Posts tagged ‘trophy’

September 21, 2011

Dead Island Review


I was at the beach with my cousin and his family about seven years ago.  We had just finished playing poker, and got off on a hypothetical run awry.  The topic was what we would do if a hurricane wiped out all connections to the island we were on, and everyone there was forced into a survival type situation.  It was one of the most entertaining hypotheticals we’d ever engaged in, and Dead Island, to an extent, helps one to visualize just such a scenario.  A number of things stand out about this game (which I admittedly have not finished yet).  First, there is a pretty damn good rap song at the beginning of the song.  Its great to hear a game with original musical content.  You stumble into a club while the song plays, drinking from a bottle of Jack while shoving dancers away from you.  A zombie attacks during the blur, then you wake up in an abandoned hotel.  That is all the introduction you get to the outbreak.  You have to walk through the darkened halls of the hotel while a siren blares.  It sets a wonderful atmosphere of tension and fear.  You can loot the many suitcases littering the halls, and this was my first indication as to what type of gameplay this will be.  It turns out my assumptions are correct, and this game is extremely fetch-quest based.  It also grabs another zombie-game stereotype, that of being insanely difficult.

As opposed to a game like Dead Rising, these zombies pose really difficult individual battles and when your up against a group it can be suffocating.  Many games put the difficulty in the overwhelming number of zombies you have to fight, but here things are spaced out a bit more, but with more strength per zombie.  Then there are more diverse zombies like thugs, which are taller and of course more maddening to kill.  Its easy to compare this game with other zombie games, and there is no lack of zombie games on the market.  Other than Nazi Zombies, which I don’t consider cannon in the zombie genre, I’m most familiar with Dead Rising, and so will use it as a comparison.  An improvement over Dead Rising is that when you die the game doesn’t take you back to the last save, but instead borrows a Borderlands style where when you die, you lose some money but not some progress.

So far the story is fairly typical.  There are safe houses scattered around the map, and you basically run errands for them, like getting food and medicine, in exchange for money and XP.  Of course there are more involved missions that help progress the story along, and in turn open up more of the map, but I won’t spoil any of the story here.  You also get trophy progress directly in your HUD which is nice when trying to figure out how many more miles or kills you lack for the next trohpy.

I just keep yelling "Get up out my face" like it will help

The game isn’t anything groundbreaking or new.  Hell, its pretty much the antithesis of originality.  The zombie genre has been done to death in recent years, but that doesn’t prevent Dead Island from having compelling gameplay.  It certainly does try its hardest to be immersive, including a sprint system with heavy breathing which can be rather realistic when running from zombies in the rain, dodging in and out of wrecked vehicles and rotting corpses.  Being attacked while swinging a cleaver wildly in a small bunker can be a frantic and claustrophobic experience, and certainly gives one that sense of actually being trapped on an island during a zombie uprising.  Moreover, this game has what I’ve always asked for in any first-person based game.  When you look down, you can see your feet!

The graphics are pretty great and the water looks incredible.  The blood, especially when strewn about in liberal amounts, gives off a terrifying vibe.  The gore and the horror are so well done in this game that its easy to overlook some of the other, less refined aspects, such as weapon degradation that, in my opinion, occurs too rapidly, and the extreme difficulty curve.  (On another note, its now reported that in Skyrim, weapons will not degrade, which is amazing in this writer’s opinion.)  But lets compare this game to my previous favorite zombie game, Dead Rising.  Take a look at Dead Rising’s gore from some image I found online:

And compare it to this picture of Dead Island I just took on my phone:

This game has taken the zombie genre, which can sometimes wander into the comical, and transformed it into a terrifying bloodbath.  And judging it by that standard, which is the only standard any zombie consumer can use reliably, this game has greatly succeeded.  I really do enjoy playing it, but for some reason its lending itself to more of a game where I play in spurts, not in binges.  Maybe I’ve played too many games like this recently, where you fetch someone’s lost bracelet for XP and grind it out for better weapons.  Maybe I’m just oversaturated with zombies.  But one thing’s for certain, its a hell of a lot of fun, and that’s all I’m really asking for in the end.

