One of the biggest criticisms leveraged against Halo: Reach was the astonishingly low quality of the multiplayer maps included in the retail version. The original offerings were either spaces taken from the campaign or Forge World creations and remakes of older maps. Even the Noble Map Pack, released by Bungie on November 30, didn’t measure up to the maps of the previous Halo games, though they were better than the base offerings.
Interestingly, Halo: Reach’s second map pack, the Defiant Map Pack, was crafted by Certain Affinity, who made the Blastacular Map Pack for Halo 2. The Defiant Map Pack includes two new multiplayer spaces and a Firefight arena, but what makes this particular DLC worth your hard earned space bucks?
Today I got a treat of something that that seems to be circulating around the internet. An indie company called Adhesive Games is working on a new project called Hawken. Adhesive Games’ upcoming indie title will be Mech Combat FPS, something I haven’t seen done well since Phantom Crash. The game looks absolutely stunning in two of their early game footage videos featured below. First we have a look at the beautiful world of Hawken in their unofficial trailer followed by some stunning gameplay. Hit the jump to check out the gameplay trailer!
The unicorn that is Duke Nukem Forever is coming out freakishly soon, and with it more and more information about the game is being trickled out. One of the newest bits of info concerns the multiplayer offering of Duke Nukem Forever and its take on the traditional mechanic for Capture the Flag. Instead of having an inanimate, emotionless flag (because you know, that’s for squares), DNF will repleace the traditional piece of fabric with a slappable woman. Wait, what?
In the recent issue of the Official Xbox Magazine (via a snippet from PC Gamer) Gearbox CEO Randy Pitchford revealed that his team didn’t want to “shock” people, but rather wanted the CTF mode to fit with the game’s plot element of aliens capturing Earth’s women to breed an army. Apparently the terrified woman can get a little unruly during the match, and players will need to calm her down with a five-finger reassurance.
OK, wait, what? I get that Duke is not the kind of guy who will be leading a women’s rights rally, but I think I draw the line at abusing women, even if it is in a video game. I was really uncomfortable in Grand Theft Auto 4 when the game forced Niko Bellic to abduct and beat up a girl, so I can’t imagine finding this sort of thing “fun”. Besides the obvious ploy of using this for controversy, what’s wrong with a normal flag?
This news moves Duke Nukem Forever firmly down to my “do not want” list. Call me a sissy if you’d like, but I think gaming has enough problems without adding “condoning abuse” to the rap sheet. What do you guys think? Are you as disgusted as I am? Do you care?
Update: According to Randy Pitchford’s Twitter, we should all calm down because the slap takes place on the butt instead of the face. I’m still of the opinion that this is a stupid idea, though.
It’s hard to believe that anyone could try and out-do the mammoth MMO that is World of Warcraft, even Blizzard itself. But already Blizzard COO Paul Sams has been quoted, saying they are going to do just that with their new MMO codenamed “Titan”.
“I believe it’s the most ambitious thing we’ve ever attempted, and I feel like we have set our company up to succeed on that. We have some of our most talented and most experienced developers on that team. Many of the people that built World of Warcraft are full time on that other team.”
While this doesn’t spell the death of World of Warcraft it does lead to some questions as the highly experienced and talented staff that created the most successful MMO gears forwards on its new project. Sam’s also said that World of Warcraft still has an experienced staff watching over the game, just key members were moving on to the new project. The quote that really interests me is this next one…
While some may say that the age of the “silent protagonist” in video games is over, there are a few times where I wish that we could return to the days of yore, where our controlled hero just got on with the job and didn’t have a smart-ass remark for everything. Bulletstorm is one of those times. Everyone in this game suffers from a severe form of tourettes crossed with verbal diarrhea. The story in your game doesn’t have to be amazing to please me, but at least make it so I don’t want to jam a power drill through my skull every time I have to listen to one of the characters wax philosophic about dicks.
For a little history, Bulletstorm is a First-Person-Shooter collaboration between Epic Games and People Can Fly where the object of the game is to kill enemies in creative ways to rack up Skillshots. Taking advantage of the Unreal 3 engine, and going out of its way to distance itself from every other FPS on the market, Bulletstorm hopes to carve out a niche with its unique take on FPS mechanics. How well does it fare in that regard?
At an Xbox 360 press event today, Epic Games revealed a bit more about Gears of War 3, including the upcoming Beta and some additional details on the game’s September 20 release. VG247 has a really good interview with Gears’ art director Chris Perna about the new look for Marcus and friends, the environments, and the recently unveiled cover art for Gears of War 3.
