EA and StarBreeze’s (the guys behind The Darkness) revival of Syndicate, a sci-fi RTS from the early 90s, was just announced last month with a release date of February 2012. Since the game is seemingly on the fast track to the shelves, the two companies have been hitting hard with the pre-release info and have just put out a new ten-minute gameplay trailer for the title. It shows off the game’s shooting and something called “breaching” which is the act of using the chip in your character’s head to hack electronic systems and manipulate them. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, check out the trailer below:
Some people have been saying that Syndicate bears a close resemblance to the recent Deus Ex game, but other than some superficial stuff I don’t see it. Syndicate looks like it’s way more action-oriented than Deus Ex was, and it doesn’t appear that stealth will really be an option here. So, what did you guys think of the trailer?
Yikes. Yesterday, the Internet was absolutely exploding about the news that Mass Effect 3 has a multiplayer mode. Shocker of all shockers, the instant reaction to this was utter panic, as the Internet is an entirely sensible bunch and not prone to hyperbole.
As a result, Chris Priestly, Bioware’s Community Coordinator, stepped into the Bioware forums to deliver some clarification about just what the Mass Effect 3 multiplayer would look like. It turns out that the game will actually support 4 player co-op missions that are separate from the main campaign. This mode, called Galaxy at War, will put players in control of 4 squad mates (not including Shepard) who can be made up of a variety of powers and races.
The cool thing about Galaxy at War is that it sounds like the progress you make in these co-op missions will affect the single player, in the sense that you’re helping the overall war effort against the Reapers. Whereas in Mass Effect 2, you were grooming 12 people for a suicide mission, in Mass Effect 3, you’re getting the entire galaxy ready for an all-out war. The co-op missions can boost your overall Galactic Readiness level.
So, that’s just a few of the details for what actually sounds like a promising mode that doesn’t step on the toes of the Mass Effect universe. I think the big debate moving forward is going to be if this hurts single player in any way, or if this mode is even necessary for what’s already been a great experience. You can certainly read the rest of the FAQ for yourself here.
How do you guys feel about this? Are you freaking out? Excited? Upset? Ready to swear loyalty to Bioware forever? Go!
Somehow, these new editions of Pop Quiz keep sneaking up on us. It feels like it wasn’t so long ago that we were talking about the dog days of gaming summer, looking forward to the Fall like seagulls swarming around a family having a potato chip fight. I don’t really know what the deal is with that analogy, but I think it sort of works.
Anyway, it’s officially Fall now, and the releases are rolling in. We’ve had Gears of War 3, Dark Souls, the Battlefield 3 Beta and soon Arkham City, Skyrim, Uncharted 3 and then some. It’s an exciting time to be a gamer, and one that I’m sure will produce a number of thought provoking responses from you all, our lovely Sushi-ans. This pop quiz is full of questions about the games we’ve already seen, candy and peril. Tread carefully.
As always with our getting-to-know-you type games, feel free to answer with as much or as little as you like. Answer to the best of your ability. Go!
GameTrailers decided to, fittingly, rank the 100 best trailers of all time and they just announced their pick for number one. They give a quick countdown of all their choices and there are a few really great picks in there that are a little low for my choice. There’s a bias towards this generation of consoles and trailers, but that’s understandable given that video game trails only really got good last generation. Here’s the number one pick:
As you guys know I bought Spider-Man: Edge of Time this past Tuesday, and I think I’ve played enough of it to get a firm grasp on whether or not it’s a good follow-up to Shattered Dimensions and if it’s worth your time and money. The short answer is no, and it makes me really worried for future Activision published sequels that aren’t Call of Duty.
The long answer is: instead of the four different Spider-Men from the last game, this time you play only as the basic Amazing Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2099. When I first heard about this I was a little disappointed but I figured that Beenox would find a way to vary up the fighting and puzzle sections enough between the two Spider-Men so it wouldn’t just feel like I was playing the same game with a palette swap. This unfortunately isn’t the case because all you do in Edge of Time is beat up dudes. A lot of dudes. The fighting in Shattered Dimensions was interesting because every Spider-Man had his own unique style but in this game both 2099 and Amazing are pretty much exactly the same except Amazing can hit people with giant web flails which are now inexplicably less effective than they were in Shattered Dimensions. The game also suffers from some pretty bad pacing issues as certain combat or free-fall sections can go on for entirely too long (free-fall also has the annoying habit of not giving enough time to recover after you slam into obstacles meaning that once you hit one thing you’re pretty much dead).
