Tag Archive: blitz


I had a chance to go hands-on with Halo Wars 2 at a recent Microsoft preview event, and there I played the new Blitz Mode. Blitz Mode offers elements of Survival, Domination, and Trading Card games in an interesting twist of players spending a different currency from the main game to call down units. You can only pick from one of four available at a time, before that unit is replaced in your “hand” with one of 12 cards in your “deck”. It’s a fast and frantic mode that offers unique gameplay for the RTS genre. Halo Wars 2 will be available on Xbox One and PC on February 21.

Blitzkrieg Bop

While the first two of seven new multiplayer modes were revealed last week, Activision saved another one for Gamescom. I checked out Blitz mode and the new map, Chasm, that was revealed during the Xbox One press briefing.

Blitz feels like a twist on Capture the Flag, but instead of grabbing a flag, now the players are the flags. This mode sets up two points on opposite ends of the map, with a simple objective: Any player on your team must get into the opponent’s scoring zone, and vice versa. If a player walks into the zone, they’re teleported back to their base and score a point for their team. This means that, essentially, both teams are on offense and defense at the same time.

An interesting little catch, though, is that the developers are already one step ahead of players and have built in a preventive measure to guard against massive scoring from a team working well together—say, four guys moving in tandem across the map. Once a player enters the scoring zone, a 10-second timer starts before someone else can enter. This gives the opposing team time to regroup, and it could put some folks’ survival skills to the test if they’re waiting out the timer near the zone.

This makes Blitz seem like a potential favorite stomping ground for lone wolves. Since you can only score with one person at a time, staying away from teammates might prove more useful if you can hold your own in a firefight. You’ll still have to work together to see who’s making their way to the base, but sending only one or two guys out a time and having the rest camp out near the base might prove a fruitful strategy.

What was most interesting about my hands-on time at Gamescom, however, was that the new map and mode were kept separate. So, I played Blitz on Octane and Strikezone, but I didn’t get to explore Chasm until I went back to Search & Rescue. This makes me think that Blitz may be limited to small to mid-sized maps.

Chasm’s probably my favorite of the new maps we’ve seen thus far. While it’s not as spread out as Whiteout, it’s got a lot of verticality: You’ll work your way through the rubble of a collapsed building and down through the street into a subway system. Since the map features several layers of small platforms, high ground will be critical depending on the modes you play, and several points are perfect for camping and protecting objective points—in this case, placing bombs for Search & Rescue.

The new audio system for Ghosts really shined on Chasm. During my session, players would shout out targets near cubicles or on railway lines rather steadily. I don’t know if the excess noise at last week’s event prevented the system from working as flawlessly as it should’ve, but I heard everything loud and clear at Gamescom.

So, three down, four to go on the Ghosts multiplayer reveals. As of right now, Search & Rescue remains my personal favorite, but Infinity Ward is certainly capable of topping it with something surprising down the line.

At GDC last week, we had the opportunity to sit down with representatives from Wargaming.net as they unveiled the latest addition to their ever-growing universe in World of Tanks: Blitz.

This new iOS/Android platform title looks to bring the action of the main PC game into mobile formats, while placing an emphasis on faster, more accessible play. Part of this mobile movement included scaling back from the main game’s 15-on-15 battles to a more manageable 7-on-7 format, as well as taking full advantage of the devices’ touch screens for movement, aiming, and firing.

The game will feature US, German, and USSR medium and heavy tanks, as well tank destroyers.

We were also told that Wargaming.net would like to link Blitz accounts with those that are currently on World of Tanks when it is released (no hard date as of yet). Linking accounts will possibly provide rewards—such as in game currency—for players who perform well on both World of Tanks and World of Tanks: Blitz. Solid details on whether the folks at Wargaming.net plan on following through with this idea will hopefully emerge closer to the game’s launch.

In our meeting, we also learned that the console project that recently acquired Day 1 Studios has undertaken for Wargaming.net is still progressing, but no other details were available at the time.

What do you folks think of World of Tanks going mobile? Do you think you’ll sign up for a mobile account? What about the links between both games? Let us know what you think with comments below! 

Originally Published: October 22, 2008, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

Brutal. Plain and simple. You wanted to look away, but it was like a car accident. You couldn’t do it. Joe Theisman’s leg was bent at a 45 degree angle in a place where the leg is not supposed to bend. Lawrence Taylor, the man who revolutionized the linebacker position, snapped Joe Theisman’s leg in two for all the world to see.

This play was a microcosm of the intensity and ruthlessness that this man, this defensive god, played the game with. Every play, every game, the original L.T. dominated the game like no other before him had.

L.T. had to retire at some point though, like all football greats. As time passed, the NFL became the “No Fun League” as hard hits and flashy moves have almost all been banned with threats of fines and suspensions from men in suits who have no idea about the smell of freshly cut grass on a Sunday afternoon or the sound of pads clashing as these modern-day warriors battle for the entertainment of millions.

L.T., like many, did not like the direction the NFL had been going. Some have come out and criticized the league in statements. Some players simply ignore the fines and suspensions and play the game the way it is supposed to be played. L.T. took a more creative approach.

Along with the arcade style genii at Midway Games, I present to you Blitz: The League 2.

Okay, so that was a little overly dramatic. Basically, Lawrence Taylor and Midway Games have put out a sequel to the original Blitz: The League. This game is everything you love about football with none of the restrictions. I am talking about smash-mouthed, hard-edged, no holds barred football where you are breaking people, like L.T. broke Joe Theisman, on every other play. Unsportsmanlike conduct is encouraged. In fact, it is all but necessary if you want to win and, by all means, dance as much as you want in the end zone.

This is one of the most fun gaming experiences I have had in a long time. Unlike the sports simulation games, this incorporates the one thing that is always missing: a story. Blitz 2 offers an in-depth story mode that plays out across three seasons that makes you care not only about the franchise like in sports sims, but your players as well. Every player and franchise has a unique history that makes you feel as if you’re rooting for a real team and this is a league that would blow the “No Fun League” out of the water.

Aside from the story mode, there is a great online mode with few people backing out because unlike in the NFL, this game can swing back and forth with each snap of the ball. Also, if you have some friends over for beers or what not, there are some great vs. modes aside from standard exhibition game. One mode has every tackle force a fumble. Another gives you bonus points for injuring opposing players. These bonus modes bring the level of competition to all new heights.

Overall, this game has it all. Great gameplay, engrossing plot, superb voice acting; you can’t go wrong with this game if you like football. I wish they could come out with a Blitz: The League every year so I wouldn’t have to get my football fix from the tired Madden franchise when there isn’t a Blitz option. If you don’t get this game, L.T. will have to make sure you end up like Joe Theisman.

Ratings are based on a system of 1 to 10 with 10 being the highest.

Graphics: 10.0: I don’t give 10s a lot for sports games in terms of visuals. Usually graphics are sacrificed to fit in all the playbooks, rosters, stadiums, etc. This game, though, is one of the most beautiful games I’ve seen in a long time. The weather effects are AMAZING. You look forward to playing in cold weather stadiums just to see how real the snow is. Add in how realistic the players look and I can’t give anything less.

Audio: 9.5: Voice acting is crucial in games and this game delivers in almost every aspect. Jay Mohr nails the greasy, sleazy agent and Frank Caliendo is hysterical as a Madden-esqe color commentator. Add in Lawrence Taylor re-voicing hard hitting linebacker Quentin Sands and almost all the voice acting was spectacular. The only thing I took away from was that I felt the play by play commentator became tiring and little too quickly and so I had to dock it from the game’s score. Aside from that minor critique, music, SFX, and voice acting are all top notch.

Plot/Plot Development: 9.0: Usually, this is N/A, but this game actually has a story mode and it is phenomenal. The biggest critique for it is that it only lasts through three seasons. I would love to see a more expansive story mode that is a little more open ended, but considering it is the first major sports franchise to even think of incorporating story lines, it is forgivable.

Gameplay: 9.5: Smooth all around. No lag or glitches to speak of. I did notice a couple of minor things with the guys being carted off the field with injuries, but aside from that, there is nothing. This game plays beautifully and considering all the things going on with it, that is an amazing accomplishment.

Replay Value: 8.5: Online mode kicks butt and the bonus modes are great for when you have your boys over to chill. I have to dock points because there really isn’t a lot to bring you back to replay the story mode and it is a little shorter than I like. Still though, lots of fun and lots of bonus modes will keep this disc warm in your machine.

Overall (not an average): 9.5: This was one of the best gaming experiences I’ve had in a while. I did not want to put the controller down on more than one occasion. The only major knock I have is that it is relatively short and I want to break more people like L.T. broke Joe Theisman. There is nothing holding you back now from smashing people’s faces in as Blitz: The League 2 is currently out for XBOX 360 and PS3.

-Ray Carsillo

Originally published: September 5, 2008, on 1050ESPN.com (now ESPNNewYork.com)

Midway Games is known for making some of the best arcade style games ever. I recently had the opportunity to sit down at the Arena Nightclub on W. 41st St. between 6thAve. and Broadway in NYC and try out the next installments in two of their powerhouse franchises, Blitz the League II and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.

I can’t give a full review on these games, since I only had the chance to play unfinished demos, but I will rate what I saw.

THESE GAMES ROCKED!

Blitz the League II brings back all the smash mouth, in your face action from the first, and adds some replay value by giving you a three season franchise mode. Along with strippers, steroids, and a few new crushing injuries that would make even the toughest dude squirm, this game delivers all the goods. I gave it an initial 9 out of 10. I’ll give a full review when it comes out October 13, 2008.
The Blitz franchise also brought back our favorite fictional football character based on a real badass dude, Quentin Sands played by NFL Hall of Famer and defensive legend, Lawrence Taylor.

LISTEN

Aside from Lawrence Taylor, I also caught up with Jacob Beucler, the Senior Associate Producer of Blitz the League II to get a few more details about the game that we couldn’t get through an exhibition demo. Here is what he had to say.

LISTEN

Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe is one of the most anticipated games of the upcoming holiday season. Rumors have been swirling around the internet since this game was announced in terms of story, characters, and everything else you could think to make stuff up about. Although it had a few glitches, it still has a few more months of development before it’s released with that final polish we expect from a Mortal Kombat game.
This game will dominate though and my early review is another 9 out of 10. It looked beautiful and for the most part it played beautifully. I can’t wait to see the full story mode though to see exactly how these two very different franchises meet head to head. I had a chance to get some of the story from Brian LeBaron, the Lead Designer on Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe. Here is what he had to say.

LISTEN

Although I gave both quick reviews, expect the full breakdown of these games when they are released this fall.