Gears of War: Judgement was met with an appropriate amount of skepticism when it was announced last year. With the Gears trilogy proper having just wrapped up the October before hand, was it really necessary to give us a prequel?
Epic Games’ subsidiary studio, People Can Fly, took this challenge on and brought their own twist to the Gears formula. Can a competitive scoring mode and gameplay-altering challenges help Gears of War: Judgement feel fresh? Continue reading Review: Gears of War: Judgement
Epic Games, the studio that brought you Gears of War, a title who’s mechanics and engine influenced an entire generation of console games, is doing something a little different for their next release, Fortnite.
Revealed today during a San Diego Comic Con panel (thanks Polygon), Fornite will be running the Unreal Engine 4 (something Epic has said will not work with the current generation) and will be exclusive to the PC (although Cliff Bleszinski has tweeted that the PC is the “lead platform” for Fortnite, opening the game up for a possible installment on the next generation of consoles and other devices).
For people who need a refresher, Fornite is a co-op sandbox survival game where players band together to build a fortress that can withstand the onslaught of the undead. Your buildings and weapons are all upgradable, and the developers promise that there will be a lot of loot scattered around the game worlds.
So, what do you guys think of this turn of events? Are you excited for Fornite? What do you think of Epic moving on to Unreal Engine 4 development before this console generation is over? Is this the first real sign that the next gen is coming really soon? Go!
If there’s any game that’s more unnecessary than a Gears of War prequel, I’d like to see it (already seen God of War: Ascension) but it sounds like Epic subsidiary studio People Can Fly are doing their best to make the next trip back to the Gears-verse worth your time.
As Gears of War: Judgement is being told from the perspective of Baird and Cole defending themselves at a treason hearing, certain elements of the game will change each time you play it because, like any memory, things are going to be forgotten, replaced, or just plain made up. For example, the first time you play through a level, you might have access to sniper rifles, but the next time you play, Baird might say something like “we didn’t have access to snipers rifles” and poof: where you were once popping fools with snipers, you now have to get down and dirty with them.
As you play the missions you’ll eventually get to go through “declassified” versions of the levels, which is the actual series of events. Gears of War: Judgement also comes with a smart-spawn system similar to Left 4 Dead’s director: if you’re doing well the game will throw more enemies in different locations and you, and if you’re struggling to progress, things will get a bit easier.
Mixing things up like is what helps make a prequel a bit more palatable. I’m interested to see how this system will preform when the game drops, but for now it sounds like an interesting concept. What do you guys think? Is Gears of War: Judgement sounding a bit better to you now? What do you think of the declassification system?
If you want to know my opinion (and you’re reading a review that I wrote, so I’m going to assume that you do), Microsoft has had a very keen eye for franchises that will go on to become very influential in their generation. Halo informed the whole of the last generation and Gears of War did a fair bit to shape the direction of gaming in this one. While we did become a little sick of the “brown and grey” color schemes that dominated the first Gears, you can’t really deny that Epic has created something unique with their stop-and-pop shooter.
Indeed, it’s rare that a Gears game didn’t have a design element that was aped by the games that followed. If Gears one brought cover systems and a certain visual style to the masses then Gears 2 brought Horde mode which has been copied, to various degrees of success, by other notable franchises like Halo, Call of Duty and many more.
Now, after a wild five-year ride, we come to the end of this current trilogy of Gears of War games. If you’ve followed the story of the games all the way through, you know that humanity is out of the frying pan and in the fire, living as disparate bands, trying to survive as a new life form called “Lambent” overruns both them and their old subterranean foes, the Locust. Indeed, the first chapter of the game details the new living situation as Marcus and Dom are living aboard a dilapidated aircraft carrier and Cole and Baird are scrounging the mainland for food and supplies. With such a depressing beginning, does Gears of War 3 provide a nice, satisfying end to all the chainsawing insanity? Continue reading Review: Gears of War 3
One of the great surprises of E3 2011 was the reveal of Horde 2.0 in Gears of War 3. With all the improvements made to the multiplayer, it shouldn’t have caught us off guard that Epic would be turning their loving eyes to Horde mode as well, but this really came out of left field. Taking away from player data from Gears of War 2, Horde 2.0 features a whole host of usability improvements seen in the multiplayer of Gears 3 (like enemy tagging and the tactical overlay) and adds the ability to use an area as a base and fortify it with static defenses, turrets and the fearsome Silverback mech suit. There’s a new Horde 2.0 walkthrough narrated by Nan McNamara, the voice actor for Anya Stroud, and I’ve embedded it below.
Much like Halo: Reach last year, Gears of War 3 might dominate our lives when it hits on September 20. I have my copy pre-ordered and paid for, and I can’t wait to tuck into this triple threat title. We may have to have a GamerSushi Game Night for this when it comes out (non-Xbox readers, don’t worry, we might have something in the works…). What do you guys think of the new improvements to Horde?
I’m kind of late to the party on this one but I recently (along with a few other GamerSushi editors) picked up Infinity Blade, Epic Games and Chair Entertainment’s fantasy hack-and-slash title for the iOS. For the uninformed, Infinity Blade is a game that revolves around one family’s quest to kill the God King and avenge the death of the blood lines’ progenitor. The game is played through a series of one-on-one fights between the player’s character and various enemies and has a deep RPG undertone to round out the gameplay.
This is the second hand-held game that I picked up the last couple of days, the first one being Pokemon Black. I had some doubts going into Infinity Blade, and, despite the fact that I’ve played some great iPhone games over the past while, I didn’t think I would find something that would drag me away from the “real” gaming devices. How wrong I was. I put down Pokemon Black to try out Infinity Blade, and I haven’t picked up my DS since. First off, the game is absolutely gorgeous, and I love the design of the enemies, the stages, and the weapons and armor. It has a very “dark fantasy” feel, and it appeals directly to the gamer in me that has been crying out for a bad-ass sword fighting game.