Edge of Time really feels thrown together as there’s not much inspiration in the combat encounters, the story, or the level design. The quantum reality-shifting aspects could be cool but it makes very little sense most of the time (the two Spideys even comment on how fast and loose the whole thing is) and kind of gets predictable very quickly. Hearing Christopher Daniel Barnes as Spider-Man 2099 is awesome for fans of the old 90s cartoon, but other than that there’s no real reason to play Edge of Time. Maybe that was obvious to you guys, but I liked Shattered Dimensions and I was hoping Beenox could keep up a decent level of quality. Given that Fall of Cybertron was just announced (another sequel that’s coming a year after the studio’s last title), I’m worried about how that’s going to turn out. Honestly, I’m worried about any Activision game that isn’t Call of Duty.
Do you guys have any sequels that were a huge disappointment, especially if they were sequels to games that weren’t universally loved? Go!
We might have to do a What Are You Playing every Tuesday from now until the end of the year because it’s about to go down, people. There’s maybe about a billion games coming every week for the next few months on this exact day, except for Skyrim, which hits on a Friday (also known as “Eff Your Weekend Plans, Here’s Skyrim” Day). Naturally, we’re curious about your gaming tastes as it helps us format the content for the site and it also lets us know that your care enough to respond. That said, let’s dig in.
Because I’m a crazy person, my purchase today will be Spider-Man: Edge of Time, Beenox’s sophomore attempt at this property. I enjoyed their last effort, Shattered Dimensions, so who knows, I might like this one too. Other than my guilty pleasure we have RAGE and Dark Souls, one of which I know Anthony is salivating ferociously over. I also picked up the Witcher 2 on Steam for 30 bucks and of course there’s the Battlefield 3 Beta and Gears of War 3 when I get a moment. Who ever said that gamers are lazy should really look at the 2011 release schedule. That’s a lot of gaming to get done with so little time!
So what’s on your docket? RAGE, Dark Souls, something else? Polishing off the backlog maybe?
If there’s something that I’ve really missed over the years in my life as a gamer, it would be the LAN experience. Whether it was with consoles or PCs, my friends and I would constantly get together for crazy nights of shooting, trash talking, Diablo-ing and Warcraft-ing. The spread of online gaming in the console realm has sort of put the LAN experience in the backseat, but it doesn’t make it any less fun.
I found this out firsthand this weekend as several of us got together the night before my brother’s wedding. To celebrate his last night of sweet, sweet freedom, we pulled several XBox 360s out with monitors and TVs and played Gear of War 3 until late in the evening. As fun as Horde mode can be online, it kicks up a notch when all of you are in the same room, freaking out at one another during the boss waves and screaming for your life. Good times.
The whole night was a great reminder of those times of old. Even though we play together constantly online, being in the same room was such an awesome experience, and one that I want to have again soon. In a lot of ways, the LAN extravaganza is so representative of what gaming can be in terms of community and creating stories together. There’s nothing quite like it.
So what about you guys? When’s the last time you had an awesome LAN experience? What games did you play? What games are on your wishlist for a fun LAN party? Go!
I’ve gotten to the point now in my gaming career where I automatically assume I know everything there is to know about a game and its interface. With the standardization of most control set-ups, I’m usually correct but there are certain times where something about a game will mystify me to no end and force me to crack open the manual.
The last time I can clearly remember this happening was with Deus Ex: Human Revolution where it took me a good six hours before I realized that holding down the “Y” button on my 360 controller would open up the quick inventory and allow me to swap items lickety-split. Before that I had been doing the complicated dance of pausing, opening the menu and exchanging things from there. I felt that the lack of an expedited way to manipulate your cache was a pretty glaring omission from an otherwise excellent game, so you can imagine how red my face was when a casual perusal of the instructions told me that I was doing things the hard way.
Another game that came under some moderate fire recently for not spelling things out clearly enough was Bastion where people apparently didn’t know that you could re-do the challenges without exiting and going all the way back to the titular stronghold and picking them again. This was fairly obvious to me but a few people I follow on Twitter (non-GamerSushi folks, just so no one thinks I’m calling them out) seemed to run into this problem constantly.
While no one likes to admit that they’re not the best at something (gamers especially), I was wondering if you guys had any embarrassing stories of this nature to share. Was it something like my Deus Ex mishap, or the Bastion one? Go!
Some of you may have heard about the new Mountain Dew Call of Duty promotion giving away in-game Double XP time for buying their products. Stuffing your face with bags of Doritos and washing it down with a can of the green can give you up to 90-plus minuets of in-game double XP. Codes on the products can be entered to give you a rank-up edge in Call of Duty Modern Warfare 3.
Now I don’t know how many of you feel about companies giving in-game goodies for pre-orders or buying the more expensive edition of a game, but this one really takes the cake. Check out the official rules at the link from the top to view the official rules and a table of the time-to-drink ratio.
