Sep 282012
 

I recently downloaded the now public demo for Resident Evil 6 and quickly realized it was split into three different parts, all dealing with a separate character. After deciding I wanted to do a hands-on impression of the demo, I figured the best way to do so would be to separate the three characters and talk about them all individually before diving into my overall impressions of the demo. Below is the outcome of my thought process.

Leon

Leon’s section revolves around him meeting up with a lady while simultaneously having to deal with our president who is bitten and coming closer and closer to the new girl. Leon is having none of that and takes the president out. It is then revealed that Leon doesn’t know who the girl is but they are tied together somehow. That how is left to be discovered later on in the game.

Leon’s gameplay revolved more around some older games in the franchise. Apart from the redesigned UI and ability to move when you aim, Leon’s section is very reminiscent of Resident Evil 4. The problem here is that the new UI and movement detract away from one of the main, if not controversial, staples of the Resident Evil franchise. It doesn’t completely tarnish the experience by any means but it detracts from it greatly, making you feel like you’re playing a whole separate game instead of the new Resident Evil.

Apart from that little complaint, everything within Leon and Helana’s (unknown lady) little section is perfectly competent and feels like more Resident Evil. The visuals get very choppy at times and the cheese within the story can be smelled from a mile away. Like I said, it’s Resident Evil.

Chris

This is where things begin to differ a tad. Chris’ section introduces a whole new style of gameplay, a style very similar to Gears of War. You are Chris Redfield and you are in the military, you’re dropped off at a location, and you must then shoot a bunch of guys with your machine gun. This whole part is the complete opposite of what Resident Evil is about; instead it diverges deeply into the action genre. Diving into the action genre more than horror is a big complaint many had about Resident Evil 5 so why that would return in an even stronger way with Resident Evil 6 is beyond me.

The combat itself is borderline awful. Resident Evil’s mechanics just do not lend themselves well to only combat. Not only is it frustrating  to aim, the guns themselves lack any kind of force or feel that would make you want to continue using them. Every single thing about this section felt flat and lifeless which is an issue that could very well carry over to the retail product. On one positive note, this portion of the game looked much better than Leon’s did. Maybe it was because it was daytime and had no rain, either way, it looked sharp.

 

Jake

Jake Muller is the newest addition to the Resident Evil franchise. Introduced as Wesker’s son, you can see why he’s an integral part of the story. But the story goes deeper in his eyes as Wesker abandoned him while he was just a boy and eventually Jake realized he must take jobs as a mercenary in order to support his aging and ailing mother. He eventually meets up with a lady named Sherry who needs his blood as he could be the key to “saving the world.”

From there, Resident Evil happens. You shoot guys with a pistol, sniper, machine gun, shotgun, etc. as you traverse across a torn apart land leading Sherry beside you the whole way. Jake’s section seems to blend the Chris and Leon sections into one as it shows hints of both horror and pure action sequences. Even if his combat isn’t going to blow anyone away, I definitely find Jake’s story to be very interesting and interest is something the Resident Evil series is beginning to lack.

Overall Impressions

Resident Evil 6 has been garnering a lot of negative press as its release inches closer and closer, some of it warranted and some of it not warranted. I’m beginning to see myself falling in between the positive and negative side as I’m not ready to call Resident Evil 6 an abject failure just yet as it shows promise with an interesting character in Jake and some absolutely gorgeous visuals. Well, when it isn’t dark and raining, of course.

That being said, I just don’t know if the combat can continue to hold up through yet another eight hour experience. I understand puzzles will be thrown in there at random intervals but even those have decreased in quality as the franchise has continued on. Resident Evil 6 still has a lot to prove and we’ll find out if Capcom can pull together one more quality Resident Evil game come October 2nd.

Jul 272012
 

 

Back at E3, we had the chance to sit down with Khang Le, the Game Art Director for HAWKEN. By now you know that we absolutely love the game but Khang Le took some time to shed a little more light on the game itself and let us know a little background behind it as well.

So, First question. What inspired the game Hawken?

So Hawken, I basically grew up with a bunch of games like Mechwarrior and Virtual-On from Japan and Steel Batallion. You know, very hardcore but also very arcadey. Always loved the feeling of driving a big mech machine in a game but I never quite had fun with them. They were always way too floaty and arcadey or way too focused on simulation, which made it difficult to play, it felt like work.
So when we were still a small team we were wondering what we should do next and looking at our team, making a sci-fi game made much more sense to us. Since we were small, sci-fi was a bit easier to build than a fantasy game since you can repeat assets and things like that and we only had one animator. We didn’t want to bother with anything that had human characters involved so robots was an easier way to go. It all made sense, it was or passion and at the same time it fit the logistics of the team itself. I did a painting awhile back and with that painting, that was the starting point. We extrapolated from that and the UDK came out for free to the public and everything timed together perfectly.

