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Disability Game Review: Super Smash Bros for WII U
Super Smash Brothers for the Wii U is one of the best party games in recent memory. From the standpoint of accessibility, there are some problems, but compared to the 3DS version, the Wii U version is miles ahead when it comes to being playable for disabled gamers.
Fatshark hopes to bring Left 4 Dead style gameplay into a fantasy setting with Warhammer: The End Times - Vermintide.
At this year's GDC, I got the chance to preview the latest game in the Warhammer franchise. Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide is being developed by Fatshark and promises to bring 4 player co-op action with a fantasy twist to the PS4. During my preview the developers were unabashed by the fact that they were heavily influenced by Valve's zombie apocalypse hit Left 4 Dead, and are attempting to bring that quality and style of experience into a realm that is populated by knights and wizards, rather than high school coaches and riverboat gamblers. Although the preview was brief, I did notice that the combat was very fulfilling, each of the four classes that were displayed has a built in melee and ranged attack. The empire soldier that I played as had a massive sledgehammer for crushing Skaven, the rat-like people that are threatening to overwhelm the world within Vermintide, and a mini-gun style rifle for dispatching them at range.
Call of Duty: Ghosts hit with a tepid reception that in some ways was deserved and in other ways wasn't. The map lineup was very good, while the gameplay felt a bit long in the tooth. The release of Titanfall in early 2014 only served to add insult to injury there with a super-fast pace that made the game appealing to those who normally weren't big FPS fans. Activision seems to have heard their cries, because the gameplay pace in AW is the fastest yet for the series. Campaign-wise, this is an all-new entry in the series. Jack Mitchell and Will Irons are best friends who fight for their country. Mitchell has a bit less baggage mentally, as Will's got serious issues with his father. This early throwaway bit means a lot more later. After the extended tutorial mission, Mitchell loses his left arm while Will loses his life. Will's father Jonathan runs Atlas, a private military firm who can bring Mitchell aboard and provide him with a new arm. There's a ton of money behind Atlas and aside from a few kinks, the arm works really well. Mitchell's got a new lease on life and feels like he has a sense of purpose again. However, cracks start showing fairly early on when you've got to save the Nigerian PM. Instead of focusing purely on the safety of all hostages, Irons is focused on the PM's and what doors his survival during an attack by the KVA terrorist group will mean for the company. He's a bit heartless here and it shows you that there's a lot more than meets the eye to the character.
2014 was an excellent year for games. With the release of new hardware by Sony and Microsoft, at the end of 2013, this year saw developers striving to reach the full potential of the new technology. From the standpoint of accessibility one game stands out as the pinnacle, not only of polish and game play, but also of reasonable accessibility standards for the video game industry. The 2014 DAGERS Diamond Award goes to Bioware's Dragon Age: Inquisiton, for representing the highest standards of gameplay and accessibility over the past year.
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