Friday, 4 March 2011

Resistance 3 Multiplayer Footage

By Mark

Some Resistance 3 footage has come out of GDC featuring previously unseen multiplayer action. Some changes have been made such as the scale of death matches has been toned down from 60 players to make an overall smoother experience.

In terms of the gameplay itself it has gained the addition of 'support abilities', players will now be able to choose things like a bubble shield, ammo drops and a radar beacon that enhances your teams radar scope. In addition to the support abilities there are also tactical abilities 'Doppelganger' which will project an image of yourself to trick enemies and there will also be a 'Dash' that allows you to evade enemies with a burst of speed.

While none of the additions are new to online shooters, they're welcome and the action looks like it holds up well.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Dragon Age II - 'The Exiled Prince' Trailer

By Mark

For those of you that have preordered the 'Signature Edition' of Dragon Age II here is a brief trailer showcasing the launch day DLC 'The Exiled Prince'. As for what you'll be getting up to in the addon adventure here's the word straight from EA:
Adventure alongside Sebastian Vael, an archer of noble birth, as he seeks revenge for the brutal murder of his family. Aid him in his quest, and direct his righteous wrath on your enemies. Sebastian is a full companion character, complete with his own series of side missions. Gain the prince´s allegiance as part of The Exiled Prince downloadable pack included in the BioWare Signature Edition.
The DLC will also be available for those without the preorder edition for $7.00 or 560 MSP and with the game launching so soon it's nice to have a little more media to look at.

Minecraft creator says 'Piracy is not theft'

By Mark

Adding some spice to our thursday morning now, speaking at GDC's Indie Games Summit the creator of the wildly popular Minecraft, Markus 'Notch' Persson, has said that the current view of piracy isn't accurate.

Using theft of a car as an example he said that "Piracy is not theft," and that "If you steal a car, the original is lost. If you copy a game, there are simply more of them in the world." 

When talking about the fact that people view pirated downloads as lost sales he stated "There is no such thing as a 'lost sale'," "Is a bad review a lost sale? What about a missed ship date?". 

Persson also went on to discuss the model that Minecraft itself uses saying that "You can't pirate an online account.". What do you folks make of this? I agree with what he says mostly, piracy is one of those things that's just part and parcel of the industry and some methods halt it better than others.

[Source - Edge]

New Footage From The Last Guardian

By Mark

Some new gameplay footage has come our way via a video interview with Fumito Ueda, director of The Last Guardian

While the footage seen may not look like gameplay I can assure you it is, we see more of the interplay between the main character and the creature. Ueda also explains some of the design choices and aim of the game so it really is worth a watch for those interested in the game.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Australian Mortal Kombat ban to be appealed

By Jonny

Warner Bros have announced that they intend to fight against the recent banning of Mortal Kombat in Australia.
While the game is very gory and over the top, the publisher states that the violence and gore in Mortal Kombat is no worse than other gruesome games currently on the Australian Market. Here's the full statement from the publisher:
"After careful consideration Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment Australia have decided to appeal to the Australian Classification Review Board against the RC (Refused Classification) decision given to Mortal Kombat. After reviewing both the game play and the Board's original decision WBIE Australia believe the violence in the game is on par with numerous other titles readily available for sale in the Australian market. As such the company wants to exhaust all options to make the game available to Mortal Kombat fans in this country. An identical version of the game will be submitted for appeal."
Source: IGN

Lengthy Gameplay Video For Hunted: The Demon's Forge

By Mark

Still unsure about upcoming Hunted: The Demon's Forge? Well that could change after watching the new video that has hit the net featuring 8 minutes of footage that blends in game cutscenes and gameplay footage.

Developed by InXile Entertainment, Hunted, follows the adventures of E'lara and Caddoc with the former being our heroine capable of wielding small weapons and bows whereas the latter is the large male protagonist that slays his enemies with larger melee weapons. The pair go off in search of an artifact courtesy of a vision that Caddoc has.

Primarily meant as a co-op affair the game will offer players a co-op experience that doesn't utilise splitscreen. President of InXile, Matt Findley, has previously said that “We’re co-op in that all of our special skills and abilities are designed to make you work together,”. Let us know what you think of the title in the comments below.

Battlefield 3 Uninterrupted Gameplay

By Mark

Remember the first teaser for Battlefield 3? It was about 40 seconds long with lots of editing and little opportunity to focus on the game. That's now been rectified by EA and DICE as they have released a video entitled 'Fault Line Series Episode 1: Bad Part of Town'.

