I’ll admit that I’m anticipating The Force Unleashed 2 despite my current misgivings with Star Wars, but let’s face it: George Lucas’ eminent sci-fi franchise will continue to hold a special place in my heart despite all the attempts he makes at destroying my childhood.
The Force Unleashed is one of the few things in the last couple of years that I’ve enjoyed about Star Wars (except for the Republic Commando books), so a sequel is just what the doctor ordered. Despite the fact that I played it at PAX 2010 and liked it a lot, some people (Anthony) were worried about the lack of gameplay being shown in the trailers. Well, take a look at the launch trailer for The Force Unleashed 2 and let your fears be put to rest:
No too shabby if I do say so myself. October is kind of a ruinous month, considering that every Tuesday from here on out delivers a must-play game. Medal of Honor is next week, followed by Fallout: New Vegas then The Force Unleashed. It will be tricky to manage all these games, but how are you guys going about it? Is TFU2 a day-one purchase or are you saving it for the upcoming slump?
Apparently someone at 343 Industries was taking their crazy pills and signed off on Apt. 117, a cartoon about a “normal, average guy who lives with a Halo fanboy.” Sort of like the Odd Couple, but with more man-boobs. Actually, maybe the exact same amount. Anyways, the trailer for this cartoon recently went up, and you can watch it below if you’re so inclined.
If that didn’t excite you then maybe it’s doing its job, as the cartoon is described as purposely underwhelming. I don’t know if I’ve ever invested my time into being specifically disapointed but hey, this might be a new untapped market. Personally, I think a cartoon dedicated to Spartan 1337 would be better, as his short was the only one from Halo: Legends I enjoyed. Apt. 117 will be hitting Halo: Waypoint on X-Box LIVE soon, making it the only time in history that I will consciously stay far, far away from something Halo. Thoughts?
I kind of love these Fallout: New Vegas developer diaries that have been appearing recently. I know that we’ve been humming and hawing about Obsidian and their track record (which is strange, considering that Knights of the Old Republic 2 was like crack to me), but these videos show me that they have a really good understanding of Fallout and what people expect from it. This makes sense considering that Chris Avellone (Senior Designer at Obsidian) worked on Fallout 2 back in the day. Check out the video to get your run down on the three main factions you can side with in New Vegas:
It’s a nice option being able to choose sides, especially considering in Fallout 3 your options were basically “join the Brotherhood of Steel or not”. Personally, I’m leaning towards the New California Republic with Mr. House in a close second. Fallout: New Vegas comes out really soon, October 19, so you’ve got a little bit of time to plan out whether you’ll support once faction or go for total anarchy.
Somehow developers keep forgetting to invite us to their press conferences (our invite probably got lost in the mail), so we don’t get to see awesome things like Gears of War 3′s multiplayer hands on. Now that I have the self-deprecation out of the way, I can tell you that EPIC Games recently invited a bunch of journalist types to their offices in North Carolina to check out the latest offering in the chainsaw-and-cover franchise.
While we reported last week that Gears 3 was being delayed until the Fall of 2011 because of a marketing decision, it turns out this speculation was a little off the mark. In a total surprise move, EPIC Games will be hosting a public Beta for Gears 3 early in 2011. As we may remember from Gears of War 2, the multiplayer was a bit of a mess. It usually took about fifteen minutes on average to find a game, and then, if you didn’t get host, you might have well just quit. EPIC hopes to address this issue by having dedicated servers this time around to get rid of the hosting problem and a Beta to iron out the bugs. IGN has a video preview of all the changes coming at us in the Beta and Fall 2011, when the game finally hits:
Wow. This is one of those videos that’s so impressive there’s not really a whole lot to say about it. Project Vector is a Starcraft II Mod that was created with the goal of achieving a playable third person survival-horror game out of the popular RTS. And it looks like they’re actually making some progress, if the new Project Vector demo is of any indication. It’s pretty much Dead Space in Starcraft II’s engine, which is something I never saw happening.