While 15 minutes of double experience for drinking a 20 oz bottle of Mountain Dew isn’t going to skyrocket you to 15th Prestige, the concept of this promotion is still a giant facepalm to me. With companies like Best Buy and GameStop already doing absurd promotions this new concept seems to be pushing that idea too far. What do you guys think? Is Mountain Dew hitting on a goldmine? Or is this a joke of a promotion? Give me your thoughts!
While the Battlefield 3 Beta does go public today, I’ve been playing it since the 27 thanks to my pre-order early access (and the fact that I bought the Limited Edition of Medal of Honor). I haven’t been hiding my anticipation for Battlefield 3 at all and I’ve been eagerly awaiting a chance to try the game out before release. Since I’ve already pre-ordered it, I’m kind of locked into the full retail version, but I wanted to give those of you still on the fence a little taste to help you decide whether or not to jump on this train.
The only map currently available in the Beta is Operation Metro in its Rush variant. Operation Metro is a very linear map that progresses from a park to a subway tunnel and then out onto a wide promenade. The other map, Caspian Border, is currently locked behind a password, but that’s the more traditional BF map with wide open areas and combined arms warfare. Metro is strictly an infantry combat map in this form, and it doesn’t exactly carry that Battlefield feel that people might be expecting.
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?
I stumbled upon something neat the other day while browsing the Internet, and I thought it would make an interesting topic here on GamerSushi. We often talk about what our current favorite is, or which game got us into gaming, but it’s very rare that we step back and examine our gaming evolution from day one.
The basic format we’re going to be following is outlined in this picture, but if you don’t want to date yourself by giving your age, that’s OK. I’ll go first just to give everyone another example to go off of. Just because there’s kind of a big gap between the adolescent game and the current favorite game, I’m also going to add in an early adulthood game in order to make the time difference a little less severe.
Date of Birth: 1987 First Game: Super Mario Bros/Duck Hunt Childhood Defining Game: Super Mario World Adolescent Defining Game: The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask Early Adulthood Defining Game: Gears of War Current Favorite Game: Red Dead Redemption
So there we go, my gaming evolution charted from birth until now. So, how does this look for you guys? What was your first game ever? Your current favorite? Go!
Typically in gaming, female characters are either total write-offs or just re-writes of male characters but with ridiculous armor that barely covers anything except their privates. I’d all but given up on seeing believable female characters in video games, but this year actually marks the first where I was more impressed by the fairer sex in a game then I was by their masculine counterparts (no homo).
The year started off with Dead Space 2 and its introduction of Ellie Langford, a pilot for the Concordance Extraction Corporation and a survivor of the Necromorph outbreak on Titan Station. While Isaac Clarke was fighting to regain his sanity, Ellie battled the zombified remains of her co-workers (and implied boyfriend) and helped Isaac destroy the Marker and escape the station, all while losing an eye. Ellie didn’t need your help, didn’t need to be saved (again, the eye thing was a minor set-back) and she contributed way more to the story than just jump prancing around in a skimpy outfit. The same goes for Second Lieutenant Mira in this year’s destined to be over-looked Space Marine: she held the Imperial Guard together after the deaths of her superiors and kept them fighting even after the Ultramarines came in to steal the thunder.
Over the years, the advancements in video game technology and the bigger budgets associated with AAA games have helped the games industry compete with movies in terms of their appeal and their business. The experiences are bigger, bolder and more akin to Hollywood blockbusters than ever. We expect more out of games these days – and a lot of that mindset is owed to the cut scenes that were introduced several generations ago. Cut scenes stretched our idea of what games could be. But do games still do cut scenes right?
That’s the question Wired asks in a new piece titled 5 Film-School Violations in Videogame Cut Scenes. In it, writer Jason Schreier takes a look at some of the things that modern cut scenes still get wrong, even after all these years. While I think the list is sort of ill aimed (it’s more about writing and editing than actual direction), Schreier raises some great issues. In terms of writing, many games just can’t seem to cut it compared to the movies they’re trying so desperately to be.
While I’d have to disagree with him on Mass Effect 2 (one of my friends was a cinematic designer on that game and knows his crap), I’ve long maintained that many game cut scenes don’t really know what they’re doing in terms of the actual craft of film – shots are set up all wrong, and are more about flash and spectacle than about the story itself. To me, one of the most grievous recent examples is Final Fantasy XIII. For all the flack that the game takes, I felt like very little of it was directed at its cut scenes, which were often a jumbled mess. During action sequences, I often found it hard to follow what exactly was going on in the scene, to the point where I had to re-watch them several times.
