Archive for the 'Gaming Tips' Category

14
Dec
08

Left 4 Dead Achievement Hunting

l4d_06Even though I’ve been playing the game for a few months now, Left 4 Dead remains my biggest online addiction. Lately I’ve been trying to round up as many achievements as possible…and it hasn’t been easy. But here’s a few tips for getting some of the more challenging achievements.

Cr0wnd
Gamerpoints: 30
Description: Kill a Witch with a single headshot.
Tips: While it’s possible to hit a Witch with a sniper rifle, it’s best to take her out at close range with a shotgun. But timing is very important. I’ve seen most teammates get this achievement while standing slightly behind the Witch while she’s still in a seated position. As they creep closer (with flashlight off) she begins to stand; this is the time to attack. Aim for the back of her neck and head, but you must wait until she’s standing to register the lethal hit.

Field Medic
Gamerpoints: 20
Description: Heal 25 survivors with a first aid kit.
Tips: This one just takes time but is made easier with some cooperation from your teammates. Instead of constantly healing yourself, always offer your assistance to teammates…especially if they don’t already have this achievement. As long as you heal a teammate and they heal you, you’ll both stay healthy and quickly meet the criteria for this achievement.

Ground Cover
Gamerpoints: 30
Description: Save another survivor from a special infected while on the ground.
Tips: It’s hard to stage this one. For me, it just happened. I was incapacitated when one of my teammates was pounced by a Hunter. I just took aim with my pistols and blasted the Hunter. So if you’re down, look around for teammates being attacked by Hunters or Smokers and help them out. Your pistols are surprisingly effective in these dire moments.

No-One Left Behind
Gamerpoints: 20
Description: Beat a campaign with all 4 survivors.
Tips: I didn’t think this one was too hard, but some players are having difficulty with it. The trick is to make sure all of your teammates are up and walking at the time the evac vehicle arrives. If anyone is incapacitated ensnared, or pinned, they’ll be left behind. So consider holding near the evac vehicle until all your teammates are inside. If you’re standing inside the vehicle, anyone lagging behind can be abandoned instantly if they run into trouble, giving you no time to stage a rescue attempt. So don’t step inside the vehicle until everyone is okay. Also, it’s best to attempt this on easy or normal difficulties.

Pyrotechnician
Gamerpoints: 20
Description: Blow up 20 infected in a single explosion.
Tips: This one is easy if you have the cooperation of your teammates. A single pipe bomb is sufficient to draw 20 infected prior to the big boom. However, make sure your teammates hold their fire while the pipe bomb is beeping. The more zombies that gather around the pipe bomb, the more likely you are to get this achievement.

Witch Hunter
Gamerpoints: 20
Description: Kill a witch without any survivor taking damage from her.
Tips: Depending on the circumstances, this achievement can be earned at the same time as Cr0wnd or Burn the Witch. If you need Cr0wnd, sneak up behind the Witch and perform the close range shotgun kill for the double achievement. If you need Burn the Witch it’s best to attempt this from a upper level requiring the Witch to climb before reaching you. Smack the Witch with a molotov to earn Burn the Witch, then rapidly blast her until she dies before she can attack you or your teammates to get the Witch Hunter achievement.

30
Nov
08

Left 4 Dead: Versus Mode Essentials

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Over the turkey holiday I had the chance to play several pick-up games of Left 4 Dead’s versus mode. While I had a blast playing with the developers at Valve, my experience with public games on Live was less than stellar. Why? I think some players are still trying to get the hang of it which is completely understandable. Versus mode plays very differently than the co-op campaign or any other adversarial multiplayer game. So here’s a few quick tips to make your versus matches more enjoyable.

Don’t hog the infected slots: It may sound stupid, but I’ve waited in lobbies for more than 10 minutes waiting for a game to start simply because all four infected slots are taken. It doesn’t seem to matter that everybody gets a chance to play as the infected. Some players will join, see the infected slots are taken, then disconnect. So consider leaving some infected slots open as an incentive to keep impatient players in your lobby so you can finally start the match.

Don’t just plug in your mic, use it: I’ve played several public matches where my teammates simply don’t talk. Sure, they have mics attached, but there’s no communication. This just doesn’t work in Left 4 Dead. Communication is vital whether playing as the survivors or the infected. So get over your shyness and talk to your teammates. And don’t antagonize the 12-year-olds on your team because they will shoot you.

Speed is the key: Too often I’ve been stuck on teams of survivors that want to explore every nook and cranny of each map at a grandmotherly pace. While this may be fun in the co-op campaign, it’s stupid and dangerous in versus mode. The more time you waste exploring, the more chances you give the other team to kill you. As the survivors your goal is to reach the safe house at the end of the map as quickly as possible. Anyone who intentionally lags behind should be left behind.

