May 092012
 

Over at GamesIndustry International, they’ve got the scoop on why news on a new Dragon Age title is scarce. According to industry analyst Michael Pachter, Bioware has been slow to begin work on a third entry in the fantasy RPG series because the team responsible for its development has been too busy working on Star Wars: The Old Republic. It was previously revealed that the team will make a sequel instead of developing additional DLC for Dragon Age II.

“Dragon Age III appears to have slipped to FY:14. We had previously expected the next Dragon Age to be released in Q4:13, two years after its predecessor. However, we believe that a significant portion of the BioWare team responsible for the game was reassigned to Star Wars in order to create content and fix bugs to keep the game’s audience engaged,” he said in the report.

The third game has yet to be officially announced, but we know that it will 1) feature a new protagonist, 2) use the dialogue wheel from the second game, 3) allow players to import save files, and 4) have a map four to five times larger than that of the first game.

Old Republic was supposed to be the game that would wrestle away control of the MMO space from World of Warcraft, or at least be the first game to coexist peacefully with it. Instead, the game is bleeding subscribers just months after launch, losing 400,000 just in the past two months. Meanwhile, Blizzard’s MMO-to-end-them-all trucks along with around 10 million active subscribers and a new expansion set for a holiday release.

Elder Scrolls Online is its next challenger, and my colleague Ryan Hillis has a few things to say about that.

Source: GamesIndustry International

Nov 052011
 

Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.

Uncharted 3: Multiplayer Free to Play

PlayStation 3

Contains: Violence, Blood, Language

Titles rated T (Teen) have content that may be suitable for ages 13 and older. Titles in this category may contain violence, suggestive themes, crude humor, minimal blood, simulated gambling, and/or infrequent use of strong language.


I’ve always loved the Uncharted series, action-adventure titles were given a new life when the series debuted. There is something different though about the third game in this series though, something the other games really didn’t spend too much time on. Copious amounts of character development.

You see, Uncharted 3 felt like a finale to me, almost like this is the chronological ending to Drake’s adventures. The game takes place a few years after Uncharted 2 and it seems that the surviving character’s lives have gotten much darker. Nathan Drake and Victor Sullivan are still an inseparable tandem, although Sully’s age is starting to show, he has gone completely gray and visibly cannot keep up with Drake. Chloe is back and working with Drake again along with newcomer Charlie Cutter, and all 4 are working on trying to track down a treasure that Drake has been chasing for 20 years. We are actually given the opportunity to go back to the day Drake began his hunt for Sir Francis Drake’s treasure and met Sully, painting a stronger paternal relationship between the two.

Even though there is a race to discover a long lost city and Sir Francis Drake’s dark secret, the real story of the game is about Sully and Nate. The events of the game bring back a character that you would expect to have been in the game from the very beginning (with a little surprise as well) and show that Drake’s obsession with the lost city has been poisonous to everyone’s life around him. The game’s overall story seems predictable at first but after quite a few plot twists nothing is certain, not even the survival of extremely important characters. That in itself is what I loved about Uncharted 3, it taps into everything I have loved about the series but also makes you emotionally invested in the characters as well. I actually became personally concerned for the well being of the character, going as far as telling my wife how crushed I would be if that character died.

Character movement is amazing in Uncharted 3 as well, when walking or running Drake will carefully put a hand out to push off of a wall he is running too close to, or he will stumble of slide if you take a sharp turn. In fact, the motion capture that Naughty Dog did for Uncharted 3 has to be some of the most fluid and lifelike that any game has had so far.  Overall, the environments that you visit have a lifelike feel to them as well, market streets are busy and packed with different types of people and the desert is lonely and unforgiving as sand moves under your feet as you walk. Environments appeared to be semi-destructible as well, which was quite interesting. Cover would wear down after taking enough damage and even small huts toppled after receiving enough hits in their supports from explosives.

In game graphics

The game’s audio does nothing but add to the immersion that you experience while playing. The fantastic voice acting carries over from the other games, once again it is best in class. More importantly, you do not hear the same dialogue over and over again every time you encounter more enemies and after large fights, Drake will even sound weary. The orchestrated background music is much like the soundtrack to an Indiana Jones flick, reflecting the areas you are adventuring. Like it’s predecessors, Uncharted 3 is more of an interactive movie that you control every aspect of and less of a video game, in fact even the multiplayer has cinematic elements within it.

The game is still littered with collectibles and challenges to keep players playing the campaign. Trophies for doing special actions in the game or performing special feats in combat will continually keep you busy, as well as keep you familiar with the game’s arsenal as well. 100 pieces of treasure and a strange artifact are scattered throughout the game as well, on my first playthrough I found 55. What I felt was impressive was that I actually looked for each and every piece, I actually thought I was doing much better. That means the rest of the game’s treasure is hidden extremely well, and yeah, I do plan on going back for the rest.

The multiplayer modes are enjoyable as well, featuring both co-op and large battles as well. Co-op modes range from arena style battles to all out missions that require all the skills you have learned in the campaign mode. I had a good amount of fun with co-op and the “What If?” scenarios it presents. Going up against the main villains from past Uncharted games was quite cool as well, it was definitely unexpected to say the least. The large multiplayer games are quite similar to the beta, although it seems that players have gotten a little softer, which is great, that or I got much better while playing the campaign. Uncharted 3 actually seems to give you more as a multiplayer game this time around than 2, they hadn’t even scratched the surface.

This brings me to the startling revelation that I feel needs to be said. Uncharted 3 is absolutely the best PS3 game that has been released, I wouldn’t go as far as saying it is the best of all time though. Final Fantasy 6 still has that, in my opinion. The game had crossed over the boundaries from a video game to a playable cinematic experience with characters that you love and love to hate as well. Only a few games can even come close to this distinction and Uncharted 3 is absolutely one of them.

It’s hard not to love Uncharted 3. My offset score is a 10.

Playstation 3

Graphics

100
 

Audio

100
 

Gameplay

95

Creativity

95
 

Execution

95
 

Offset

100
    

9.8

  

How do these ratings work? Click here for descriptions!

Pros:

  • Perfect voice acting
  • Improved combat features
  • Amazing story
  • Deep multiplayer
  • Satisfying co-op

Cons:

  • You will lose a good 8 hours on campaign
  • Story left a few questions still unanswered
  • The learning curve of multiplayer does take a little time