Archive for category Previews

WWE ’12 Announced

As if November wasn’t packed full of big releases already, THQ has officially revealed the next iteration to their WWE simulation titles. The Smackdown vs Raw titling was dropped for the next title, with the new one simply being called WWE ’12, and with the announcement, THQ promises some huge changes to the ever popular wrestling titles (more so than past titles). Bigger, badder and better is the tagline, and it might just be a proper description for the title.

Some of the new features have already been announced, including the mysterious Predator Technology. THQ described it as a system that “delivers a fresh and strategic gameplay experience that looks, feels and plays better than ever before.” Action is supposedly more fluid, animations are more realistic, the AI has been improved, and there is a new submission system called “Breaking Point”. This has a new mini-game that includes a scramble to the ropes for a rope break, something fans have been asking for for a very long time.

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Orcs Must Die! Hands-On Preview and Swag Giveaway!

Robot Entertainment is an independent developer that formed from the ashes of Ensemble Studios, which had closed down a couple years ago. If you haven’t been a gamer outside of Sony’s consoles, Ensemble was the developer behind the very popular, Microsoft-owned RTS franchise of Age of Empires (as well as Halo Wars). None of their games had made it to Sony’s consoles (unless you count the Japanese, Konami-published version of AoEII: The Age of Kings in the early days of PS2), until now.

The team invited us to their development studio in Plano, Texas last week to show us, which was referred to at the time, ‘Game 2.0′. Apart from them finishing up on the beautiful AoE: Online (which was once going to be numbered as the 4th installment of the franchise), their main goal at this time is to get their first Intellectual Property, as Robot Entertainment, out in gamers’ hands to enjoy. The game they showed us is simply called Orcs Must Die! With a name, a trailer (which we posted yesterday), and some hands-on time with the game (3 levels, in fact), this is what I think of it (I will start by saying that the trailer does not do the game justice).

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Crysis 2 is Actually Quite a Crisis of a Game.

[tab:Preview Part 1]This is my official preview of an officially terrible game. I don’t know where to to start with the unoriginal idea concept itself or the monotone and washed out color palettes. Now if you happened to be living under a rock and missed my “you”ll pay for the whole seat, but you’ll only need the edge!” live twitter posting the other night, you’ll know that even then I thought the gameplay was a carbon copy of Killzone. Now mix in other games like Mirrors Edge, Infamous, Call of Duty and give a “space astronaut” kind of feel – BAM – you’ve got Crysis 2. Now granted I was only able to play for about an hour and what I did play, didn’t jump out and excite me in any way shape or form. And even if it did, I certainly wouldn’t tell you.

Crysis 2 multiplayer is designed around team based gameplay between two factions – the C.E.L.L and the Marines and includes six gameplay modes and 12 maps set across recognizable locations in New York City. Apparently derived from a PC version of the original game, they should’ve left it on that platform.

“Team Instant Action is Crytek’s version of deathmatch.  The mode pits two teams against each other as they kill as many opponents as possible to earn higher ranks.”

Team Instant Action? Really? Couldn’t you just call it deathmatch and stop trying to pretend you’re on the forefront of original gaming? This video game was a great idea. When it was done the first time. When it was called “Halo”. I played multiplayer “instant action” amongst other colleagues that night and I didn’t notice a hint of “wow” or anybody actually talking to anyone about the game. The high point of the evening is when Veronica Belmont walked in and was going to do a “Qore” style piece on the game and suddenly realized that the development company had completely catered to XBOX – she actually posed with a PS3 controller to make it seem feasible whilst someone behind her actually played the game during the segment.

[tab:Preview Part 2]

I don’t think I’ve ever been insulted as a gamer before, but this game comes close to it. To top it all off, they declined me an interview – twice. I even tried to get an interview with “one of” the creative directors and he said I should talk to the PR lady who seemed to be running the show. Which i did – twice. So even if I wanted to ask them about the game or the facets I was concerned with – I couldn’t. I even tried to get redeem codes for the PS3 demo version – DENIED. I never played such a one dimensional attempt at a video game, although a few come to mind, I’m not going to even try to waste your time to even try to justify it by any means. You’ll have to try it out for yourself and make your own decision.