Infected teamwork: The infected have a tremendous advantage if they work together and coordinate ambushes. One of the best ways to start out an attack is with a Boomer. Vomit or explode on as many survivors as possible to trigger a swarm of common infected. In addition to attracting zombies, the viscous bile also temporarily blinds all affected survivors. This allows the Hunters and Smoker on your team to take advantage of the chaos and attack, sometimes without being noticed until it’s too late.

Watch your fire: I’d say more than 50% of the damage I’ve incurred is caused by my own teammates. Friendly fire is a huge threat in versus mode so go easy on the trigger cowboy. If a teammate is pinned by a Hunter or ensnared by a Smoker, don’t shoot! Instead, melee the attacker to free your teammate, then open fire on the infected. Also, be careful when using molotovs and igniting the red fuel cans. Fire is extremely deadly, especially if your teammates are incapacitated within the flames.

23
Nov
08

More Left 4 Dead Tips

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Left 4 Dead launched last week and it looks like most players are getting the hang of it, fully embracing the teamplay aspect of the game. But the game isn’t easy, readily apparent when playing as the survivors in the chaotic versus mode or when tackling the co-op campaign on advanced or expert difficulty. So here’s a few more tips to help your team survive the zombie apocalypse.

  • The Boomer is a highly volatile target and should be dealt with delicately. When encountering a Boomer at close range, don’t shoot it. Doing so will only coat you and your teammates in bile, triggering a swarm attack. Instead, melee the Boomer, pushing it away from you. Backpedal to a safe distance and shoot it. If nobody is splashed with bile, this will get you the Clean Kill achievement.
  • When attacking a Hunter on a pinned teammate, use melee attacks to knock them off. This prevents you from injuring your teammate with friendly fire—an important consideration when equipped with a high-powered weapon like a shotgun or sniper rifle. But be prepared to shoot the Hunter as soon as it’s knocked off your teammate. Otherwise it will attack again. Knocking a Hunter off a teammate with a melee attack earns you the Hunter Punter achievement.
  • If a teammate is ensnared by a tongue attack, quickly locate the responsible Smoker and shoot him. If the Smoker isn’t within view, perform a melee attack on the tongue to release your teammate. Avoid shooting the tongue to prevent inflicting friendly fire on your teammate. Once a Smoker has snared and released a target, they can’t attack for several seconds. Use this time to hunt them down before they can strike again.
  • If you can’t engage a Witch at long range, look for other ways to delay her attack. If she’s in a room, toss a molotov at her and shut the door. She’ll eventually claw her way through the door, but will sustain heavy damage from the molotov while doing so. Hitting a Witch with a molotov gets you the Burn the Witch achievement.
  • The Tank is by far the most deadly of the infected and must capture the attention of the entire team if you have any hopes of killing one. Although incredibly strong, the Tank isn’t very fast. It’s entirely possible to backpedal while firing at the Tank without getting touched. But that’s assuming you don’t run out of room or back into a corner—in which case you’re pretty much screwed.
  • The pump and auto shotguns’ extreme damage output is a double edged sword, particularly when playing at the harder difficulties where friendly fire is a huge threat. One misplaced shot could seriously injure or incapacitate a teammate. So be extremely careful when firing around teammates. If in doubt, use melee attacks until you can get a clear shot. This is critical when trying to knock away Hunters or Smokers, as attacking them directly may hurt a pinned or ensnared teammate.
  • Two pistols are always better than one. Look for pistols lying around and pick one up, allowing you to operate dual pistols. This essentially doubles the pistol’s magazine capacity, rate of fire, and damage output. There is no downside. Once a second pistol is acquired, it cannot be dropped unless you’re killed.
  • Operating the SMG requires a cool head and a steady hand. Even during swarm attacks, avoid holding the trigger down for long durations. This simply wastes ammo as your weapon pulls off target or pumps round after round into a an already neutralized zombie. And never swing the weapon left or right while firing—this is a good way to hit teammates. Lay-off the trigger, aim, then shoot.
  • Only use the sniper rifle’s scope when a teammate is nearby to cover you. While peering through the scope your peripheral vision is completely eliminated, making it easy for infected to flank you. In most situations, the crosshairs on the HUD are adequate for aiming.
  • Given the assault rifle’s automatic capability and penetration power its possible to score multiple headshots with a single auto burst. Bullets fired through one target’s head continue travelling in a straight line, penetrating anything behind it. Also, try aiming the rifle at head-level and panning the crosshairs across multiple targets to decapitate a line of approaching common infected.
16
Nov
08

left 4 dead: versus mode

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Now that you’ve had a chance to play the Left 4 Dead demo you have a good idea of how the co-op campaign plays. But what about versus mode? Versus is an adversarial game mode pitting the survivors against the infected. No Mercy and Blood Harvest can be played in this four-on-four mode, offering ten maps total. The gameplay is nearly identical to the other modes with the survivors tasked with making it from safe house to safe house and ultimately escaping after surviving the movie’s finale. It’s the job of the infected team to stop the survivors. Unlike the other game modes, in versus the survivors cannot respawn, but the infected team can. This provides a unique twist to the game mode, forcing the survivors to work together and watch each others’ backs.