The video is roughly 3 minutes of pure, uninterrupted gameplay allowing us to properly focus on what's on offer and the immediate thing to notice is the visual quality. It's pretty sweet looking to say the least, but don't take my word for it, watch it.

Visceral Games To Work On 'Bold New IP'

By Mark

Not satisfied with just sitting on the Dead Space franchise, Visceral Games are now looking to make all new experiences. The news comes by way of a job listing via the developer that seeks an executive producer for an 'AAA' title. Part of the listing reads:
The Executive Producer for Visceral Redwood Shores will be leading a bold new IP that is heavily backed by EA leadership. The team is made up of industry veterans with a proven track record for shipping quality product.
As for what type of game, what platform and all the other usual questions then I'm afraid there are no answers yet, the title seems to be in the earliest of phases. No doubt the developer has high ambitions for the title and I for one look forward to what the come up with.

[Source - Gamasutra Jobs]

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Black Ops Patch released for Xbox 360

By Jonny

Treyarch have just released the 7th title update for Call of Duty: Black Ops on the Xbox 360. The update comes with a bunch of improvement to the matchmaking, multiplayer and zombies mode, as well as fixing the broken leader boards.

Community manager Josh Olin also announced that the PS3 version of the update is coming and is stated to arrive alongside the release of the "First Strike" map pack on March 3.

Issues Fixed

- Matchmaking improvements to return higher quality results faster. This change includes settings that are tunable in the live environment, so tweaking may continue beyond initial release of this update.
- The in-game store now hides DLC map packs that do not match the language of the player's disc to decrease the possibility of users downloading the incorrect language version.
- Calling in a Chopper Gunner immediately after getting shot down in a Gunship will no longer end the Chopper Gunner run prematurely. Required timing-specific button presses.
- Split screen players are now able to change camera perspectives and cycle through players as a spectator.
- Addressed an issue where the most recent match played in Zombies could overwrite the best match played on the leaderboard.
- Improved Zombies lobbies to prevent players from erroneously receiving the error "Unable to join game session" under certain circumstances.
- Addressed a number of community-discovered Zombies gameplay exploits.
- Additional security feature updates.

Gameplay Fixes

- Additional Sniper rifle tuning

Obsidian Working On New Projects - Licensed and Fresh

By Mark

Obsidian Entertainment have spoken about some upcoming projects that they have in the pipeline and what they'd like to work on.

The CEO of the developer Feargus Urquhart has been speaking to Game Revolution and talked about what the team has planned post Dungeon Siege III release. 
"There's nothing that's been moved forward, but we'd love to develop Dungeon Siege 4. On the flip side I think as a studio we have some original ideas and stories to tell."
He then goes on to talk about what they have in mind for pitches:
"We have a great idea for a new world we've just started pitching to publishers and we have an older pitch that we really like called 'Defiance' which is about a fantasy world where, basically, Sauron won. Everything isn't happy in The Shire, they didn't get the ring in the fire and the hobbits are all dead. We think that's a cool pitch and we hope to have a publisher pick that up at some point."
Most recently the developer has worked on Fallout: New Vegas which received favourable reviews from most with the biggest complaint being the amount of bugs in the game at launch. Previous to that they handled Alpha Protocol which was a fresh IP that released to really mixed opinions.

In terms of another new IP the team is currently at work on a project that is set to release on XBLA which is aimed at the first quarter of next year as they are also at work on a licensed IP which he couldn't talk much about:
"it's a licensed product that when people hear about it they're going to be 'well you had to do that. there's no option, if I was a developer and I was offered that I would just do it'. I'm hoping that'll be announced around E3."
So there's Obsidian's plans for the time being folks. Thoughts?

ModNation Racers - 2 Million Creations Trailer

By Mark

ModNation Racers is celebrating the fact that the game has seen 2 million creations since its launch last year. The PS3 exclusive seemed to be a hit with the public, featuring custom built tracks via the community and simple racing action.

The title was developed by United Front Games which have recently been hit with layoffs and troubles due to Activision's cancellation of True Crime: Hong Kong.

Catherine Confirmed for US

By Mark

Well it's been long debated but Catherine is indeed making its way over to the US this summer. Even after being denied by Atlus there was always a chance this would happen purely due to the fact that the game was developed on 360 and knowing the popularity of the console in Japan it would of made little sense to only release in that region.