All in all, it’s sad that companies will sell out to highest bidder, and in the end, the work suffers. I think the fact the demo is already out on XBOX and PlayStation folks have to wait until March 25th – is a blessing in disguise. That happens with a lot of money hungry companies who don’t put out a quality title because they want to make a quality product; it’s because they’re too tired from swimming around in Bill Gates’ money vault. There may be some people that actually enjoy mindless entertainment like this horrid title and don’t wish for anything more in life. Then again, I could be wrong. I’ve been known to make mistakes from time to time. Between you and me, I would expect to see this in the bargain bin real soon, so don’t waste your money. Did I mention I thought this game stinks? It stinks.

UPDATE: Since writing this:

In a statement printed on its website, Crysis 2 developer Crytek says it’s aware of issues regarding the Xbox Live-exclusive multiplayer demo, and is “working to resolve” them “as quickly as possible.” Known issues include sudden disconnects from servers and, for some, constant console freezing when first joining or concluding matches.

Surprised? I’m not.

[tab: Press Release]Official Press for the game:

EA AND CRYTEK ANNOUNCE CRYSIS 2 MULTIPLAYER DEMO

Xbox 360 Exclusive Demo Gives Gamers an Early Look at One of the Most Anticipated First Person Shooters of 2011

REDWOOD CITY, Calif. – January 21, 2011 – Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: ERTS) and award-winning developer Crytek GmbH, today announced the Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo. Starting January 25, the multiplayer demo will be available exclusively on the Xbox 360® videogame and entertainment system for Xbox Live Gold Members and will allow them to experience the unparalleled gameplay variety offered by the franchise’s signature Nanosuit in a multiplayer setting. In 2010, Crysis 2 was honored with over a dozen awards from critics around the world, in recognition of its intense, addictive and stunning multiplayer.Crysis 2 multiplayer catapults players into a war-torn Manhattan where two teams fight to the death; each using the powers of the Nanosuit to be fast, be strong and be invisible. Maps will be set across Crytek’s stunning recreation of New York City, presenting players with vertical gameplay that allows them to strategize, attack and defend from above and below.

Crysis 2 offers a fresh, new take on multiplayer – one that will stand out and establish the game as a top contender in the first person shooter genre,” said Cevat Yerli, CEO of Crytek. “The Nanosuit gives gamers a sense of power they have yet to experience in any other shooter and having New York City as a backdrop will present a different type of playground with even more possibilities.”

The Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo will feature the “Skyline” map, and two game modes; “Team Instant Action” and “Crash Site”. “Team Instant Action” pits two teams against each other as they kill as many opponents as possible to earn higher ranks. In “Crash Site”, players will battle for control of alien drop pods, earning points by guarding their pods and keeping enemies at bay. Developed by Crytek UK, Crytek’s specialist multiplayer studio, Crysis 2 multiplayer will include six gameplay modes and 12 maps set across recognizable locations in New York City.  Throughout the campaign, players can earn up to 50 multiplayer ranks and a variety of different upgrades to their weapons and their Nanosuit. To learn more information on the Crysis 2 Multiplayer Demo, please visit http://crysis.ea.com/demo.

Gamers who pre-order Crysis 2 will receive a copy of the Limited Edition of the game which includes bonuses such as a camouflage skinned SCAR assault rifle and early access to the Holo Decoy attachment, a weapon attachment that projects a moving holographic mirror of the player*.  Platinum Dog Tags displaying a player’s multiplayer rank and stats will also be available with the Limited Edition along with a Bonus XP award which can be used to boost a player’s rank*.[tab:END]

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The Undergarden Developer Q & A

We had a chance to ask Antonio Santamaria, Head of Engineering at Vitamin-G, about the soon to be released PSN version of The Undergarden.  As such, we had questions and in return we got answers (shocking, I know!):

1 ) Where did you guys get the inspiration for The Undergarden? Were you influenced at all by thatgamecompany’s “Flower”?

The fun part about making The UnderGarden was that we didn’t design everything up-front.  Instead, we experimented with different ideas and played with what we felt worked, so the game was influenced from alot of different ideas the entire team contributed along the way.

We are definitely fans of Flower, and the way it managed to feel different from alot of games definitely provided some inspiration.   We also play alot of different games and some, especially fps’, tend to build up tension.  So a big part of the inspiration for The Undergarden was to see if we could make something that did the opposite; something that could let you unwind a little.  Also, we wanted to make something that would let our non-gamer significant others jump in on the fun too, even if they didn’t have alot of gaming experience.  It’s always fun to play with someone sitting right beside you.

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