into a water-tower after which I was stuck in a perpetual free-fall and had to restart the checkpoint to free myself.  (Beenox:  OOPS!)

The free-roaming aspects are similar, but not a re-hash of the repetitive mini-crimes which happen in previous titles.  Added to the mix in this installment is building fires, bomb threats, and newer more challenging revamps on assisting pinned down cops, and other classic items like Break & Enters, public disturbances, etc.  In Amazing Spiderman 2 however they have introduced a new character element called Hero or Menace.  If you fail, or neglect crimes in progress they will expire and push you toward the menace side during which J Jonah Jameson will give you an earful on the Daily Bugle News Network.

The more of a bumbling menace you become, the more attention you attract from Oscorp’s law enforcement task-force.  A high-tech patrol of robot baddies, and armed thugs on goblin gliders funded by local philanthropist and (crime kingpin) Wilson Fisk.  Yes:  The Kingpin is in this game.  I haven’t completed the campaign yet, because I’m a huge explore/stop and smell the roses type of gamer with titles like this.

The story so far is pretty good, the round-up of Spiderman’s rogues gallery is satisfying and I haven’t encountered them all.  On the list so far is Kingpin, Black Cat, The Shocker, Electro, Kraven The Hunter (who starts off as a mentor who practically wants to adopt Spiderman instead of kill him and send him to a taxidermist…), Harry Osborn/Green Goblin, and likely others.  Through mini missions outside the main plot, I learned the Police are hunting down the classic Hammerhead villain, and a gruesome serial killer who leaves the initials CK written in blood at each scene.  The media has dubbed him “The Carnage Killer.”  hmmm I wonder who he could be.

For the details obsessed people like myself there’s cool locations for you to vist such as Aunt May’s house where you can replay unlocked missions, change your unlocked costumes, but sadly can’t sit down and eat her famous wheat-cakes.  The unlockable costumes in this game are actually more than cosmetic this time as they each have their own traits which you can level up.  I found that rather cool instead of just a new costume with no functional benefits in gameplay.

Another awesome location is a comic store owned by none other than Stan Lee.  Again Stan-The-Man lends his voice to the movie series, and has some great lines.  At the comic shop you can read entire digital versions of comics you unlock by finding “hidden” comic pages throughout the city, figurines, concept art, and you’ll also find an arcade machine where you can play a b-list “horde mode” or battle royale against waves of thugs.

All in all the story is a strong mix of elements from the original classic comics, and the Ultimate Universe.  Voice acting is a little…campy but hey, what can you expect.  The plot supposedly takes place in the aftermath of the 2nd film, but has it’s confusing parts such as a chance meeting with Max Dillon (AKA Electro) which is seemingly for the first time.  Oh well.  I was too busy beating the snot out of petty thugs to really care about one interaction with a poorly designed Jamie Fox lookalike with a comb-over.

Combat is faster, and more fluid than the last title, but the stealth missions can get frustrating due to some jittery controls at first.  It didn’t take me long to figure out how best to approach these indoor scenarios and they are an improvement over ASM 1.  But be prepared for some true WTF moments as you learn the webs…er ropes.

They’ve added sequences where you play as Peter Parker, using his Daily Bugle press-pass to get into places and interview/gather intel on characters, etc.  The Mass Effect style dialogue selection is a nice touch, but the silly dialogue in some instances make you scratch your head, like for instance when asking heatscore questions to Wilson Fisk about “What his problem is with Spiderman.”  or  “I heard your Oscorp taskforce was corrupt!”

All in all, it’s a good game for die-hards like-myself to jump into and swing around in superhero bliss.  If you go into this game expecting an award winning stupendous Walloping Webshooter of a game…  Don’t.  It’s one of those titles that is what it is.  A Spiderman Game.  Love it or hate it however, you’ll still have some fun.  A side-note for Beenox though…  By wielding the franchise they have been granted the power to create some seriously Spectacular experiences in the future.  But of course:  With great power, comes great responsibility.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check back often for more great gaming goodness right here, at Teabag or Die.

 

 

 

The TBoD Podcast – 54 – Unleash the Dragon

Howdy chaps and chapesses,

Here we are again. Another week older, but probably not any wiser; you be the judge.

This week we talk:

XBONE price drops

Virtuix Omni secures funding

Playstation Plus free games for May

New Watch Dogs gameplay video

Civilization: Beyond Earth – wowzers…

Four player narrative coop announced for AC: Unity

Minecraft real-world application awesomeness

More departures from Naughty Dog

Our Indie game this week was Franchise Hockey Manager (chosen by Crinbot, obviously)

As ever, get in touch on Facebook, Twitter, or comment below.

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The TBoD Podcast – 53 – Marty be Gone

Sup’ bitches,

We’re back again for another week of epic gaming lolz. This week:

Marty gets kicked

Virtual insanity/reality returns with more news from Occulus. More here. And yet more here.

Continued nonsense from Call of Doody.

Nice words from a Titanfall dev.

And the PS4 gets a long-overdue update.

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The TBoD Podcast – 52 – Nintendo Don’t cry

Hello boys and girls,

Welcome to another edition of the TBoD podcast, the topics up for discussion from our likely lads this week are;

Xbox updates,