While the survivors spawn as the main protagonists, the infected team take on the roles of the special infected. At any given time the infected team always has one Boomer, two Hunters, and one Smoker on the map. Who spawns as what is random, determined by the director. At some points in the map, one player on the infected team is given the chance to spawn as a Tank, providing the team with an extra boost in offense. The Witch is not playable by the infected team, but Witches do make appearances on occasion. Witch spawns are determined by the director and are never in fixed locations. Still, the infected team should use appearances by the Witch to bolster their numbers during coordinated ambushes.

During these matches, each team gets the chance to play as both the survivors and the infected on each map. So after the survivors have escaped or died in the first round, the same map is replayed and the two teams switch sides, with the former infected taking on the roles of survivors and vice versa. Playing as the survivors and infected are completely different and require different skills and tactics to win. But regardless of which side you’re playing, communication and teamwork are always essential.

So how do you determine who wins a match in versus mode? After playing a round as the survivors a score is calculated based on this formula:

Average Distance Traveled + Health Bonus x Survival Multiplier x Map Difficulty Modifier = Team Score

Average Distance Traveled: The points awarded in this category is based on how far your team traveled during the round. If your team made it all the way to the end of the map and reached the safe house, you’re awarded with the maximum 100 points. But if your team only made it through 37% of the map before being stopped by the opposing team’s infected, you only get 37 points. The percentage of the map your team completes determines this score.

Health Bonus: This bonus is determined by averaging the hit points of the survivors who made it to the safe house—survivors who were killed enroute are not part of this average. So if everyone makes it into the safe house with full health, the max 100 points are awarded.

Survival Multiplier: Once the average distance travelled and health bonus has been added, the score is multiplied by the number of survivors who made it into the safe house at the end. If all four survivors made it in, the score is multiplied by four. If only one survivor made it, the score is multiplied by one and thus has no impact. If nobody survived, the score is not multiplied by zero. Rather the score remains untouched, with no multiplier applied.

Map Difficulty Modifier: Each map is assigned a predetermined difficulty modifier. The easiest (or shortest) maps are given a modifier of 1, and the hardest (or longest) maps are given a modifier of 2. The rest of the maps fall somewhere in between, sometimes rated as a 1.50 or 1.60. Whatever the modifier is, it is then multiplied by the score, giving you your team’s final score for the round.

So what’s a good score? Usually posting a score close to 1,000 points per map is considered a praiseworthy achievement. But ultimately it all depends on how well the opposing performed in their turn as the survivors. While no points are awarded when playing as the infected, stopping the opposing team’s survivors is critical, preventing them from posting a high score. Even killing one survivor can have a dramatic impact on the final score, especially in close matches as it robs the opposing team of that vital survival multiplier. So don’t fool around while playing as the infected. Stopping the opposing team is just as important as reaching the safe house when you’re playing as the survivors.

11
Nov
08

A Veteran’s Day Guide to EndWar Infantry

 

Infantry play an important role on the battlefield of the future.

Infantry play an important role on the battlefield of the future.

 

Ninety years ago today the guns fell silent all along the trench lines stretching from the Alps to the North Sea. The War to End All Wars was over. Within 21 years, the world would once again be at war. The Treaty of Versailles planted the seeds of World War II. While wars continue throughout the world today, none have compared to the two world wars.

 

 

 Tom Clancy’s EndWar is set a hundred years after World War I ended. The units you can command are evolutions of the same units that fought during WWI. It was during this conflict that the tank and aircraft were first used in combat. Artillery and infantry both played a major role at the time. Even though modern tanks, gunships, and artillery are so much more advanced, in 2020, the soldier on the ground still decides the battle.

 

 Infantry is often the overlooked unit in EndWar. They are actually some of the most important units. There are two different types of infantry units: Riflemen and Engineers. Infantry are the only units which can secure uplinks and then upgrade them for supports. Therefore, you need to have these units in your force when you deploy to the battlefield. Following are some tips on how to get the most out of your infantry.

 

 Infantry are slow to move. Therefore, load them up in transports to quickly move them to their objectives. Transports also provides protection for your infantry since they are extremely vulnerable to all types of enemy attacks while out in the open. When your infantry are going to fight, make sure they are either in cover or garrisoned in a building. Buildings are great spots for positioning infantry. Both cover and buildings give infantry increased rate of fire and longer attack ranges in addition to providing protection.

