Sean Devlin: Irishman. Race-car driver. Terrorist.
If that last word brought on a tiny bit of a wince, then you’ve just reacted the same way as I did when I first encountered EA Games’ The Saboteur. Sure, the game might be set in Paris during World War II (with Nazis as the bad guys, so killing them is a good thing), but there are still some connotations that don’t sit particularly well, and that’s one of them. To get away with something like that, you’ve got to have a pretty good game, or at the very least, one that’s incredibly fun to play. Read more…
Widely hailed as one of the best games of 2007, Assassin’s Creed never quite made it onto my own list of that year’s top games: it was fun, pretty to look at and with an assassin as the main character, the entertainment should have been assured. But this was a game with far too much exposition, simple controls and not enough killing, with the end result being a game that was far more watchable than it was playable and didn’t encourage future gaming sessions. It’s an interesting dilemma as the lines between traditional and interactive media blur, but one that doesn’t necessarily bode well as long as traditional expectations of video games remain.
But this is a conversation that can be held off for another time with the release of the much-improved Assassin’s Creed II, available now on PS3 and XBox 360. Like many recent sequels, this is a game which has improved upon its predecessor and earned itself a place amongst one of this year’s best games. Read more…
Addiction is rarely a good thing, but there’s no greater compliment you can pay a puzzle game than by calling it addictive. So it’s by no means a bad thing that we’re caling Tower Bloxx Deluxe an addictive puzzle game. Developed by Digital Chocolate, and available now through XBox Live Arcade, the game has been available in a number of formats (including for mobile phones and flash-based games), though this is the first fully-fledged console outing. On paper, it’s simple, deceptively so, a multi-dimensional block-stacking game that sounds like it should be easier than Tetris but, in reality, it’s a lot more complex. Read more…
We recently got a chance to check out some upcoming games and new releases for Microsoft’s XBox 360 console, and it just wouldn’t be fair if we didn’t share the experience. We only got a chance to play a little bit of each game, so you can expect full reviews at a later stage, but until then, we give you a preview of Halo 3: O.D.S.T., Forza 3 Motorsport and The Beatles: Rock Band.
It was a performance by The Beatles that opened Microsoft’s press conference at this year’s E3, and with the game already released, is as good a place to start as any. Taking the familiar Rock Band controls and gameplay, The Beatles: Rock Band covers the band’s career from the early days in the Cavern Club right up to full-blown Beatlemania. The concept is simple, rhythm based input using either the guitar or drum controllers, or sing along to one of the 45 songs featured in the game.
Developed by the UK-based Rocksteady Games, Batman: Arkham Asylum is the first original game to star the Caped Crusader in over five years (we’re not counting Batman Begins becuase it was a movie tie-in, and fun as it was, Lego Batman slipped under many a gamer’s radar.) Although graphic novels and mini-series have carried the name of Arkham Asylum, the game has a fairly original story as written by Paul Dini, one of the head writers of the award winning Batman: The Animated Series from the 1990s, and taking its cue from the series, the game is surprisingly deep and mature, while also incredibly fun.
Arkham Asylum, the mad-house and prison for many of Gotham’s worst criminals, is the setting of the game, an island separate from the city proper with several buildings, caves and the obligatory sewer system underneath. When Batman and Commissioner Jim Gordon arrive at the asylum with the Joker in tow, they find that they’ve been played, with the Joker all along planning to be captured so he can arrange to take over the island. With Gordon kidnapped, Batman searches for a way to stop his enemy’s plan, but the Joker isn’t working alone, and is being helped by fellow inmates, with Bane, Killer Croc, Zsazs, Poison Ivy, Scarecrow and, of course, Harley Quinn to help him out.
Five games; five weeks; one console; and a hell of a lot of Microsoft Points. That’s the idea behind this year’s Summer of Arcade, a mini-festival of sorts with five games being released for download through the XBox Live Arcade. Some of these are classics, like Marvel vs Capcom 2 and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles In Time and others are original, and exclusive to the console and the network, including Trials HD, ‘Splosion Man and the most recent release, Shadow Complex.
We’ve already had a look at Marvel vs Capcom 2 upon release a few weeks back as part of the Flashback Feature series, but having played all of the games, we thought we’d run through all five in a retrospective and see just who came out on top in the Summer Of Arcade.
Nope, it’s not a Futurama post, but rather a run-down of some stuff from yesterday’s E3, with some pretty amazing videos.
Day One of the Expo kicked off with presentations from Microsoft, EA and Ubisoft, with some overlap between them, but a whole host of impressive trailers and videos…and some not so impressive.
We’ll start off with the least impressive of the bunch and Ubisoft: Microsoft and EA were both tough acts to follow, but Ubisoft really didn’t give much away. A witty introduction from TV presenter Joel McHale led to Ubisoft’s director’s dicussing their attempts to cross media barriers and offer a multimedia approach: director James Cameron took to the stage to discuss Ubisoft’s involvement in his upcoming Avatar movie and the tie-in game. In what is probably the most disappointing and lengthy discussion ever, Cameron spoke at length about the film’s plot and effect, along with his hopes and expectations for the game…and showed nothing. Read more…