There's no solid release date yet apart from 'summer' and absolutely no word on a European release but keep your fingers crossed as always. The game has a preview site up at which you can check out now although there is little to be found there.

Last Guardian Details From Famitsu

By Mark

Famitsu have had a chance to look at The Last Guardian and the fine folks over at Andriasang have translated the details so we can get a better idea of the upcoming game from the developers of ICO and Shadow of the Colossus.
  • You initially can't communicate with Torico, so he'll quickly fall asleep.
  • Torico can't eat everything. If he eats something he doesn't like, he'll spit it out.
  • The game uses a collision system with similar capabilities to that of Shadow of the Colossus.
  • Even if you're caught by the guards that fill the dungeons, the game doesn't immediately end.
  • Torico may have a life gauge.
  • They're currently looking into the possibility of showing gauges to support the player -- this is one area that Ueda is worrying over.
  • In its impressions of the game, Famitsu commented that it exceeded expectations -- it's "real that exceeds real".
  • Torico's actions are very detailed -- down to the level of his reacting differently depending on the sound in the area.
  • The game uses a fake language.
  • Famitsu commented that the boy main character's movements are also incredible. Ueda responded that when the boy approaches a wall, he will naturally extend his arms out, and as he approaches Torico, he will touch the creature. To show the feeling of existence for the characters, you need to show such actions that make it look like the character himself knows that there's a wall there.
It's all sounding rather good so far, let's hope that at E3 we get a real look at the game!

Monday, 28 February 2011

Pre-order Homefront and recieve free OnLive Console

By Jonny
Customers in the US who pre-order a copy of the new first person shooter Homefront, before March 14th will receieve the $99 OnLive console absolutley free (excluding shiping and taxes).

The OnLive system which offers a cloud based games on demand service for a monlthy fee was released last year and has since seemed to dissapear into the background, not making as much of an impact as was expected. So what does this mean if there giving away the console as a pre-order bonus? Is this some kind of Marketing Ploy? Is the console doing that badly? Why give it as a pre-order incentive with a disk based game?

Let us know what you think in the comments and you can also see the pre-order offer here.

Ninja Gaiden III Teaser

By Mark

Tecmo have just released a teaser that confirms Ninja Gaiden III is very real and on the way. There really isn't much to be seen though apart from series hero Ryu Hayabusa getting up to his favourite pastime of gutting those that cross him.

The teaser ominously ends with Ryu about to remove his mask then the message 'Unmask at E3 2011' so that's all we have for now.

Bulletstorm Review

By Mark

Giving the finger to the rest of your particular genre isn’t necessarily a hard thing to do, but to do that and make a killer game yourself that drags people in is. That’s what Bulletstorm’s goal is though and it set its sights high long before the game came out with the Duty Calls parody and heavy marketing with the game’s tagline ‘kill with skill’. So have People Can Fly achieved something here in the crowded FPS market of today or is this yet another shooter to promise the world and deliver nothing?

One thing to be clear, if you’ve come to Bulletstorm with high hopes of a deep involving story line and a narrative you can really get behind then this isn’t necessarily the right title to look at. Of course, while saying that I don’t mean what’s on offer here is bad by any means it’s just not the focal point of the game. Players assume the role of Grayson Hunt, leader of ‘Dead Echo’ a mercenary outfit working under the command of General Sarrano, this setup turns sour in the opening stages however after Grayson and the rest of Dead Echo are betrayed and dishonourably discharged from the force. 

10 years later is where the game kicks into high gear as we see Grayson send his squad and ship front first through the General’s fleet ship on a liquor fuelled revenge attempt that came about by chance. As you’d imagine such an attempt doesn’t go down to well and our hero finds himself and friend Ishi Sato now stranded on the planet of Stygia. Once a resort for tourists the universe over, Stygia is now home to meat-eating plants, giant monsters, mutants and criminal gangs that the pair find themselves fighting all too frequently along with Sarrano’s forces themselves as they too are stranded on the planet.  

The aim, then, is to get off the planet and take out the General that wronged them. Along the way our heroes are not alone. The pair find themselves joined by Trishka, the delightfully foul mouthed woman with a shadowy past and current leader of ‘Final Echo’ the replacement for Grayson’s Dead Echo outfit. As I say it’s not an amazing premise, but there is a lot of crass humour and over the top moments that are just plain fun to view or play regardless and at the end of the day that’s what Bulletstorm is all about, fun.