 

 Engineers are excellent against all types of vehicles while they are in cover or garrisoned. They are also fast at upgrading uplinks Riflemen, on the other hand, are best used against enemy infantry—especially Engineers. With some upgrades, your riflemen can defeat any enemy infantry—even if they are garrisoned in a building. Riflemen can also secure uplinks fast.

 

 Infantry have some very cool upgrades. While Riflemen can get stealth suits and sniper rifles as well as the ability to deploy anywhere on the battlefield, Engineers can deploy minefields and deploy defenses around uplinks.

 

So next time you are fighting in 2020, focus on your infantry. If you use them correctly, keeping them in cover or garrisoned in buildings, and upgrade them, you will see just how effective they can be.

 

 

06
Nov
08

Left 4 Dead: Demo Survival Tips

l4d_02Today the Left 4 Dead demo goes live on Steam and Xbox Live for pre-order customers. Those who haven’t pre-ordered can get the demo on November 11th. Unlike most shooters, teamplay is essential in Left 4 Dead. So here’s a few quick tips to help your team get started:

Establish communication with your team: There’s no time to type messages back and forth, so make sure everyone on your team has a microphone and knows how to use it—a gray speaker icon appears next to their name in the lobby if they have a microphone connected. If playing with strangers online, say hi and establish a rapport with your new teammates. Breaking the ice in the lobby will pay off later as the game begins.

Get organized: Before beginning a game, discuss your individual roles. It’s usually a good idea to elect one teammate as the leader. This player will not only physically lead the team but make key pathfinding decisions at branches, determining which direction the team will go. Therefore the leader should have at least some experience with the layout of the maps you’re about to blitz through. But most importantly, the leader should possess good communication skills, constantly checking in with teammates and ensuring everyone stays together and healthy.

Diversify your firepower: When choosing weapons at the beginning of a level, mix it up, taking a couple of shotguns and two SMGs or assault rifles. This gives your team a good balance of firepower capable of engaging threats at close and long range. Never take more than one sniper rifle. Although powerful, sniper rifles have a low rate of fire and take a long time to reload. And since most engagements occur at close to intermediate range, the rifle’s scope isn’t very useful, and can even be a liability.

Stay together, stay alive: It may sound easy, but keeping four players together during a chaotic advance is a constant challenge. But it’s a challenge that must be overcome if you hope to make it to the safe house. Stay in constant voice communication with your teammates, calling out targets and issuing warnings. If you need to stop and heal, let everyone know so they don’t leave you behind. When stopping, make sure everyone gets the message. Anyone who continues advancing on their own won’t stand a chance.

Close doors: The infected can’t open doors. Instead, they must break them down with melee attacks. While a simple wooden door won’t last long when faced with such violent attacks, it will delay the infected, allowing your team to slip away or prepare to engage the attackers. Often the sound of the infected breaking down a door is just enough to get your team’s attention, preventing you from being attacked from behind.

Share the health supplies: If your character is healthy and someone else on your team is seriously injured, either heal them with a first aid kit or hand over a bottle of pills. Injured players slow down the whole team so it’s in everyone’s best interest to keep everyone healthy and moving at maximum speed. Each player can carry one first aid kit and one bottle of pills, so there’s usually enough supplies to go around if you all share.

Use the survivor’s names when communicating: It’s often easier to say Bill, Francis, Louis, or Zoey in the heat of battle than it is to decipher someone’s 15-character Gamertag. So take note of what survivor you’re playing as and respond to any questions or requests when addressed by this name.

Monitor your teammates: You can see your teammates at all times, even if they’re not in your current line of sight. They’ll appear as a blue glowing silhouette if blocked by an object such as a wall. These glowing silhouettes allow you to keep tabs on all your teammates. If the teammate’s silhouette turns orange, it indicates they’re in danger. This could mean a variety of things. They could be covered in a Boomer’s bile, dangling from a ledge, incapacitated, pinned by a Hunter, or ensnared by a Smoker’s tongue. In any case, get to them as quickly as possible to assist.

02
Nov
08

Far Cry 2: Bonus Missions

If you pre-ordered and/or purchased Far Cry 2 from Gamestop, you were given a promotional code. This unlocks a set of exclusive missions that tells the backstory of your predecessor—the man originally sent to eliminate the Jackal. To activate these exclusive missions, from the game’s main menu select Additional Content. After that, choose the Promotional Content option. This brings up the promotional code input screen. Enter the code you received when you purchased the game—it is case-sensitive, so input the code exactly as it appears. If entered correctly, a pop-up window will inform you that new content has been unlocked. For best results, unlock this content before you start a new game. At the very least, input this code before moving on to Bowa-Seko, as the first three bonus missions must be completed in Leboa-Sako.

Continue reading ‘Far Cry 2: Bonus Missions’




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