The Debut of Bioshock Infinite

Bioshock is ditching the seas and heading to the clouds. We’ve known for some time that the original Bioshock developers, Irrational Games, have been working on a super secret project. There were even rumors of it involving the skies. But nobody could have guessed that they were working on a new Bioshock title that changes the locale of the conflict from the underwater realm of Rapture to the sky fortress known as Columbia.

Bioshock Infinite takes place in the early 1900s, when American imperialism was at an all time high and years before the construction of Rapture in the 1940s. Whether or not this is going to be considered an official prequel to the other two games, or if it’s just taking the role as a spiritual successor to them remains to be seen, but from the trailer it’s easy to tell that we are going to be dealing with the same themes of power, utopia and control. The city of Columbia is perched atop flying airships and great huge balloons, and it is gorgeous and fascinating to look at.

It’s no secret that I was not grabbed by the first Bioshock game, but the new Bioshock Infinite trailer and its setting have me itching to see more… but unfortunately, it doesn’t release until 2012. I guess that gives me plenty of time to go back and finish the original. What do you guys think of all of this?

Also, go ahead and get your “Skyoshock” jokes out of the way in 3…2…1…

Today’s WTF: Meet You at the Corner of North and North

We often joke around here that Nolan North is in too many video games, but we’ve never actually experienced the phenomenon of “Mr. Uncharted” talking to himself…until now. Mafia 2, which is due to be released on August 24 in North America, plays host to this slight against humanity. Watch the following video to witness Nolan North talking to Nolan North.

Obviously, this is randomly generated dialogue and the chances of this happening in your game are slim to none (hopefully), but someone should really be fired for this. And Nolan, we get that you’re a great voice actor, but you might have wanted to change your delivery a little if you’re acting as a fat gangster. Just saying.

Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood Dev Diary is Heavy on Melodrama

Coming out just one short year after my official Game of Forever, Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood (or Assassin’s Creed: ODST as it is nicknamed around these parts) tells the story of Ezio’s formation of the Assassin Order after his victory in the second game. According to the video, this game is all about Ezio’s evolution as an assassin and his journey into the next part of his life. The game is focused entirely around the city of Rome, which players visited for a short time in Assassin’s Creed 2. Give the diary a watch, why don’t you:

While I’m a bit worried about the short turn around between two and this one, the developers speaking in the video clearly recognize how well received their previous game was, and are striving to keep that level of quality. On another note, those are some really awesome hoodies the dev team are wearing. What do you guys think? Is Brotherhood on your radar?

GamerSushi Asks: Classes?

BorderlandsOver the last few days, I’ve been deadlocked in an attempt to clear out my gaming backlog before the big days of Fall land in our laps, and we’re once again swarmed with games to enjoy. Currently, I’m working on Alpha Protocol, 3D Dot Game Heroes and last but not least, Borderlands.

Borderlands is the really curious one, considering it’s a game I stopped playing months ago only to pick back up out of the blue. I forgot just how much fun it is, and the crazed shoot-outs with waves of enemies is satisfying and intense. I’m a level 27 soldier, and my favorite thing is deploying my turret, now sporting caustic damage and rockets that really mess everything up in their path.

While partaking in one of these shootouts, I started thinking about gaming classes. If I had to pick a particular style that suits me for most games, it would have to be some sort of tank or a hybrid of a tank and something a little more specialized, with a few support capabilities. I know that’s fairly vague, but I tend to go all out on offense, preferring chaos over actually racking up kills, and doing what I can to help my teammates in the process. I tend to pick one of the simpler classes in my first playthrough of a game, and then expand from there later.

So, now I’m wondering what your preferences are. What kind of classes do you normally pick in video games? What is your play style for shooters or RPGs? Go!

Black Ops Multiplayer Trailer Teases Replays

Another year means another Call of Duty and this time Treyarch is back in the driver’s seat. Following up on Modern Warfare 2’s massive success, it doesn’t look like the franchises’ B-studio is taking any chances with the formula. Judging by the gameplay it looks to be largely the same, but with a few graphical tweaks and a remote control car bomb. The big news this time, though, is the inclusion of replays to the game, allowing you to go back and watch old matches. If the few moments it appears in the trailer are any indication, it looks to be similar to Halo 3’s Theater mode where you can break the camera out and rotate it around. No word on whether or not you can share the films, but I don’t think that’s out of the question. Take a look at the video:

Ever since Treyarch announced that Black Ops would have dedicated servers on the PC, I’ve been slightly hopeful for this new Call of Duty. If Treyarch brings us more cool stuff, I may consider sinking money into this iteration. What about you guys? What’s your opinion on this video reveal?

New Vanquish Trailer is a Blur of Gunfights and Mech Punching

Platinum Games, the same people behind the sleeper-hit Bayonetta, are coming at us again with a new game to be released later this year called Vanquish. I’m not sure if we’ve ever mentioned this game before, but the basic premise is you’re a man in a super suit sent to fight Russians in space. I’m pretty sure the McGuffin of the game will be an EMP device because that’s how things seem to be going these days. A new trailer came online recently, and it does a great job of showcasing the game’s frenetic cover-to-close-quarters combat. The game seems to play like a cross between Gears of War and Devil May Cry, so if that piques your interest, give the trailer a watch.

One thing’s for sure, Steve Blum must be very tired after recording every single male voice in the game. What do you guys think? Does this look like your kind of game? Let us know in the comments.

Batman: Arkham City Swooping From the Shadows in 2011

BATMANBatman: Arkham Asylum was probably the biggest surprise of 2009 next to Wolverine. A big-budget super-hero game that actually captured the feeling of being Batman and was a blast to play? Almost unheard of in the video game industry, but developers Rocksteady pulled it off. Of course, a big success means sequels, and Arkham Asylum is no exception. Originally teased last year at Spike’s Video Game Awards show, the follow-up to AA will take place in Arkham City, a “heavily fortified” district in the heart of Gotham. Presumably this means more gargoyles to hang on.

Besides being in a different locale, Arkham City will feature a new cast of villains like Mr. Freeze, Two-Face, and Catwoman. Nothing much has been announced for the upcoming title, but Rocksteady promises this game will “deliver the ultimate experience as the Dark Knight.”

I think we can all agree that Arkham Asylum was fun, but there were things that needed to be improved about it, most notably the poorly designed boss fights. Almost every single boss encounter in that game was gimmicky or totally out of context (Scarecrow being the notable exception). What do you guys want to see from this bat-sequel? The game is dropping on PC, PS3 and the 360 in Autumn of 2011.

Source: CVG

GamerSushi Asks: Photorealistic Graphics?

LimboOver the weekend, I’ve been dabbling a bit in a couple of newly release titles. One is, obviously, StarCraft 2, but the other is Limbo, newly up for purchase as part of X-Box LIVE’s Summer of Arcade. I didn’t really follow the story of Limbo that closely, but I knew it was a side-scrolling platformer with a unique look. I tried the demo and immediately bought the full game, mostly because of how much the art style appeal to me. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Limbo, check out the trailer. Among other cliched terms, I’d call it hauntingly beautiful and very atmospheric. In addition to looking as gorgeous as a game that dark can it also features some slick puzzles and grotesque punishments for failure (seriously, you get messed up).

The game’s visual presentation got me thinking, though. The farther into the future we get with game consoles, the closer to life everyone seems to want their graphics. While some big-budget titles stretch the limit of what is acceptable by our real-life standards (Gears of War’s improbably bulky protagonists come to mind), video games are getting closer and closer to emulating what we perceive through our own two eyes. Games like Limbo, Braid and many similar titles show us that we don’t have to constrain everything to an Earth-bound package. Perhaps one of the barriers to the “games as art” argument is that this visual medium doesn’t add anything that movies have already done in this respect. That’s probably why Braid got tossed around a lot when this issue got brought up the first time; it looks like a painting come to life, much like Limbo. So I ask you guys this: do you want more games to stretch the graphical barrier and start using different ways to interpret what we see? Or do you think that sort of experimentation is confined to downloadable titles? Fire away!

Hulu: Plus… or Minus?

Remember me? I know I haven’t posted here in a while, but I thought I’d pop my head in and share my experiences with the newly launched Hulu Plus on the PS3. For those of you outside the US… I think Anthony wrote something humorous about a videogame!

Weaning myself off of an expensive dependence on cable TV has been a dream of mine for a while now, but the sticking point has always been that I absolutely rely on my DVR. As soon as the Hulu Plus service was announced, I knew that I had to check it out, and I decided that paying $20 for three months of PSN Plus was a worthwhile trade off – it’s still cheaper than what I was paying for cable.

My previous experiences with Hulu on my TV have been thanks to a handy adapter cable and my MacBook. It’s not pretty, but it works. It’s just kind of a pain in the ass to set it up each time. Still, I think it’s fair to compare that setup with the PS3 implementation. After the jump, I’ll run down each method’s convenience, show availability, video quality, and interface.

Continue reading Hulu: Plus… or Minus?

A Wishlist for Elder Scrolls V

Elder Scrolls 4I have recounted my experience with Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion on many articles and comments on this site, as well as our renowned GamerSushi podcast. It was the first game I played on my XBox 360, and I was blown away with my first foray into the realm of HD gaming. Seeing the wide open world, the detail and the nice RPG mechanics was enough to make a nerd like me sweat, and I was in heaven. I did small bits of the main game, but I mostly spent the 30-40 hours of it I played robbing people’s houses. I’m a bit of a klepto at heart, it seems.

Anyway, Oblivion was much loved by many gamers, so naturally, Elder Scrolls V is high on the list for most anticipated sequels. While the last game was great, there are going to be a few things that people are hoping for in the next entry. That’s why GamesRadar has come up with a wishlist for Elder Scrolls V. I have to say, they make a few good points, including a bigger pool of NPC characters and voice actors, a better encumbrance system and a better scaling system for monsters.

That last one I definitely agree with. I’ve never been a huge fan of RPG’s where the monsters level up with you — it sort of defeats the whole purpose of leveling up, yes? Anyway, if you’re an Oblivion nut, I’d highly recommend checking out the article.

What’s on your wishlist for Elder Scrolls V? What do you think of this list? Go!

Source – GamesRadar

Jose Gonzalez Performs Far Away From Red Dead Redemption

If you’ve played Red Dead Redemption, then you are familiar with the song Far Away by Jose Gonzalez, which plays at one of the most iconic moments from the game. This moment is easily one of the best examples of exactly when to play music and let the game sound fade away. I’m also not afraid to say that it instantly made the list of my favorite gaming moments of this generation.

In this video, Jose Gonzalez performs the song on the roof Rockstar in New York. And it’s just as awesome as that sounds. Give it a watch.

Without giving too many spoilers, who else adores this moment in Red Dead Redemption?

Rumor: Mysterious Video Points to Modern Warfare 2 Subscription Plan?

On the internet, everything must be taken with a grain of salt, which is why Wikipedia is no longer a valid source for information when writing a paper for school. Simply put, there are too many untrustworthy people who are much, much smarter than the vast majority of us, and they use their talents to disguise erroneous facts as the truth. This video, though, seems to be pretty legitimate to me. Apparently an X-Box LIVE user attempted to connect to a friend’s game, only to be bounced to a Marketplace page that announced that a Membership plan was necessary, but not available yet. Take a look at the video and decide for yourself.

The top of the screen clearly has the beginning of “membership” before it is cut off by the size limitation. What do you guys think? Will Modern Warfare 2 follow a WoW-based route, or is this for something different? Treat this as a rumor for now until we have official word from Activision. It wouldn’t surprise me, though.

Gorgeous Red Dead Redemption Time Lapse

If there’s anything to say about Red Dead Redemption besides its great story, gameplay and endless fun diversions, it’s that the game is simply beautiful to behold. Once you’ve played it, it’s hard not to admire the stunning vistas, the sweeping landscapes and the wonderfully detailed terrain. The guys at Rockstar really put together one fantastic world.

Which is why it’s so exciting to see that Eurogamer has put together this excellent Red Dead Redemption time lapse video. Apparently, if you leave your controller alone for several minutes, the game slips into an awesome afk mode, which then presents you with some preset camera angles. They recorded several days of game time from these and then produced something wonderful. It shows just how gorgeous the game really is to look at, and I still can’t help but marvel at it, even when I play.

Give it a watch!

If you want to know more about the process by which this whole thing was put together, head over to Eurogamer. They’ve even got some examples from other open world games like Crackdown, Assassins Creed 2 and Fallout 3.

Poll: What Kind of Gamer Are You?

In a recent and totally sweet podcast, Nick made the comment that most of our users were probably PC gamers. I’ve always thought this as well, mainly considering that our news posts that get the most comments are often about PC games, and the fact that many of you came over due to an affinity for The Leet World, created in Source. But we’ve never really asked, we’ve only assumed. And you know what they say about assumptions.

Anyway, I wanted to do a poll to figure out if you guys actually are PC gamers, console gamers, or if you consider yourselves a mixture of both. This isn’t a question about what’s better, so no flame wars, folks, but feel free to state your preferences in the comments as well. I used to consider myself a mixture of the two, but have recently been leaning more towards consoles. However, the release of Starcraft II and a future upgrade to my PC are probably going to push me back to being a mixture.

So how about you guys? Vote away!

What kind of gamer are you?

View Results

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GamerSushi Asks: Treasure Hunting?

Red Dead RedemptionI tend to be a bit of an obsessive gamer. I’ve written about this a few times in the past, so you probably already know that about me, but I seriously get fixated on the most inane parts of games and will sink hours into accomplishing a certain task. Whether it’s hunting for a certain weapon, achievement, trophy or whatever, I’m not above admitting that I turn into kind of a freak about trying to get things done in games.

In the past, this manifested itself as orb hunting in Crackdown. Right now, it’s revealing its ugly head in the form of mining Red Dead Redemption for achievements. I’m actually considering trying to 100 percent the game, which is something I don’t typically do. The last week or so, I’ve been finding myself just hunting, enjoying the world, seeing the sights, and it’s really quite exciting. Currently, I’m trying to find all the locations in the game, and will probably move to co-op or some of the public free roam items next.

What about you guys? Do you often like to mine games for those extra little rewards? What’s the most you’ve done for an achievement/trophy/unlockable? Go!

Obvious News of the Day: Black Ops Pre-orders Going Like Crazy

black opsAs reviled as Activision is among the hardcore gamer population, the constant success of their franchises really makes me wish I bought some stock in the company. Whether they’re printing money with World of Warcraft or breaking sales records all over the globe with Call of Duty, Activision seems to be doing quite well for themselves.

While Call of Duty may be experiencing a little fatigue brand-wise, there’s no question that the next installment, Black Ops, will still pull in massive numbers over the holiday season. An analyst for Pacific Crest Securities has predicted that, even with the current kerfuffle between Activision and CoD-creating studio Infinity Ward, Black Ops is outpacing Modern Warfare 2 for pre-orders at this current time. His information comes from some of his “retail contacts”, so take from that what you will. The same analyst also says that even though Black Ops will have a greater number of pre-orders, he expects it to only move about 12 million copies during the holiday season, about four million less than Modern Warfare 2 did.

Black Ops is coming into a tough market this season with a lot of big-name titles from competing publishers hoping to vie for consumer’s holiday dollars. Could this be the first step on the road to mediocrity for Call of Duty, or do you think that the veteran franchise will have another stellar year? Has anyone pre-ordered this yet?

Source: 1up

Dragon Age 2 Coming March 2011

Dragon Age 2

Developer Bioware made quite the splash with Dragon Age: Origins last year by introducing a new RPG in the midst of dozens of sequels and shooters. The not so black-and-white tale that involved darkspawn, big choices and an epic story was one of my favorite games of 2009 by far, and while I haven’t been able to play its expansion Awakening yet, I’ve been anxious to hear about any news of a sequel.

Well today, Bioware and EA delivered with the announcement that Dragon Age 2 would be dropping in March 2011, with a debut trailer coming for the game as soon as August of this year. So does this mean we can expect more Morrigan loving, Orzammar questing and tricky gameplay? Well, perhaps not.

According to the official Dragon Age 2 site, some things are going to be changing:

  • Embark upon an all-new adventure that takes place across an entire decade and shapes itself around every decision you make.
  • Determine your rise to power from a destitute refugee to the revered champion of the land.
  • Think like a general and fight like a Spartan with dynamic new combat mechanics that put you right in the heart of battle whether you are a mage, rogue, or warrior.
  • Go deeper into the world of Dragon Age with an entirely new cinematic experience that grabs hold of you from the beginning and never lets go.
  • Discover a whole realm rendered in stunning detail with updated graphics and a new visual style.

Updated graphics? Count me in. I’m really excited about the direction of some of these changes, especially considering I didn’t have many complaints about the first game to begin with. The team also gave a brief plot overview:

You are one of the few who escaped the destruction of your home. Now, forced to fight for survival in an ever-changing world, you must gather the deadliest of allies, amass fame and fortune, and seal your place in history. This is the story of how the world changed forever. The legend of your Rise to Power begins now.

Anybody else excited about this? Just looking at the concept art gets me all a flutter. Consider me geeking out.

Source- Dragon Age 2

Dastardly to the 19th Degree

I’m sure by now we’ve all heard of the Dastardly achievement in Red Dead Redemption, which awards you 5 shiny new gamerscore points for the act of tying a woman to railroad tracks and then watching her get run over by a train. While I’m quite the bastard in terms of video game morality, this scratches even the extents that I’m willing to go, so I have yet to pull this off, but I’ve always got my eye out for the opportunity.

However, it’s never occurred to me to tie 19 folks to the train tracks all at once. This fellow deserves a medal.

I just finished Red Dead Redemption the other night, and now I’m in the process of achievement plundering, myself. Has anyone else nabbed this one?

GamerSushi Review: Alpha Protocol

Choices. Choices never change. Wait, wrong game.

Alpha Protocol is a game that was delayed and bashed, even by someone who worked on the game, who stated that it should have been canceled. All this led some to believe that the game was an unfinished, buggy mess, but I find this not to be the case at all. Well, mostly.

Alpha Protocol touts itself as an “espionage-RPG” set in the modern world and dealing with modern conflicts, such as terrorism. You play as Michael Thornton and can choose one of several backgrounds to begin with, ranging from former desk jockey at the Justice department to an assassin that doesn’t really exist. The decision results mainly in what areas your character is already leveled up in, such as Stealth or Assault Rifles, although a few NPCs may make a reference to your past, depending on which choice you made. A nice touch, I thought. I personally chose a blank slate so as to have better control over my character’s development.
Continue reading GamerSushi Review: Alpha Protocol

InFamous 2 Gameplay Trailer is a Whirlwind of Excitement

It’s no secret that I really enjoyed the first inFamous, it just had a nice feel to it that you don’t get with a lot of open-world games these days. Sure, it was a little rough around the edges, but it won me over enough to play it through two times to experience the game from both sides of the morality coin. Since Sucker Punch is hard at work on a sequel, I’ve been keeping my eyes open for anything that pertains to the game, so this new gameplay trailer fits the bill just right. There’s plenty of neat stuff in here, including some very cinematic close-quarters combat, so take a look and tell me what you think.

The game itself is looking pretty hot, but I’m still not sold on Cole’s redesign. I think the voice is the most jarring change, and I don’t know if replacing the old gravelly-voiced Cole with the new one will be favorably received. What do you guys think? Ready to ride the lightning once more?