As you’d expect it’s the gameplay where Bulletstorm either lives or dies, with claims to make the player ‘kill with skill’ and poking fun at competition it had to make it on this aspect at least and for the most part it does. The controls are standard fair albeit tweaked to match the arsenal and abilities that are offered in the game, so to compare to other titles instead of grenades being thrown you’ll be leashing enemies toward you and instead of a one hit melee button we have a kick that sends the enemy flying, allowing you to kill them in whatever creative manner you please. 

The killing with skill comes into play once Grayson has acquired the leash, the explanation given is that the onboard AI within the equipment is constantly evaluating the user. So the more ‘skillshots’ the user completes the more points they earn for ammo and upgrades. It’s not a perfect reason but at least they implemented the game’s main feature into the actual narrative. There’s also a multitude of weapons that you have access to so that you can pull off the flashy, over the top kills ranging from the standard assault rifle to a weapon that fires huge drills at foes. If that still wasn’t enough to quench your killing need then you’ll be pleased to know that each of the weapons come with a ‘charge’ shot once unlocked. These add more variety to your killing choices and can make for some really entertaining multi-kills. 

As for the levels you’ll be stomping around in, Bulletstorm is structured in a very linear way. While there are some open battlefields the focus is to keep pushing forward and racking up as much destruction as you can along the way. Some will feel that the design could, or should, be freer in terms of roaming Stygia but again that isn’t the aim of the title. Instead of that we get a blazing rush of a campaign that has a wealth of ‘holy crap’ moments, crude and obnoxious humour and that injection of fun that has felt absent from other shooters these days. 

In addition to the game’s campaign there are also two other featured modes; one being ‘Echoes’ which has players dash through segments of campaign levels where they can rank on a leaderboard for high scores. While the other is ‘Anarchy’ mode, this is largely akin to horde from Gears of War or fire fight from Halo. Competitive multiplayer is absent although it’s easy to see why once you’ve experienced the game. 

Visually, the planet of Stygia has some truly awe inspired vistas that you’ll appreciate when taking a breather from all the mass murdering you’ll no doubt be accomplishing during your time with the game and while it’s not the best looking game out there it certainly appeals to the eye. Aside from the urban sections of the planet you’ll also visit caves, an overgrown garden, a museum and then there’s the sections that take place within the spaceships so there’s enough variety going for you to gawk at.

The voice work in Bulletstorm does the game a great justice as the game is packed with jokes, one liners, insults, conversation and arguments so it’s nice to see that People Can Fly got the right people for the job. You’ll immediately pick out Grayson’s voice (Steve Blum) if you’ve played Dragon Age: Origins as he also provided the voice of Oghren whereas Trishka is handled by the all too familiar Jennifer Hale who lends her voice to all the FemSheps out there in Mass Effect.  As for the game’s soundtrack it’s also suitably fitting drafting in heavy rock beats when wasting foes and orchestral scores when dealing with the subtler moments. 

To wrap up Bulletstorm does what it set out to do, and that’s to bring back the ‘fun’ to shooting. No military or real world settings, just some off world pirates stranded on a beautiful planet that happens to be brimming with the perfect victims for kicking and leashing around. With nice visuals, great sound work, a pleasing narrative and overall kickass gameplay it all adds up to being a great experience that doesn’t falter that much in delivering a purely archaic and enjoyable experience. Sure, the multiplayer could of been better and the ending is somewhat flat but those are things that can be dealt with in the sure to come sequel and for now Bulletstorm is a title that deserves your attention while it lasts.

Bulletstorm - 8.5/10

In a nutshell we...

  • Over the top at every turn
  • Skillshots
  • Humour abound
Not So Much
  • Point A to B, again? 
  • No real closure at the end

'Gunstringer' Gets Lengthy Demo Video

By Mark

Gunstringer, for those who don't know, is a 2D/3D hybrid shooter that is on the way for Xbox 360's Kinect.

The game features a resurrected cowboy puppet that naturally seeks revenge on those that killed him and is being developed by Twisted Pixel, the folks behind Splosion Man. 

The game is set to hit XBLA later this year and it's still a work in progress, here's hoping for more success for the developer.