According to its creators over on the SC2Mapster forums, the game is currently playable, but they are still working on some additional revisions. Since they know the entire project will take some time to finish, they’re considering releasing it in small chunks so the community can get their hands on it.
This is all kinds of awesome. And I’ll go out on a limb here: until consoles can start to do this kind of thing with this level of quality, no one can call PC gaming definitively dead. Boom.
One of the most imaginative franchises in gaming is Fallout, envisioned as an alternate future where the art-deco mind-set of the 1950s dominated the design of everything from home computers to robots. However, this retro-futuristic setting was destroyed be a devastating nuclear war, and humanity is still trying to rebuild itself during the series. While the game is fairly imaginative and speculatory, it still has to have a reality behind it. Where the Science of Games comes in is that point, where the fictional meets the factual. How well does Fallout stand up under the microscope?
I personally really enjoy this series, and in the past they have covered games such as Mass Effect and Star Wars and have explored whether or not the fantastical gadgets in those games are feasible. What did you guys think of this particular segment? What games would you like them to cover in the future? Personally, I’d love to see a Left 4 Dead or Dead Rising themed one, exploring the realities of the zombie apocalypse.
People first started suggesting I cover Minecraft on Bytejacker a little over a year ago. I messed around with it a bit and felt lukewarm on it. At the time, it was basically just a world of Legos – a cute sandbox you could dig and build in with others, but really nothing more than a technical demo. “Impressive for being made by one guy,” I thought. “I hope he can turn it into something.”
When it comes to original video content, I think that GameTrailers has some of the best retrospective features around. They’re usually informative, entertaining and ridiculously well researched. And to top it off, they’re about some of the biggest franchises in all of gaming.
This week, in honor of Castlevania: Lords of Shadow’s release, they return with part 1 of their Castlevania Retrospective, which is all about the origin of Dracula and his sordid history with the Belmont clan. Having never played a Castlevania game (don’t tar and feather me, Anthony), this whole thing is pretty fascinating to me, and I’d be a crazy person to hear that music and see that gameplay and not start itching to pick those titles up. Going to have to add Symphony of the Night to the list, and soon. I seriously can’t get enough of these things.
Can we get a roll call from the Castlevania fans out there?
Duke Nukem Forever, shown in its resurgent form at PAX 2010 thanks to Gearbox Software, is finally gaining some momentum and is actually coming to home systems next year. The game has only been shown behind closed doors so far, but plenty of off-screen footage has been taken. This most recent video, taken at the Firstlook gaming convention in Amsterdam, shows that the humor that was prevalent in the series back in the day is still permeating the title. Whether or not people still find this stuff funny is up for debate, but I thought I’d post the video anyways since I know a bunch of you are jonesing hard for this one. The game actually starts going at two minutes in if you want to skip Randy Pitchford’s pontificating.
I’ll admit that the game itself actually looks pretty good, and the fight against the giant alien is pretty intense (who doesn’t use God Mode at demos?), but the attempts at toilet humor just didn’t do it for me. Also, when someone is urinating, can’t you typically see their equipment? Methinks Duke might be compensating. As always, we’d love to know what you guys think about this new video. Do you bet on Duke, or was this video not doing it for you? Are you maybe dreading the inevitable destruction of the world that will prevent this game from ever coming out? Go!
To me, one of the biggest question marks of the fall season hovers relentlessly around one title in particular: Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood. The follow-up to last year’s critically and commercially successful Assassin’s Creed 2, Brotherhood worries me in part because it is coming so soon, but also because it seems more like an expansion than a proper new sequel, with all of the increased polish that helped benefit the second game from the first.
However, the occasional bits I see of the game actually keep my hopes up. Take for instance this new mission walkthrough trailer released by Ubisoft, where we get to see Ezio follow and interrogate an engineer of one of Leonardo’s war machines. It seems that a portion of the plot is going to center around Leonardo’s inventions, and we get to see a few of these war machines at the end of the video, including sea vessels and even battle tanks. Assassin’s Creed: Metal Gear?
What are your thoughts on the walkthrough? What is your level of excitement for Brotherhood?
If you’re into online First Person Shooters, you’ve probably come to accept that all of them incorporate some sort of XP progression/unlock system at this point. This fad started gaining steam with Call of Duty 4, and it has been carried over to almost every other shooter since then. Fittingly, Black Ops takes this into the ridiculous territory with the customizations that will be allowed in game. Call of Duty usually avoided having the player customize their in-game avatar, but Black Ops will allow you to give your persona everything from face paint to armor and customized sights for your guns. Seriously, this video borders on ludicrous once the developers start detailing the different kinds of emblems you can emblazon your firearm with. Take a look:
While this is really cool, I think they lost me around the custom red-dot sight part. At some point you’re just adding too much to the investment system, and constantly dangling carrots in front of people gets annoying more often than not. As much as I love Halo: Reach, the poor design of the rank/armor system has really been rankling me (it takes forever to make it past Warrant Officer). Hopefully Black Ops will not suffer the same fate by making more options available faster. So, see anything that catches your fancy? Are you getting sick of shooter with a huge focus on ranks and unlocks?
It’s sort of a running thread around here lately that downloadable titles are owning big full-price titles, something we mentioned on our last podcast. Just to add another bullet point to that argument, I would like to introduce you to Outland, the new side-scrolling platformer from Housemarque, the development studio behind Super Stardust HD. I saw this game running at PAX 2010, and the first thing that immediately caught my attention was the awesome art style. Take a look at the trailer and see for yourself.
Even if it was the sort of generic “PERIL OF TWO WORLDS OH NOES” type of story, the graphics are enough to get me anticipating this. Apparently the gameplay is sort of like Ikaruga where you need to switch colors to damage foes or interact with the environment. Blue bullets won’t hurt a blue suit, and vice versa. Consider me psyched for this, at least. Anyone else interested in this game? Are you finding yourself anticipating download titles more and more often?
As tired as I am of the zombie saturation fad that’s going on, I’m a little ashamed to admit that the Red Dead Redemption Undead Nightmare DLC trailer made me want to go find a copy of the game and play it immediately. As the title clearly indicates, this DLC pack adds a new mission, namely that there are zombies in them there hills, and it’s up to John Marston to find the cure and stop them.
Admittedly, this all sounds so ridiculous, but the new trailer nails the execution. The description also hints at zombie animals and confirms zombie bears that will mutilate you, because, why not? For anyone that’s played the game, the idea of an undead cougar sniping me off the top of my Hungarian Horntail horse is both frightening and titillating. While there’s no official release date, we can only assume that the “very soon” text indicates Halloween.
Anyone going to dead eye some zombie hordes when this finally drops?
Castlevania: Lords of Shadow drops next week on October 5th, and if the earliest reviews are any indication, the game could be a darn good one. To prep fans for all the changes and things to expect in this newest iteration of the long beloved series, Konami has released a brand new gameplay trailer that demonstrates how this is no ordinary Castlevania, and how they intend to take the series down a new path.
With Hideo Kojima in charge, I’ve been impressed with some of the cinematic trailers I’ve seen, and this 11 minute dose of gameplay and introductions is something I wish more game studios did with new releases. If you’ve been on the fence about Lords of Shadow, I’d recommend checking it out, as this might tip you one way or the other.
So, who plans on checking this out? What did you think of the trailer?
At E3 this year, Nintendo first unveiled its new and often rumored 3DS. The newest upgrade to the DS, as its name points out, brings the third dimension to handheld gaming, in a rather genius way that doesn’t require you to wear the goofy glasses. Ever since this announcement dropped, I’ve been excited to see some final pricing info, particularly with the revelation that so many old favorites such as MGS3 and Ocarina of Time were going to be coming along with it.
Well, that day has finally arrived, as the big N dished out all of the good stuff at its 2010 Nintendo Conference last night. Not only do we have some pricing and release info, but cool stuff about the 3DS’s features, as well as a trailer for its games. Hit the jump to check it out!