So how do you guys feel about this list? How do you feel about cut scenes in gaming? Which games do it right and which ones do it wrong?
Gears of War 3 launches today, which means it’s finally upon us. The Gaming Season That Must Not Be Named. I bid all of you my best wishes as you meet the challenges of the next few months headlong. As for me, I’m already looking forward into October. At the risk of sounding like the world’s biggest Battlefield 3 fan site, I thought I’d post a couple of updates I saw floating around the Web this morning.
First: a multiplayer beta for the game starts next week across XBox 360, PS3 and PC. Looks like it’s going to cover the Operation Metro map.
Second: DICE released the minimum and recommended PC specs in order to play their graphically stunning behemoth. Check those out after the jump!
It really puzzles me as to what game companies think is acceptable for product tie-in games. For every Batman: Arkham Asylum and Spider-Man 2 we get, there’s such turd piles as Thor, Iron Man 1 and 2 and that Hulk game where you could sneak around as Bruce Banner. With so many bad superhero games flooding the market, you’d think that Marvel would gravitate towards a product that does Earth’s Mightiest Heroes justice, but apparently this promising-looking Avengers game was canned. Watch for yourself and bemoan its loss with me. Also, this might spoil the main enemy of the Avengers movie (maybe), so you know, don’t watch if you’re worried about that. Looks like the original video has been pulled, so I’ll try to add new ones as they come.
I never thought that controlling the Hulk or Iron Man from a first-person perspective would work, but this looks totally awesome. Imagine this game in co-op? One of your friends leaps into the fray as the Hulk while you fly around and blast fools with repulsor beams? I guess some things are too good to be true.
Oh my, September. What’s happened to you? It seems like just yesterday you were so far away, and now we’re already halfway through your thirty day lifespan. But I guess that means you’ve got a few treats for us.
If you (not September, but you kind GamerSushi folk… I know, it’s confusing) have been keeping up with the video game calendar at all, then you know that Gears of War 3 is out next Tuesday, in all of its neck-hiding, locust-killing and cover-taking brown beauty. Reviews of the game are dropping left and right, and so far the reports are stellar: this is probably the best of Cliffy B’s bunch.
It’s only appropriate, then, that I ask you guys if you’re getting it. And you tell me that you are. For great justice. So: who’s getting Gears of War 3 on Tuesday? Go!
We keep saying it over and over, but gaming news is mostly out of commission right now. Well, unless you think that the 3DS thumb peripheral is news. Or… well, that’s about it, this week.
When we’re normally dealing with this kind of drought, the tactic I usually take is to talk about something going on in the specific game I’m playing. However, I’m standing on the cusp of a lot of games coming out, and I’m currently playing nothing. So instead of talking about nothing, I thought I’d ask you guys what’s been on your mind lately in relation to games and the gaming industry.
For me, I’ve mostly been thinking about game design in relation to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, which I finished last week. For everything wrong with the game, it was designed in such a way that it didn’t matter. Just something bouncing around in my head that I might expand on in a future feature.
So what about you guys? What’s been rattling around in those noggins of yours in relation to gaming? Go!
Where do these games companies get off, making awesome things and then teasing me for a year before I can actually get my hands on their games. If it wasn’t enough making Skyrim look like the RPG to end all RPGs, Bethesda just released a twenty-minute walkthrough of the game, narrated by Game Director Todd Howard. This was the behind closed doors demo shown to games press at E3 and fans at PAX, and now the general public finally gets a look at it. Part one is here, and parts two and three are after the jump.
If you’re unfamiliar with the Warhammer franchise (and given how many times in the last week I’ve had to explain the universe, I’m going to assume that most of you are), this is the granddaddy of fantasy and sci-fi tabletop games. While Warhammer is by no means the first in that field, its sci-fi offshoot, Warhammer 40,000 has inspired dozens of games from StarCraft to Gears of War. If anyone says to you that Space Marine is ripping off Gears, you can firmly say that there were Space Marines swinging chainswords long before Marcus Fenix was a twinkle in Cliffy B.’s eyes.
Now that we have that out of the way, we can get down into the nitty-gritty about Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine, a third-person hack-and-slash/shooter hybrid developed by Relic Entertainment, perhaps best known for their Dawn of War (set in the same universe) and Company of Heroes RTS games. As Ultramarines Captain Titus, you’re tasked with securing a valuable strategic asset known as a Titan during an Ork invasion of the Forge World Graia. If you’re already raising a skeptical eyebrow, don’t worry; there are much more obtuse terms that will be in this review.
It’s taken this long to get a proper game from the perspective of an individual soldier, but how does it hold up against other similar titles? Does Relic’s skill with strategy games cross over into shooters?