I noticed that with Hawken, there’s a lot of cool little things that you can do in combat. Hell, I found out that I could heal halfway through a match. With that, there also seems to be a lot of customization with your loadouts. Will there be even more options available from what I got to experience?

The demo you played, we set things up in a preset setup. We wanted people to get to experience the game and not spend their time tinkering with options but once the game is available you will have 3 weight classes that will be fully customizable. We also will have skill trees that will allow you to do things like make your light mechs armored or make your heavy mechs faster. If you wanted, you could push everything to the extreme, make a light mech a speed freak or a heavy mech a tank.

If you liked mechwarrior gameplay, with a lumbering mech, you could take a heavy and upgrade all of it’s armor. It becomes a very different game, it would still be very much more mechwarrior but if you took a light mech and put everything into speed it would feel like Quake. This will allow for a wide range of players to find their style.

Initially, we didn’t know what we wanted to do. Should we go for arcade or or a heavy sort of mech? The more we thought about it, the more we realized that we should let the player choose what they want to be and how they want to play.

 

Dust and sand can kick up in combat, providing a crippling distraction or saving your butt from other pilots.

Can you tell me a little about how Hawken will operate as a free to play title?

The monetary aspects of the free to play model will mainly be visual and also different weapons. Now, weapons won’t overpower each other, so playing for things may allow you to play with a different style but not necessary any stronger than someone who hasn’t paid for anything. Even though it will be a free to play game, we are going to make sure it isn’t a pay-to-win game.

What about balance? How will Hawken keep a level playing field and what will happen with paying players? Will experiences vary?

The game experience should be very much the same for the paying and non-paying player. Like most free to play games, we don’t want to be the type of game where you are just paying for better things. What you will pay for is a way to just “get there faster”. We want someone who is so busy working and not able to spend time, like a young teenager may to invest 8 hours a day into playing a game, to be able to compete with everyone else by getting stuff quicker. If you can still play though, you can still get almost everything the paying player gets. In fact, there will be things that only the playing player can get and things that only can be purchased as well. Both types of players should be able to keep up with each other, just one will get to spend less time. I like to think of it like valet parking. You either pay for someone to park your car or you park it yourself.

As far as game modes, I saw that there were two, a deathmatch style mode and an objective mode as well. Are there any other modes that will be available at launch?

The 3 modes that we have already announced are the ones that you have played as well as a siege mode as well. It has a slight RTS feel to it and is very team based, you have to work from objective to objective. The whole idea is that you must launch a battleship and destroy the enemy base. You will escort need to escort your battleship across the landscape and will also need to gather resources. You will go to stations to collect energy units but it will take time to collect it, so your teammates will need to defend you. While you bring it back, the enemy can still steal it from you and bring it back to their base, so there will be a lot of teamwork involved. You’ll have really cool moments where you may have a lot of energy but really low health so you’ll be like “Fuck! I am going to lose all this shit I’ve collected!” but then your friend will jump in and protect you. Those are great moments, I really love siege mode.

When will Hawken be released? As soon as people hear more about it, they are going to be ready to get going!

You can find out everything you need to know about the release on playhawken.com, on 12-12-12 the open beta will start. We will have a closed beta for those that sign up and it should hopefully be around October. We hope to have everyone playing right before the apocalypse!

When I played Hawken, I used the standard keyboard and mouse. I know that many mech and vehicle combat style games find themselves getting different peripherals. Do you have any plans to collaborate on a peripheral for the more hardcore player?

As a mech game fan, I loved playing games like Steel Batallion and Virtual On with the dual controller, so the MEK-FU is going to support this. We will also work with any other peripheral company that comes to us and wants to make something that makes sense for the game. We want to have 3 monitor support. If you have deep pockets, we want you to absolutely get that immersion. Imagine having a motion chair, 3 monitors, 3D glasses and a MEK-FU controller! It would be the closest you could get to piloting a real mech!

I know we need to let you get back to making sure Hawken is staying awesome, so let me ask you; what is your favorite game of all time?

Favorite game of all time? Holy shit. That is a hard question! I’m going to cheat, I have to take two. As far as a visual experience and a sense of immersion, I would have to say Shadow of the Colossus. It’s not a game, it’s more of an experience. I find the jumping and riding your horse around to be very relaxing. The game I’ve played a lot though would have to be Sim City. It has to be my favorite, I love watching things grow. You know what, there’s also Duke Nukem. Holograms and trip-wires? We love the old Duke Nukem!