As Gears of War 3 is the end chapter for the current trilogy, the characters are being redesigned to display the wear and tear of the fifteen year war against the Locust, the main enemy of the game. The armor is a worn down, the weapons are ragged and filthy, and the characters faces are tired and grubby. Gears of War 3 will retain the same predominantly brown look endemic to the series, but the levels are going to be a bit more varied this time around as opposed to the city and cavern based backdrops of the first two games.
It’s not just the protagonists that are getting a make-over for Gears 3, but the Locust as well. As Gears of War 2 saw the destruction of the Locust capital city (spoilers), the former alien conquerors are eking out an existence much like the human population of Sera, the planet Gears of War is set on. The Locust are beaten and broken, living in the wasteland and bearing a superficial resemblance to the Sand People of Star Wars (a comparison drawn by Chris Perna). The Lambent, the new enemy that are the bane of humans and Locust alike, are a bit more extraterrestrial in their origin; they’re very different from the Locust, who are more or less humanoid in their appearance. Chris Perna once again makes a reference to sci-fi pop culture by saying the Lambent are more inspired by H.R. Giger’s Alien designs than Conan the Barbarian, which served as the original inspiration for the Locust.
There’s not much more detail about Gears 3 gameplay or story wise that we didn’t already know about, but a bit more information was dropped about the Beta. Hit the jump to see how to get in, and what rewards you get for playing it.
The rumor mill gets cranking once again about Bungie’s next game, which is certainly shaping up as very “MMO-like”. After Bungie writer Joseph Staten made a few cryptic comments about the nature of Bungie’s upcoming title at GDC Online, Kotaku comes along with an anonymous source who alleges that the Halo-creating studio is cooking up a sci-fi MMO for Activision codenamed “Destiny” or “Tiger”.
The unnamed ex-employee, who claims to have been laid off from Bungie at the behest of Activision along with 30 other workers (an allegation which Bungie quickly debunked), said that “Destiny” will be “WoW in space”, and will have “unique online connectivity and matchmaking technology”. This game is apparently a whole different type of enchilada as it runs on a new engine and doesn’t appear to be linked to previous Bungie intellectual properties in any way.
Seeing how all the rumors are stacking up, and given that Bungie protested just the layoff claim and not the MMO, it seems to me that the signs are pointing very specifically in one direction. What do you guys think about this whole to-do? Is Bungie actually working on a sci-fi MMO, or is this just some random troll out blowing smoke? What do you think Bungie’s next game is? Go!
It looks like we’re not done with Halo: Reach yet, as 343 Industries just dropped a trailer for the new multiplayer map pack, dubbed the “Defiant Map Pack”. Just like the Noble Map Pack, Defiant features three brand new multiplayer arenas, one specifically built for the Firefight gameplay mode, making this the first ever Firefight DLC. If you thought the Noble pack had some good looking maps, prepare to be amazed as one of the arenas features a Covenant carrier actually glassing the background as you play.
There’s no firm release date for Defiant yet, but the trailer does specify March 2011 as the intended target. What do you guys think of the new maps? Any thoughts on this announcement coming from 343 Industries and not Bungie?
There are those certain types of games out there, the ones that have you discussing for days or weeks on end how you totally stomped your opponents, or some random happenstance that blew your mind. These are the games that get you back together with your friends on a nightly basis to trade blows and throw grenades, striving to be the best, to get the next unlock, or just compete for bragging rights.
Just by imagining these scenarios, you probably conjured up a list of your favorite experiences and the games they were connected to. Whether its the exact right combination of tight mechanics and engaging gameplay, or just the fact that you can destroy your environments in real time with your friends, there are multiplayer experiences out there that stick with us through different consoles and generations. Conversely, there are certain ones that, no matter how much they try to emulate the successful models, just can’t achieve that level of notoriety. This is a sort of nebulous aspect about multiplayer games, a “soul” for lack of a better term. Which games have it, and which games don’t?
Get your fanboy hats on, folks, because it looks like the rumored HD remake of Halo: Combat Evolved that I posted about back in November is the real deal. Joystiq, citing an unamed source, has learned that the game that kick-started Bungie’s rise to power and revolutionized First Person Shooters on the console is getting remade in High Definition with new art assets.
We’re not just talking about a tuned up re-release, no sir. This game is using an entirely new engine (Joystiq claims that the engine behind Reach is not powering this remake, contrary to popular belief), and is being made by Saber Interactive. The game will support 1080p and 3D as well, if that’s your thing. Multiplayer is still being worked out, but the game is confirmed to have online co-op (the original shipped with split-screen two player co-op).