September 16, 2011

Going Platinum on Driver: San Francisco


I was an Xbox 360 man for years, but this last December I jumped ship to the Playstation 3.  And thus far, I have yet to receive my first platinum trophy.  That’s all set to change now that I’ve reviewed the trophy requirements for the games I own, and it looks like Driver: San Francisco may be the most doable.  I sat down and attempted some of the more difficult trophies the other night, and have now received all of the non-online awards.  Here is how I was able to achieve some of the harder ones, and hopefully they will help you in your attempt at the platinum as well.

Overtake 50 cars in 60 seconds.

This is not a trophy specifically, but it is one of the challenges you will need in order to receive Master Driver, and in my opinion, the most difficult.  I found that the easiest method to complete this challenge is to obtain the Austin Martin Cygnet near the Golden Gate Bridge area.

This little thing

The reason for choosing this car is that it is skinny enough to slip between vehicles without touching them.  Grab one of these before the bridge, and jump over into oncoming traffic.  It is important that you don’t waste even a second, so if your timer on this challenge began while you were finding the car or getting into oncoming traffic, make sure to pause (where you wont wreck when you unpause) and restart the mission.  All this will do is reset your timer.  Now, drive through oncoming traffic as quickly as possible while crossing the bridge.  There are enough lanes that you shouldn’t have trouble finding enough traffic to complete the mission.  You will have to get very close to the cars as they pass you for it to count as overtaking.  It took me a number of tries, but if you are able to avoid wrecking, you should be able to overtake 50 cars with about 6 seconds left.  I wasted a lot of time trying to overtake traffic in a Lambo or Zonda, but this little car is small enough to whip in and out of traffic to count the overtakes without wrecking.

Land a Barrel Roll

This, too, is not a trophy in itself but probably the second most difficult stunt I had to complete in order to obtain Master Driver.  The easiest way to do this is to ignore those Car Transport Trucks and instead focus on the two stationary ramps in the median.  They are located on the road that goes beneath the beginning of the Golden Gate Bridge, on the denser city side, that runs along the ocean.  I grabbed a Diablo and hit the ramps with my two left wheels, and was able to grab the completion after only a few tries.  Having the ramps stationary, instead of having to depend upon the ramp trucks, greatly reduces the difficulty of this task.

Show Off!  (Perform a 250m drift or jump (Story/Online)

I was able to obtain this by drifting (still not sure where you would be able to achieve such a jump on this map).  During the Yeehaw! mission, you’ll be in an old muscle car that loves to fishtail, and the entire track is a dirt road.  By holding the gas down while going around a sharp turn, tapping the handbreak to cause the drift, and tapping the directional stick to keep the car drifting, away from the railing, and avoiding straightening out, you should be able to get this in no time.  I got this achievement with a 314m drift.

Fan Service (Complete the Blast from the Past challenge)

Get the Delorean and drive faster than 88 miles per hour.  You’ll have unlocked the challenge.  That’s the easy part.  Beating the challenge can be, well, a bit challenging, though totally doable if you complete the tasks in the correct order.  You’ll want to lay on the gas and drive towards the other end of the garage, then slam on the breaks before you get there.  That should give you burnout, speed, and break.  Back up quickly and turn while holding the handbreak, and gas it when your facing the other way, and that will give you handbreak turn and reverse 180.  Get back to the end of the garage where you started from, and weave in and out between the pillars, giving you the slalom.  You’ll then want to hurry and make a lap around the garage, and once achieved, simply drive in a circle as fast as you can.  You should get it with 6 seconds left.

Hey Big Spender! and Petrolhead

These two aren’t inherently difficult, but I thought I would mention a way that makes these entirely easier.  The first upgrades you should focus on buying in the garages are the Income Multipliers, which will then give you far more money for every subsequent mission you complete.  Getting these first, before expensive cars or other upgrades, will give you tons more money by the time you’ve completed the missions than you otherwise would have.

Those are just some of the ways that I was able to get some of the harder trophies.  I still have to get the online ones, and will post the tips on those when I get to them.  If you have any questions, comments, or were able to obtain these trophies in a different fashion, please let us know in the comment area.  And as always, like the Mortar and Pistol on Facebook!