What would you like to say to the fans and readers out there?

Basically, we are happy for everyone’s support! It’s been incredible! We didn’t expect the support when we were garage-style developers and now we are at E3. I hope you check the game out, it’s been a labor of love of we have been enjoying playing it as well as creating it.

Thank you for the time Khang Le, I can’t wait to play Hawken again!

Jun 042012
 

We already know a few things about Assassin’s Creed 3 but Ubisoft dropped a bomb on us today.

It turns out that Ubisoft hasn’t ignored the fact that there was some serious seafaring combat during the Revolutionary War. They explained that Connor is given command of a ship and crew and he can give them orders as he sees fit. We were treated to a combat scene where Connor steers his ship throughout the seas to combat the Red Coats. The sea combat is actually one of the coolest looking examples of this that I have ever saw. The seas begin to get choppy and a storm rolls in while in combat, forcing Connor’s ship and crew to fight the ocean along with the Red Coats. After firing on the enemy ship a few times, another ship appears and Connor immediately steers his ship alongside the new ship and opens fire. Fire and splinters are scattered everywhere and the Red Coat ship is ignited, but Connor’s ship has taken damage as well. Connor steers his ship around to his enemies’ keel opens fire once more, finally sinking his enemy. The crew cheers and then points out the first ship, that has been disabled, is trying to make a getaway. Well, Connor isn’t having that, he steers his ship alongside the crippled one and the boarding grapple hooks fly out and the crew begins to board. The demo ends with Connor in traditional assassin form mid-air.

Honestly, I was already excited about Assassin’s Creed 3 but the new seafaring combat is one of the coolest things by far that has been featured in a game recently. To make sure that people who haven’t gotten around to picking up the PS3 can do so now with the Assassin’s Creed 3 bundle that will be coming out at the same time as the game itself.


Jun 042012
 

Recently, we say Quantic Dream’s tech demo Cara and many of us thought that this amazing demo would have something to do with their next game. Boy were we wrong, their next title is an interesting looking game called Beyond.

Beyond is Sony’s new IP which sits in the same genre as Heavy Rain and is set to be as in depth as it’s spiritual predacessor. The protagonist is a young girl called Jodie Holmes and the actress used for voice and modelling is actress Ellen Page. Where Heavy Rain was a more Drama/Thriller kind of story this is more of a supernatural/action tale, focusing on Jodie’s belief throughout her life that she can feel and interact with a world between ours and the after life.

The game will take place over the course of fifteen years, meaning we will get to live and experience a rather large part of this young womans life. From what we saw of the game, it would appear that someone finds Jodie very interesting, dangerous or valuable and having seen that she has the ability to manipulate something in order to cause destruction to protect herself.

The demo opens with a scene in a police office, an officer is speaking with Jodi and she looks despondent, not answering any of his questions. He offers her a cup of coffee and the tries to question her about being found on side of the road in the middle of nowhere. While he tries to help her, she continues to look despondent and the cup of coffee begins to react to something unseen. The officer continues to question Jodi but he gets slightly irritated and begins to leave when he notices scar on the back of her head. He gets close and coffee flies mysteriously against the wall, he nopes the fuck out of there and tells her he is going to his office. After he leaves, Jodi is talking in her head and she says “I know they’re coming”. Just as she says this, swat enters the police office and some flashy swat commander confronts the officer and orders him to open the door. He complies and walks back, then suddenly… Nothing happens. The demo ends.

We are then treated to numerous action sequences hinting at a spiritual powers (some sort of sheild) and possible possession abilities. After kicking Captain Badass’ face in, she threatens to kill everyone next time and then addresses Ivan, who I imagine is a spiritual companion of hers.

This is what we know of Beyond so far but we will keep you up to date if there is anything on the floor tomorrow.

Mar 062012
 

With Mass Effect 3 launching in North America today, many people, including myself, will be playing it for weeks to come. So, I’ve decided that March is going to be Mass Effect Month here on Top 10 Tuesdays. Each week in March, I’ll do a different Mass Effect related Top 10 list, kicking things off this week with the Top 10 Mass Effect Powers. Because I’ve played a significant amount of the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer demo, this list could still be complete even though I haven’t yet finished the single player campaign, which is why Top 10 Powers is first up. In my opinion, the use of powers in the Mass Effect series elevates the combat above your typical third person shooter. The powers give the combat a much more unique and strategic feel than the average third person shooter, and also help maintain the RPG feel of the game, even during some of the more action heavy moments. Be sure to check back in a few days for my review of Mass Effect 3, but in the meantime, here are the Top 10 Mass Effect Powers.