Furthermore, this remake is apparently one of two Halo games under the 343 Industries banner, so expect more news from the Halo front. For a release date, we’re looking at November 15, 2011, ten years after the original launch of Halo: Combat Evolved.
On an unofficial note, that makes me feel really old, because that will mean I was 14 when the original Halo came out. Are you guys excited about a Halo: Combat Evolved HD remake? Nervous? Nauseous? Go!
Gamers are a greedy, fickle bunch, and we love nothing more than having our cake and eating it too. For every developer or publisher that tries to please us by making a fan-service game or getting sequels out faster, there’s thousands of gamers who will flock to the forums decrying the release dates and the addition of rainbows.
While gamer hypocrisy has been on the rise for a long time, it’s reached a critical mass within the last few years. Come inside and take a journey as we discover the top six things gamers said they really wanted, but actually didn’t.
It is with a heavy heart that I type this news, PC faithful, because DICE, the developers behind the Battlefield and Mirror’s Edge series, has officially announced that they are cancelling both the PC port of Battlefield 1943 and the co-operative Onslaught Mode for Battlefield: Bad Company 2.
In a recent post on the Battlefield Blog, DICE General Manager Karl Magnus Troedsson came out in a very frank way and told the community that these two eagerly awaited games would have to be discontinued to make way for Battlefield 3.
We know some of you eagerly have been awaiting Battlefield 1943 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Onslaught on PC. I’m sad to say that these two titles are now officially cancelled. Instead, our talented teams will focus on delivering the greatest possible gaming experience in our next behemoth release. We’re confident this will lead to an even better experience in Battlefield 3, not only on PC, but on all platforms.
While this is hardly a surprise, given that I originally posted about Battlefield 1943 on PC facing a delay over a year ago, it’s still very much a let down. I did play and enjoy both 1943 and Bad Company 2: Onslaught on the Xbox 360, but the PC is my preferred platform for Battlefield.
So, PC gamers of this site, any thoughts on the unfortunate cancellation of 1943 and Onslaught? Do you feel slighted by DICE? Are you still looking forward to Battlefield 3 (which is running on the Frostbite 2 engine)? Go!
While Call of Duty: Black Ops may be Treyarch’s best contribution to the series to date, there are some out there who think that the game isn’t all that great. They’ll say that the story is confusing and poorly written and the multiplayer is full of broken spawns, latency, and on the PS3, dirty hackers. They might also say that the game is basically the same it’s been for the last eight years.
As the underdog studio just released the First Strike Map Pack (available exclusively on Xbox LIVE, kids), Treyarch community manager Josh Olin gave a little interview with NowGamer about how patches are important to the online experience and what Treyarch are doing to keep Blops going strong. At the end of the interview, however, the writer asks Mr. Olin what he thinks the biggest problem with the game industry is:
Today is a big day for EA Games as they not only drop Dead Space 2 on us, but also unleash the multiplayer demo for Crysis 2 on the Xbox 360 and Bulletstorm on both consoles (no PC, sorry fellas). Since there’s really not much else going on in the world of gaming (and I’ve got a lot of free time) I decided to check out both demos and report on them for you. Ain’t I thoughtful?
The first one that I tried was the multiplayer demo for Cyrsis 2. I played a lot of the original on the PC, including some very fun stints in the multiplayer mode. While the original version emphasized large-scale maps with vehicles a la Battlefield, the sequel drops you into small arenas like those found in Call of Duty. Both teams are equipped with the series’ iconic Nanosuit and there are several load-outs to choose from, unlocked via ranking up through the in-game progression system.
Gameplay wise, it’s exactly as I imagined Crysis would be if I played it with a gamepad as opposed to a mouse and keyboard system. As an old-school PC guy, the mouse and keyboard set up is far superior for fast-paced gameplay, so I ended up with more deaths than kills. Watching everyone else use their suit powers to leap around the map and absorb bullets was pretty wicked though, and the game definitely looks gorgeous. Crysis 2 on the 360 doesn’t look anything like the videos parading around on the Internet, but it is one of the better looking game I’ve played in recent memory. Suffice it to say that, while it was fun, I’d much prefer to get it on the PC come release day. One thing that did irk me about the graphics is that the level I was playing on, Skyline, features a lot of brown textures, and the opposing team was decked out in brown colored Nanosuits. Seeing as my team was wearing white, this struck me as a little unbalanced. Hit the jump for my thoughts on Bulletstorm!