I’m totally floored by how quickly Infinity Blade drew me in, and on a phone of all platforms. I thought that the iPhone wasn’t made for this type of game, but Infinity Blade blew my preconceived notions out of the water. I could ramble on about Infinity Blade forever, but what about you guys? Has any game changed the way you thought about a gaming device, or maybe a different type of input method (like motion controls)? Have you tried Infinity Blade, and what do you think? Want to make fun of me for only realizing just now how great this game is? Go!
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.
Those of you who were looking to continue the adventures of Marcus Fenix and pals in April of 2011 are going to be a little disappointed this morning as Microsoft curbstomps our hope with this bit of news. Perhaps realizing that their exclusive fall lineup was a little slim, the software giant has chosen to move the “threequel” to an unspecified date closer to the holidays. Of course, there could be speculation that the game is just plain not ready, but the Microsoft statement pretty much says that this is a marketing decision:
Gears of War 3 promises to be the biggest entertainment launch of 2011,” the Microsoft statement reads. “The teams at Microsoft Game Studios and Epic Games have done great work thus far readying the title for release in the Spring of 2011. However, we’ve elected to move the launch of Gears of War 3 until Fall 2011 to make it the marquee title for the holiday season.
Just when we thought that Microsoft learned to spread its titles out, this notion gets dashed. While I can’t blame them for wanting a big game to shill around the holidays, this just means that we’ll be waiting even longer to cut up some aliens. Gears heads can get their fix with novel series if they are really parched, but for the rest of us, some patience is in order. So, any opinion on the news? Do you wish Microsoft would have just bit the bullet and stuck with April?
Many of us know Epic Games for their successful stop-and-pop 360-exclusive shooter Gears of War, but before they made it big on Microsoft’s home console Epic was widely known as a PC-centric developer. Unreal Tournament has been a staple of arena-style multiplayer games on the PC, but Epic’s heyday as a big time PC developer is long gone.
While many of the company’s fans bemoan the studio’s shift in focus, Epic president Mike Capps says that the move from PC to console was one of necessity, citing PC piracy as the major reason for the change. Speaking recently to Edge (via 1up), Mr. Capps said that the studio still loves the PC, but they saw how piracy killed a bunch of great independent developers and lead to a conversion of business models.
Mike Capps isn’t all down on PC gaming, though, and he feels that the platform might eventually see a comeback, possibly through Facebook. While that isn’t the resurgence many of us were hoping for, we have to remember that the often looked-down upon casual games (like Ubisoft’s Petz series) subsidizes the production of larger, more “hardcore” games.
I know that we have a fair few PC gamers on this site, myself included, and I spent a lot of time in my youth playing Unreal Tournament against the AI because I wasn’t allowed on the internet. Although Epic’s console offerings have been mostly decent, one has to wonder how different the market would be today if Gears had launched as a PC title first. What do you guys think? Is piracy actually to blame, and will PC gaming make a Facebook comeback?
If you miss the days of yore for First Person Shooters, where it was you, a gun, millions of hostile aliens and no plot to get in the way, then you might enjoy the following trailer for Bulletstorm, the up-coming FPS collaboration from Epic Games and People Can Fly. If you played Painkiller, PCF’s previous shooter-oriented effort, then you know that they have a healthy thirst for crazy on-screen action. Bulletstorm looks to be a great spiritual successor to Painkiller’s legacy, allowing the player to use their massive boots to kick guys into cacti and laser whip them around. The video looks like it enables players to combo their attacks together for points, a “chain of pain” if you will.
What do you guys think? Is this on your radar now?
Epic Games, the dudes behind Unreal and Gears of War, are probably some of the biggest graphics whores in the industry. I mean, with all the eye candy they constantly throw at us in their games, it’s hard to doubt that they love making games, and love making them look good. But can they look better?
While the graphics are great in games that use the Unreal Engine, photorealistic graphics aren’t quite here yet, even with this generation’s powerful hardware across consoles and PC games alike. However, Epic’s Tim Sweeney, in a recent interview with Gamasutra, has a couple of ideas about when we’ll see photorealism in real-time:
We’re only about a factor of a thousand off from achieving all that in real-time without sacrifices. So we’ll certainly see that happen in our lifetimes; it’s just a result of Moore’s Law. Probably 10-15 years for that stuff, which isn’t far at all.
Even though I’m not much of a graphics guy (I feel gameplay is way more important), this idea is pretty interesting. I’d like to see what kinds of new art directions developers take with that much graphical power at their disposal. What do you guys think?
Once again, Gears of War 2 news is starting to spill out left and right. While the hype for the game is building, I really don’t think it’s seen the stupid-iculous proportions that say, Halo 3 saw (Mountain Dew Master Chief, wtf?).
Kotaku recently posted a few hands-on impressions of the game, which includes a brief list of Gears of War 2’s weapons. There is even a list of vehicles in there, which was a fun and slightly unexpected addition. A tank? A helicopter? Tell me more.
Best of all, the writer says that he never played the first one, and even hates shooters- but loved what he got his hands on. Sounds like a good time. Go read!
In light of the end of the Gears of War 2 Campaign NDA, news and screens are starting to break all around the Web about the single player portion of Epic’s upcoming game. One of the announcements that hit that is seemingly unrelated is that Skorge, the predator-looking locust seen in some recent screenshots, is going to be playable in Gears of War 2 Multiplayer.
He is kind of awesome looking, though it seems that his dual-chainsawed staff will be toned down or removed in order to keep things balanced. Also, he’ll be the end boss that shows up in the co-op Horde mode, which pits 5 players against AI armies of locusts. Cool stuff!