This is sort of a week for excellent dance-themed machinima, it seems. First we get the sublime krogan dance off in the form of Mass Effect 2′s Dance Dance Redemption, and now we have Dance Fortress 2. This little beauty of a video was made by a talented man who goes by the name of James Benson. This project started two months ago, and the culmination of his efforts can be seen below. This was apparently made as a resume to Valve, so best of luck to you, Mr. Benson.
Oh man, it’s not very often that a machinima piece makes me laugh these days, but then again, most pieces aren’t named Dance Dance Retribution. Nor do they feature two Krogans from Mass Effect 2 dancing. This is a piece created by Blue Suns for the 48 hour machinima contest that was featured in Fantastic Fest this past weekend in Austin, Texas. I kept hearing good things about it, so I just had to post on it.
Really, there’s not much else to say other than that it follows the tale of a Krogan seeking extreme justice through extreme dance moves. And it’s hilarious. Give it a watch.
Best of all? It was co-created by a SmoothFewFilms fan that goes by the handle of Gassy Mexican. Great job, man!
I don’t even really know what to say about this, because it’s just one of those crazy things that makes you rethink your life and all the ways you’ve used or wasted it over the years. I won’t lie, when it comes to video games, I have wasted many hours. I’ve thrown marbles down hills in Oblivion. I’ve looked at a girl Spartan’s butt in Halo: Reach. These are things I’ve spent time doing. But I’ve never done anything like this guy.
Apparently, Minecraft nut “halnicholas” has been working hard to construct a 1:1 scale replica of the USS Enterprise NCC-1701-D from Star Trek: The Next Generation in said crafting game. He’s got the framework done, and is looking for skillful trekkies and builders alike to come and help him finish the fight. Wait, I’m mixing sci-fis here.
Anyway, this is certifiably insane and awesome all at once.
Also, is it wrong that this makes me want to play Minecraft even more?
Enslaved: Odyssey to the West is a new game coming out from Ninja Theory, best known for the PS3 launch title Heavenly Sword. I’m not sure if we’ve ever posted about Enslaved on the site, so I’m going to do a quick recap for those who are unfamiliar with this game. Taking place 150 years in the future, the game follows two of the few remaining humans as they attempt to find their way home through a decimated North America past the various combat mechs that still plague the land. Sort of a different spin on the old post-apocalyptic yarn, and it borrows some design elements from the show Life After People, if I remember correctly. Check out the new behind the scenes video for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West which also stars Gollum himself, Andy Serkis!
It’s kind of a shame that I haven’t been following this game more closely, because it looks very intriguing. The game is actually coming out on October 5, so it’s hitting right at that perfect time before Call of Duty: Black Ops and Fallout: New Vegas dominate the market. Anyone here thinking of picking this up? Also, I want my title to be “Chief Creative Ninja”.
Fallout’s biggest hook, at least for me, is the technology, envisioned as an extension of the 1950′s wistful imaginings of the future. All the computers are big, bulky and full of vacuum tubes, and the guns fire iridescent blobs of green plasma. It’s got a sort of innocent charm the belies the often brutal nature of post-apocalyptic survival, and the team at Obsidian is kicking the technology up a notch for New Vegas. While the game has the typical range of conventional weaponry, new types of energy guns will be included, like the Recharge Rifle, which replenishes its internal battery instead of requiring ammo. Pretty neat, if you ask me. Take a look at the most recent New Vegas Developer Diary for some other changes, including a look at the game’s sound design:
I tried the grenade machine gun during my hands on time with New Vegas at PAX 2010, and it is just as fun as it sounds. I also like they way Obsidian is taking the desert environment into account with distance being factored into how you will perceive sound. Despite some reservation on this title due to the fact that it is in the hands of Obsidian (no offense, but they don’t exactly have a stellar track record), New Vegas is shaping up nicely. Any opinions on the weapons and the auditory goodness in New Vegas? What system will you play it on? Fallout: New Vegas will be out October 19, 2010.