As GamerSushi’s resident MMO player (that is to say, the person with the most experience), I believe it is my duty to try out BioWare’s upcoming Star Wars flavored offering, The Old Republic. While I don’t currently play any MMOs, I’ve made my history with that genre well known on this site, starting with Sony’s Star Wars Galaxies, then moving to World of Warcraft and trying City of Heroes and Champions Online in between.
Since I have such a breadth of knowledge about MMOs and what makes them tick, that means I’m well positioned to know that there are certain check-boxes that The Old Republic needs to cross off to be considered a “success” in this most competitive of arenas. While it isn’t going to unseat World of Warcraft, there are some very important features it needs to launch with in order to ensure that it lives past its first year. What are those things, you might be asking? Read on, and you’ll find out just what The Old Republic needs to do to stay afloat.
I’m not a big sports game guy buy any means, but Fight Night Round 4 is something of an obsession amongst my friends and I. Before a big night, we like to kick back with a few brews and a couple rounds of boxing that somehow end up taking half the night away. We even created near perfect facsimiles of ourselves in the game, and there’s something cathartic about beating your friends into submission (I imagine the same is true for them walloping me). Since Fight Night is a such a big hit with us, it wouldn’t be too much of a leap to imagine that we’re eagerly anticipating Fight Night Champion which releases March 1. There’s a new trailer out explaining the new Stamina system and the streamlined Corner Game. Check it!
Fight Night Round 4 was suprisingly addictive, and I imagine Champion will absorb many a night when it gets released. Anyone picking this up?
It’s a brand new year, so it’s time for a brand new edition of Would You Rather, that game where you answer questions and give us awesome rants and diatribes about life, gaming and what you had for dinner.
It’s been some time since our last WYR (November), so I think everyone should be recharged and ready to give us some good responses. Since we’re in a bright shiny new year, I thought it would be pertinent to come at you, bros, with a salvo of 2011 gaming-related queries. I know, I know, the 2011 thing is already getting old, but you’ll probably stop being told that it’s a new year on every site in the world sometime within the next week. That’s just how bloggers roll, I guess.
For the Would You Rather virgins out there, the game is simple: I ask questions, and you follow up with your answers. Give as much or as little explanation as you want for your choices, but we all know that we like to see the reasoning behind the madness.
But don’t let your answers suck. In previous years, we’ve threatened violence and humiliation for having bad bouts of WYR responses. This year, we are going to be more civilized, and instead threaten verbal assaults on your immediate family. After all, you can’t come back to the site if we’ve broken your hands. Anyway, answer away, gents.
I think it’s almost a given that in most sci-fi settings, humanity is represented as a collection of greedy jerks, spoiling planets for our own personal gain. That’s how the original Dead Space came about in a way, as the Marker, the terrifying alien obelisk that created the Necromorphs, was found during “planet-cracking”, the method of stripping a world for resources. Since Dead Space 2 is inbound for a January 25 release (28 in Europe), the new, extended Excavations trailer catches us up on the background information series, complete with the requisite horror and gore that the series is known for.
As the first big release of 2011, Dead Space 2 will go a long way in setting the tone for what will be an excellent year for us gamers. With a new spine-chilling single player campaign and an added multiplayer mode, Dead Space 2 might just cause us to shout with joy…if anyone could hear you scream in space, that is. Is Dead Space 2 a must have for you, or a rental? Go!
I’m sure it’s happened to all of us: we beat a game, put the disc back in the box and set it back on our shelf, sure that it’s going to gather dust or end up as trade in fodder at GameStop. Yet something stops us from trading it in, and a while later, be it a few weeks or even a couple months, that game is back in your console or on Steam, once again sucking up your time.
Lately for me this game has been Halo: Reach. I started playing it on a whim about a week ago, and I’ve ranked a couple of times and have been investing more now in the Theater mode than ever before. I’ve even come to appreciate the Challenge system more, even after whining about it when I was stuck in the Warrant Officer hump a few months ago.
Has this phenomenon ever happened to you, and for which game? Go!
How’s your lead-up to the holidays going, GamerSushi-ans? I hope that you’ve bought all the presents you need because things get a little crazy out there come tomorrow. Anyways, the staff here is taking a little break as Eddy mentioned, but I thought that I would pop in and give you a little gift in the form of a new Freddie Wong video, who in the past has explored gaming conventions like how aimbot would work in real life. This time, he’s poking fun at Call of Duty, similar to his Time Crisis spoof but without the guy from Spartacus. Watch and enjoy: