Dreadnought: Our First Impressions of the Closed Beta

        Hello out there GeekGoneRogue faithful! Today we are going to be taking our first look at the newly released Dreadnought Beta. This was a game that has kind of flown under the radar for me, I remember when it was first announced, however since then I had not followed it’s development or release all that closely. That was until this past weekend when I was given a Beta key by Stephen, one of our other writers. “It’s basically Mechwarrior but in space,” was the way that he described it to me. Well that was all it took, because you all know that I love the shit out of some Mechwarrior. Sure enough, as soon as I started playing I got that old school, team deathmatch Mechwarrior feel, and I haven’t stopped playing it since. It’s a solid first showing for the game, and it already has me chomping at the bit for more. With the perfect mix of measured, calculated combat and heavy hitting ships, it’s a game that should appeal to the sci-fi fans everywhere.

        My time with Dreadnought began as all of these games do: with the tutorial. Since it is in closed Beta stage at the moment, there are very few bells and whistles. You are a nondescript pilot learning how to fly a ship to a couple of random points on the screen. The first thing that struck me about these ships are the sheer mass they carry when they are moving. Don’t expect to be zipping through the skies all Wing Commander style, because graceful these ships are not. However, it’s actually a refreshing change of pace from many modern shooters out there today. Even in the smallest ships, you move slow. You have to be calculated and direct about where you want to go, because once you start heading that direction it’s going to be a bitch to try to go anywhere else. It takes some getting used to at first, but once you get the hang of it you start to appreciate the way you feel flying these behemoths. It’s called Dreadnought for a reason you know?

Floats like a walrus, stings like a tomahawk missile

        Once you figure out how to go from point A to point B, you get to start shooting. Each ship comes with 2 main weapons that you are able to toggle between on the fly. One is typically a long range, more precise shot with the other being an up close damage dealer. Truth be told I find myself relying on the longer range shot about 90% of the time. Other than that you begin to learn how to fire your “special ability” weapons. These are typically some type of missile or torpedo, along with a couple of defensive weapons such as anti-ballistic weapons. You are also introduced to your resource management for the game, which ends up being one of the most critical aspects of playing Dreadnought. Throughout the course of your matches, you find yourself switching between boosting your thrust, weapons, or shield in order to survive. You can only boost one at a time, and your energy reserves drain fast, which means you are constantly having to toggle them on and off depending on the situation unfolding before you. It’s not exactly a new premise in a flight combat game but it’s well done and adds another level of strategy to combat. Soon enough, you find yourself in a space battle with some pirates who conveniently attack you head on while your squad mates beef you up enough that you don’t just get your ass handed to you. Typical tutorial fare. Once you make it through that fight you are on your own. Hand holding is over, time to throw yourself into some true PVP.


Combat time!

        My first foray into combat was quick and boy was it painful. The one thing that they don’t really touch on during the tutorial is the fact that even though you feel like you are flying a giant tank, everyone else is too, and if you don’t cover your ass you get killed. Quickly. So after a first round of being nothing other than a team liability, I decided to try a more conservative approach to my fighting. I decided to pay more attention to the way the landscapes were laid out and wouldn’t you know it? Shooting lanes! Shortcuts! Ways to sneak around and flank your enemy! It’s like they thought things out or something… You get to learn the ships pretty quickly, you have your typical tank-esque Dreadnoughts and Destroyers, with plenty of armor and the firepower to match. There are also Corvettes whose job is to zip around and wreak havoc as best they can while trying not to get blasted out of the sky. These are the bane of the support ships, also known as the Tactical Cruisers. They are the healers of the fleet, able to repair and support the bigger ships around them, and they even have some decent firepower to boot. Last but not least would be the Artillery Cruisers, aka the snipers. They float around on the outside of the battle blasting away with their long range rail cannons. They can totally fuck up your day, unless you are right next to them. At that point it’s lights out, as they have basically no armor. Each class is familiar enough that if you play other arena games you should be able to almost immediately find something that fits your playstyle.

        The fights are smooth, and they are tactical. After playing Overwatch almost nonstop for the last month, the transition was jarring at first, however after a few matches I found it to be a refreshing change of pace from the at times hectic melee that many shooters tend to be these days. The terrain varies from full on space battles, to fights in a ruined city, or in a frozen mountain range. Nothing too mind blowing, but they suit their purpose. Again, it is just a beta, I’m sure that when the full game launches there will be plenty more places in which to blow one another up.