Be warned, there are very minor spoilers for Mass Effect 2.

10. Throw (Biotic)

Throw is the bread and butter of any biotic, and is also one of the more satisfying powers to use. When you hit enemies with throw, they go sailing through the air at devastating speeds. If you level it up a certain way, you can even send whole groups of enemies flying with a single throw, either killing them outright from the force, or giving you and your squad an opportunity to finish them off while they’re reeling from the impact. Where throw gets really awesome, is when you use in combination with other biotic powers. If you use throw on an enemy or group of enemies that were rendered weightless by lift, pull, or singularity, you can send them flying even further, often completely out of the level. It doesn’t get much better than hearing your enemies’ screams growing fainter as they fly off toward the horizon.

9. Warp (Biotic)

Warp isn’t the flashiest of biotic powers, but it is certainly one of the most useful. Warp is very effective at taking down enemy barriers, it does significant damage to heavily armored enemies, and even causes organic enemies to steadily lose health. Warp is particularly effective against Krogan, as it stops them from regenerating their health, which can be huge help, especially on higher difficulty settings. In addition to the normal effects of warp, it also has addition effects when combined with other biotic powers. From Mass Effect 2 onward, if you use warp on an enemy that is already being affected by certain biotic powers, it will initiate a biotic detonation. In addition to dealing massive damage to a wide area, the detonation also generate significant force, sending enemies flying in all directions.

8. AI Hacking (Tech)

AI Hacking is one of the most effective means of dealing with the Geth and other synthetic enemies, and I always make sure someone in my party can use it whenever I take embark on a mission against the Geth. AI Hacking does exactly what it sounds like, it temporarily turns a synthetic enemy to your side, forcing it attack its teammates. This is not only useful for adding more firepower to your side during a fight, but also at creating a distraction. When an enemy is turned, the rest of the enemies will focus almost exclusively on their former ally until they either kill it or the hacking runs out. This makes AI Hacking very useful when you’re getting overwhelmed, and can give you those extra few seconds you need to heal up and let your shields recharge.

7. Tech Armor (Tech, Sentinel)

In both Mass Effect 2 and 3, Tech Armor is the Sentinel’s unique class specific power. Being a mostly defensive power, it is by no means the most glamorous of class powers, but it is very effective nonetheless. At its highest levels, Tech Armor doubles the strength of your shields, meaning you can take a lot more damage before going down. Even better, you can activate it when lose shields, meaning you can basically recharge your shields on command. Another great thing about it is that it doesn’t ever wear off; meaning you can activate it at the start of a mission, and it will stay active the whole time, only going down if it takes too much fire. The final aspect of Tech Armor is that you can manually discharge it, creating a shock-wave that will stun nearby enemies and do limited damage to enemy shields, giving you a last ditch means of crowd control if you get overwhelmed.

6. Dominate (Biotic, Morinth)

Out of all the powers on this list, Dominate is probably the one most people have never used or even knew existed. Dominate is the unique power for Morinth in Mass Effect 2, and can be assigned to Shepard with advanced training once Morinth joins the party. The only way to recruit Morinth in Mass Effect 2 is to betray Samara during her loyalty mission, killing her and taking her serial killer daughter instead. Because Morinth is an Ardat-Yakshi, a rare genetic condition among Asari, she has unique mind control abilities. Dominate is basically AI Hacking, but instead of only working against mechs and the Geth, it works against any organic enemy. All the tactical benefits provided by AI Hacking apply to Dominate as well, but Dominate can be used in many more situations than AI Hacking can, including against the Collectors, making Dominate one of the most effective powers in the game.

Feb 142012
 

The wait is over for Mass Effect fans, the demo for the highly anticipated Mass Effect 3 has gone live on the Xbox 360 for all users.

All Xbox 360 owners have access to the demo, which can be found in the game marketplace through the online network. This past weekend, only those with early access passes were able to download the trial version.

The demo features two single player stages with an introduction to the multiplayer aspect of the game.  Expect to make room on your Xbox 360 hard drive with the demo coming in at a file size of 1.76 GB.

The PC and PS3 demo will also be released sometime today, so be on the lookout for that.

Mass Effect 3 will be released on March 6 in the US and March 9 in Europe for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.  Keep on the lookout for my reactions to the demo hopefully in the coming days (damn you work!).

Source: VG247

Dec 142011
 

One of the flagship titles for the PS3′s Move controller was a title called ‘Sorcery.’  Virtually overnight, the PlayStation move demo became one of the most anticipated motion control titles.  That was back in E3 2010 and the team behind sorcery has been silent since then… until now.