         When not in combat, the interface is basically a cut and dry clone of other games in the genre, such as Mechwarrior online. You can use the in game currency to purchase ships, weapons, unlock skills, or buy cosmetics upgrades.You can also use your own hard earned cash to spring for Greybox points which basically special currency to get more bang for your buck. Again, pretty standard. So far I have been able to rely on the in game currency for any and all purchases as it comes at a pretty decent rate. As I play the game more I may end up springing for some but for now I am enjoying the grinding process too much to even consider it. Increasing my pilot rank is the priority as most of the games best ships and weapons are locked behind higher ranks.

        Overall, Dreadnought is just plain fun. It may not appeal to some of the twitch shooter fans out there, but for anyone looking to try something new, I can say that this is a game worth looking into. The combat feels good, the ships are fun to fly, and the battles are fun to look at. There is still a long way to go to flesh out some sort of a story but the developers seem to be taking the time and putting in the attention to detail to come up with something pretty great. Is it going to be a genre defying grand slam the likes of Modern Warfare? Probably not. But for those who are looking for something new with some of that old-school Mechwarrior flair, this is probably the game for you. Look for me if you decide to take the plunge! I’ll be in a destroyer.

To see our First Impressions video click here!!!


Jaguar Shot Dead During Olympic Torch Ceremony

        Well here is one of the most disappointing things that anyone is going to read today. As if the Olympic host country wasn’t already enough of a shit-show (which it most certainly is), today during one of the Olympic torch carrying ceremonies a female jaguar named Juma was shot and killed after escaping from her handlers. First question, what the actual fuck? How do you let the jaguar loose, and why the hell was it even there in the first place? And just to be clear, I am not one of those PETA loving no-animal-should-be-put-on-display-ever dudes. I am just genuinely perplexed at what kind of aesthetically pleasing goal they were shooting for by chaining a jaguar between two guards and taking a picture with it near the torch. Seriously, look at the picture. It looks like someone photoshopped an Olympic torch carrier into a picture of soldiers after they captured some village destroying predator.


Whatever image they were going for here, I don’t think this was it

        Now, instead of a doofy picture, Brazil is dealing with yet another Olympic headline showing just how completely inept they are at pulling off an event like this in their country. Pollution, environmental damage, and ZIKA aren’t enough, now they have to add oh and we also shot one of out pet Jaguars to the mix. And on top of it all, again I have to say, how did you let the giant predator animal loose? How does that happen? Oh, also the whole thing was illegal according to the Amazonas government. Not that legality is exactly a hard and fast rule these days when it comes to the Olympics but I guess that’s still relevant. All I know is August can’t get here soon enough, at this point the sooner these Olympics are out of Rio the better. In the meantime if you are in Brazil and are on anything more than two legs consider taking a vacation, I hear Costa Rica is nice.


What makes Zelda, Zelda

No one wants to see their work go stale and the good folks over at Nintendo are no exception to that. The team working on The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has publicly stated that the newest entry into the franchise will rethink the conventions of Zelda. As a lifelong fan of Zelda, this has me a little worried. Every major release of the series since Ocarina of Time has tried to play with the traditional formula to varying degrees of success. They add wolves or a three day timeline but the strong entries of the franchise keep the spirit of Zelda alive. Obviously there is a limit. New entries should be distinguished but fans would probably not care for a first person shooter.


Link’s Crossbow Training may be largely forgotten but at least you could shoot a Goron in the nards.

Not all of the little experiments are positive. We never went back to a 2D side scroller or to the ocean. So, beyond the familiar aesthetics of fairies and swords, what should be preserved as sacred in Hyrule? What makes the games stand out? What makes Zelda, Zelda? With a new Zelda game on the horizon, here’s what I’ve come to expect in order to keep the Zelda mystique alive:

Rich Game Worlds

When I first heard about Majora’s Mask, I was disappointed. The hype had been building for years when my friend informed me that the game would only have four dungeons. Really? That’s it? The series had just enjoyed two of its best games: A Link to the Past and Ocarina of Time both with a whopping 12 dungeons but Majora’s Mask would only have 4. Even the Gameboy game had 8! But Majora’s Mask is still one of the best entries because there was so much in the world of Termina. Taking a cue from Link’s Awakening, just getting to the next dungeon took a dungeon’s level of effort and time. Beyond that, there was about a dungeon’s worth of content after you finished the dungeon in each region. This is a classic storytelling technique: to have all characters, events and environments working towards painting the overall picture. All of the strongest entries in the Zelda series do this with rich environments, unique settings and quirky characters, some of whom we really came to care about.


My first crush. Pro tip: Don’t do a Goggle Image search for Malon at a Starbucks. It’s Overwatch-level inappropriate but with less rendering power.

This is how Zelda games leave the player with a sense of wonder at Hyrule. The player needs a whole lot more than just pointing Link on autopilot to get around (Lookin’ at you, Wind Waker!) Sure, it always takes a while to get across Hyrule Field or the Ukuku Prairie but when you got there, the game is filled to its very limits with life. Sorry Stone Temple Pilots, this isn’t the Big Empty!


 If you came up with that boating crap, your head should be conscious laden.

Character Growth

The Legend of Zelda is a legend, a story. The characters in any good story are faced with a conflict and are forced to grow. Think about any RPG you have played. Your hero gains points and levels up in a calculated, measured way. Yes, the hero grows, but this growth is told-not-shown. The sense of growth in a Zelda game is a little less Final Fantasy and a little more Megaman.  While RPGs generally tell are more detailed story, the growth Link experiences is more nuanced and frankly more powerful. Link does gain health in a measured way but the real growth comes with collecting new items, often as a token for a feat of strength. In Twilight Princess, the first major item Link acquires is the boomerang. It’s nice, I guess. He can stun enemies and grab things at a distance. But later, Link gets the clawshot, which I’m told is different than the hookshot which is what it’s called in literally every other game. C’mon Nintendo! Get it together! Uh, anyway, the clawshot is a vast improvement on the boomerang. It’s more direct, faster to use and you can even hang from the walls. And to top that, your last dungeon item is a second claw so Link can swing around the walls like Spiderman. This item progression shows a steady growth of Link as a hero as we grow as players.


Dual wielding crossbows would come later. Much to the joy of a 12-year-old-me, there’s at least a hope of a Zelda-Matrix crossover.

Side note to anyone who thinks I’m picking on Wind Waker: WW does a great job in this area. There is a steady growth path from the grappling hook to the boomerang to the hookshot.

A Link Between Worlds failed in this area, to be honest. If Link can buy items, two things happen. 1: Link does not gain items through his challenges, his growth comes through cash. If I wanted to play Top 1%er, the Game I would play Sim City. 2: If you’re a power gamer like me, Link’s growth comes all at once at the start of the game and not at a steady pace.

Playing more directly off of traditional storytelling, Link’s growth also comes in the plot. Our hero often suffers a scripted loss to the final boss long before a real fight can take place. At the beginning of Oracle of Seasons, General Onyx tosses Link to the side like a rag doll but eight Essences of Nature later, Link returns to shit in Onyx’s punch bowl.

Bridging the gap between story and game mechanics, Link’s growth can come in the form of new techniques as he is taught by other characters. These teacher characters usually hold special significance in the plot and will only teach Link once he is ready. This simultaneously shows plot-driven growth and mechanic-driven growth.

Side note again to anyone who thinks I’m picking on Wind Waker: WW does a crap job in this area. Link suffers a scripted loss to Ganondorf who then takes mercy on Link out of kindness. So nothing will happen if Link loses. He and Zelda can just go home. Speaking of…


All video games have escapist appeal. For a few minutes per day, I’m not a software engineer, I’m an ace pilot or a mage or, in the case of Zelda, a hero.



For a few minutes a day, I’m Samus or Beast from X-men or Lord Humongus

In the first few Zelda games, players knew the princess/Hyrule was in danger and needed to be saved but from Ocarina of Time on, the players felt it. The urgency comes straight out of classic storytelling techniques, again. When we see Link lose to the villain early in the adventure, we understand that he can fail in his mission. Because Nintendo lets the bad guys actually be bad, we get to find out what will happen if our hero does indeed fail. We watch helplessly Majora’s Mask sending the moon crashing into Termina, we see the denizens of Hyrule fading into Twilight, we see people frozen in time in Lybranna. These are not looming threats in the shadows, these threats are directly in our face.

I’m not saying every Zelda game needs to be a dark or that we need to keep away from Toon Link. The darkness and gravity need to be balanced for the story. After all, part of the charm of Zelda is the quirky humor. Who doesn’t love Tingle? But any comedic relief should be used to let the audience relax after a tense moment so they are not desensitized to it during the next moment.


Remember this goofy bastard losing his mind even after the Millennium Falcon was safe?

Compare the humor of Ocarina of Time to the Humor of Wind Waker. In order to get the second Spiritual Stone, Link makes a deal with the Gorons who are literally being starved to death, so he enters a dark cavern to defeat a monstrous dinosaur by throwing bombs at it until it commits suicide in a pit of lava. Pretty dark stuff, really. Just a minute later when the Gorons know they are safe, we see Link run away screaming from a being hugged by his Goron pals. The humor defuses the tension and lets the player know that the Gorons are going to be alright. In Wind Waker humor is just used poorly. When the Tower of the Gods rises from the sea, we should be in awe of the magnificent structure and be mentally preparing for the ancient trial. Instead, Link is sent flying into the side of the tower. The humor here defuses the tension of a situation before it can be built.

The Zelda games are also stand out in gaming because the player can actually see the world getting better, bit by bit. This gives each act of the story a fall-and-rise arc where you can see the destruction and that you can right the wrong there.

Oracle of Ages embodies all these elements of urgency the most. You see Link tossed aside by Veran early in the game because he is not really a threat. Throughout the adventure you see people frozen in time and you see their loved ones suffering. You fail again half way through the game and your enemy comes closer to her dark goal. But, little by little, you gain small victories, like cleaning the polluted ocean or saving the Oracle. Once your enemy’s looming threat is complete, you, the hero, are ready to save Lybranna and undo the damage.


Cartoony? A little. Tense? You betcha!

Final Thoughts

I’m not trying to distill Zelda down into a formula. I’m really not. Some changes to the Zelda games have been fantastic. Look at Twilight Princess, which was bold enough to change the hero into a pawn and mount for an untrustworthy manipulator. Nintendo colored outside of the lines and painted something more beautiful. There are a lot of changes coming in Breath of the Wild and they all seem like reasons to be excited. The hunting and weapon durability systems are brand new to the series and may add to the Zelda experience. But that’s what they should do: add. I hope Nintendo keeps a link to their past open and learns from the masters: themselves.

Skyrim Remaster Is A Step In The Right Direction, But It’s Not The Game We’re Waiting For

        E3 is officially in full swing, and Bethesda made some waves yesterday announcing a full HD current-gen remaster of Skyrim to be released in October. Here’s the link to the video preview, and I’ve got to say hot DAMN it looks good. Elder Scrolls fan’s everywhere rejoice! Between this and the upcoming release of Dishonored 2, it looks like it’s gonna be a big year for Bethesda.

        So, now that we got the appropriate praises out of the way, I’ve gotta say, this was a huge disappointment to me. I had been hearing rumors over the last few days that there was going to be an elder scrolls remaster announced and (although I was pretty sure it was Skyrim) I couldn’t help but hope against hope that we were FINALLY going to get a polished up remaster of Morrowind. I get that Skyrim was a badass game, but most people are still able to play it on their old systems for the most part, and while there is definitely a graphical upgrade between the old version and the new, the visual upgrade really isn’t anything all that spectacular. That’s not a knock on the work that the team at Bethesda has done, more just the fact that there wasn’t all that much room to improve upon in the first place.

         Now Morrowind on the other hand, holy shit that is a game that needs a facelift. On a whim last year I decided to purchase the Collector’s Edition on Steam for old times sake and as soon as I loaded it I remember thinking “woah… it wasn’t this bad when it released was it?”

A looker he is not

The truth is it was, but that’s because the game was released was released 14 years ago. At the time that game was the prettiest thing I have ever seen, and it deserves to be brought back for a new generation of gamers. I talk to my brothers all the time about the games they are playing and what they are looking forward to and it always pains me to realize that they have never been able to play through Morrowind, one of the defining games of my childhood. I have recommended it to them over and over and to their credit, they have made a couple of attempts at it but always end up giving up citing the terrible graphics and clunky combat as barriers to them making it through the game. That’s a travesty. Morrowind was THE game. An almost perfect Elder Scrolls. The environment, the characters, the score (still gets me going as soon as I hear those flute melodies), it’s amazing.

        I ended up playing through Morrowind again anyways despite the lack of polish in the graphics and the thing still holds up after all these years! At this point I am crossing my fingers that if they are remaking Skyrim, at some point they have to go back to Oblivion and Morrowind again, even if it’s just because it is a basically guaranteed cash grab. When that day comes I will be READY. Until then FUS RO DAH bitches.


It’s Coming! FFXII PS4 Remaster in 2017

        You may remember a couple of months ago we wrote an article maligning the fact that of all the Final Fantasy games most deserving a PS4 remake, FFXII should be at the top of the list. Well obviously Square Enix has been following our channel because lo and behold, they just announced FFXII the Zodiac Age, a PS4 remaster set to launch in 2017. Oh yes ladies and gents, not only are they going to be giving us a shiny new FFXII with all of the standard PS4 graphicy goodness; they are going to be releasing it as the International version with an all new remastered score. Can I get a hell yes?!? Check out the full new launch trailer here, I must say, it looks preeeeeeeeeeeeeety sexy.