Sorcery as shown in E3 2010

The PlayStation blog website has published a hands-on feature with the title.  The footage shown shows an older protagonist and bigger more menacing enemies.  The website also interviewed Brian Upton, the design director of the project, who details some of the changes the game has undergone since its unveiling.

The current build of Sorcery

The interview also revealed that Sorcery is “on-track” to be released this spring.  Read the full interview and check out some in-game footage over at PlayStation Blog.

Oct 082011
 

After weeks of endless coding and work on Minecraft: Pocket Edition the team at Mojang have finally released the game for all Android devices (including tablets) on the Android Market. There has been a few updates since it was released earlier today, but seems to work fine on “most” Android devices.

If you want to know the system requirements for Minecraft: Pocket Edition then check out this Wiki to see if your phone is compatible.

Price: $6.92/£4.28/4.99€ You can also download a free demo version of the game if you are unsure if your phone will handle it.

Android Marketplace links:

Minecraft: Pocket Edition Free Demo

Minecraft: Pocket Edition (Full Version)

 

Oct 012011
 

We hope that by now, you have already had a chance to participate in the open beta for Battlefield 3. Feelings have been mixed after it’s release but it still seems that the general gaming populous isn’t quite familiar with exactly what is going on here. The build that we have an opportunity to use is intentionally older, 4 months approximately, so there are an overabundance of glitches and bugs (as well as the distinct lack of destruction). A week ago, Callum had an opportunity to play a considerably more advanced build that wasn’t meant to test server stress and other issues, he thought it was an amazing experience.

What people need to be aware of is, no, this is not a demo. Furthermore, it isn’t supposed to be a representation of the final release either. Just sit back, try to connect to the multiplayer servers a few times until you can join a game and have some fun. That is, unless you are a PC gamer. If that is the case, you have my heartfelt apologies for having to deal with the ever enjoyable issues that Origin has been giving users. Maybe EA will decide to throw in a couple dinos to appease those that may have been scared off?

 

Sep 292011
 

When EA announced that Battlefield 3′s Beta would be launching this week, many gamers seemed to expect that they would be playing a ‘Multiplayer Demo’ instead. There have been numerous reports of glitches and little bugs that have been encountered during gameplay.

The most common pair so far that have been reported are falling through the ground and rendering issues. I myself have already enountered both as well. Falling usually tends to happen when croutching or going prone while running and the rendering issues just tend to pop up (I saw a sign that looked like massive pixels for about 15 seconds).

Now everyone does need to keep in mind that this is, in fact, the beta of the game. The whole point of us getting out there and playing the game is to make sure we get the best product when the game launches on the 25th.

Have you encountered any other bugs? Let us know.

Sep 142011
 

Indie developer Wadjit Eye Games have announced the fourth installment in the Blackwell adventure series. Blackwell Deception will be released for PC on October 12th, staying true to the 2d point and click, adventure style of previous installments. Along with the retro feel, the game will feature a haunting and mysterious new storyline, featuring two playable characters.

Being the game that keeps on giving, Blackwell Deception has also been given an official demo which you can download here.

Sep 122011
 

The Kirby Snack Attack truck will be travelling across several of the US cities, bringing with it playable demos of Kirby Mass Attack and frozen fruit treats. The truck willl be stopping off at 3p.m on September 14th in New York near to Rockerfeller Plaza, near Nintendo World. There will also be other trucks around the San Francisco Bay Area as well as Upper Kirby in Houston. The tour will end on the 18th of September over at the Upper Kirby GameStop.

Kirby Mass Attack launches for all DS consoles on September 19th. Players will have to consume fruit within the game in order to increase the amount of Kirbys at their disposal. With up to ten Kirbys at a time required to move on to more difficult areas and enemies.

Jul 192011
 

The “Word To Your Moogle” tour will debut at San Diego Comic-Con. Fans attending the convention Wednesday, July 20 through Sunday, July 24 can take part in the “Word To Your Moogle” contest for a chance to win event exclusive prizes. The contest will also run at the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX Prime) in Seattle and at New York Comic-Con. This is pretty cool, since we had no idea we would even be seeing the game!

If you visit the Square Enix booth at Comic-Con and play the demo, you will recieve an envelope with a button and letter. Your job will be to meet other fans and form words together. Once the correctrs words of the day are together, fans can win:

o    Discounted merchandise at the Square Enix Shop

o    Official Word To Your Moogle tour t-shirts

o    Signed copies of FINAL FANTASY XIII-2 (awarded at launch)

Sounds cool to me!

More info in a few