“Blood Dragon really is the game Duke Nukem Forever should have been. Whereas that meddlesome abortion half-assed it by showing up to ‘80’s Night in a Joy Division t-shirt freshly picked off a Hot Topic shelf, Blood Dragon crashes through the doors in a DeLorean, speakers ear-bleedingly capped at 11, cranking out ‘Bark at the Moon.’”
Infamous: Second Son (PlayStation 4)
It’s been seven years since the Beast came to New Marias. Cole McGrath’s story of heroism — or tyranny, depending on your choices — has ended and his efforts have saved the world. The price for this salvation came at the expense of the Conduits; superpowered humans now pushed toward extinction status in the fallout of New Marias. Still fearful and reeling from the destruction wrought by the Beast and Cole’s battle, our government has labeled all surviving Conduits as bioterrorists.
Second Son takes the series to the real world city of Seattle, Washington where players will don the role of Delsin Rowe, a twenty-four year old whose innate powers as a Conduit are triggered by an incident related to these so-called “bioterrorists.” Delsin’s specialty, however, isn’t of the electrical variety but instead stem from his ability to control smoke. For fans who felt like an unstoppable thunder god playing as Cole, harnessing smoke may seem like a few rungs below awesome on the power ladder. But Delsin, who also wields chain-like melee weapon Belmont-style, is promised to have a more robust and intriguing arsenal than what’s been revealed, some tapping into powers beyond the manipulation of smoke.
He’ll need it since just being a Conduit is the same as having a big, bright target painted on the back of his head. Your central antagonist, the Big Brother-like DUP (Department of United Protection), wants Delsin bad and aren’t too particular on whether that means riddled with holes or not. Luckily, being a superpowered demigod means you’ll at least make for a hard target.
Second Son is one of the first attention robbing blockbusters the PlayStation 4 owns. Supposedly a launch title for Sony’s latest and sleekest, developer Sucker Punch has yet to peg it down with an official date. My hope against hopes? This bad boy dropping on launch day. That’d be mighty fine. Mighty fine, indeed.
Shots from C2E2 2013. Special thanks to everyone who visited the Glitch booth and allowed me to snap pics with my shitty camera; you’re all heroes (except Scarecrow and Bane…you’re villains).
Batman: Arkham Origins (PC/PS3/X360/Wii U - October 25th, 2013)
Not seeing the Rocksteady logo anywhere near this title has left many skeptical, but maybe their blessing over the prequel will quell some concerns? No? We’re in the same boat, old chum, but what WB Montreal has planned for the Gotham’s protector sounds too interesting to dismiss this early.
Turning back the clock on his career, Origins focuses on an unrefined, mildly brash Batman who hasn’t quite mastered all the skills necessary for Dark Knighthood. It’s Christmas Eve and a who’s who of DC villains are gunning after Bats courtesy of Black Mask. Spanning both Old Gotham (years before its conversion into a prison colony) and New Gotham, Batman traverses a world twice that of Arkham City attempting to learn why he’s been marked for death.
Playing off of the city’s reticence of having a masked maniac soaring over their rooftops on the nightly, Batman can win the people’s trust by completing side quests like shortening Gotham’s Most Wanted list of villains and stopping “Crime in Progress” events such as saving a snitch from certain pavement-y doom or helping a GCPD squad fend off armed thugs. Batman’s notoriety, and the city’s perception of him, changes after every act of good grace.
Even more than his superheroism, though, the narrative and gameplay revolve around Batman the Detective. Scanning the environments with detective vision, just as in the first two games, returns, but Batman can now also review clues and play out crime simulations from within his Batcave, piecing together evidence as he finds it. And there will be no shortage of clues as Old Gotham is riddled with cases for players to solve.
Fans will be pleased to know what they love about the Arkham series won’t change in the third installment: the heavily polished free-flow combat remains nearly untouched and stealth is practically the same, though WB Montreal promises new tactics and moves will be available with unique enemy types to unleash them on. The new “Dark Knight System,” which prompts players with stealth and combat challenges that increase in difficulty, also looks to cut your teeth like never before.
I really do like what I hear and word of Rocksteady’s helpful guidance over gameplay mechanics and some other aspects, though minimal, is encouraging. The Arkham games really have raised the bar not just for comic adaptations but for any game daring to enter the action-adventure genre. I don’t believe for a moment Rocksteady’s work on Batman can be topped — extremely tough act to follow — but I’d sure as hell like to see Origins come close.
With an official reveal already well and spoiled days ago, all that’s left to analyze are the finer details surrounding Ubisoft’s sixth mainline installment of Assassin’s Creed. Settle in, there’s a lot to sift through.
Black Flag rewinds the historical clock a couple of generations before Revolutionary Times, dropping us in the middle of the Golden Age of Piracy — a period modern writers have fictionalized into the ground, portraying a romanticized but irrevocably distorted version of the truth. Ubisoft wants to show us the era as it was; a gruff, bloody, self-enterprising corner of history in which armadas ruled the sea and pirates fought, killed, and plundered for nothing more than profit. Tonally, Ubisoft says Black Flag is less Pirates of the Caribbean and more Sons of Anarchy. How could I not love the sound of that?
Sony’s live conference has come to a close and if you happened to miss it, or felt too guilty having your Xbox stare into your soul as you attempted to watch the stream, kindly allow me to spill the beans. Focusing on immediacy of use in playing and downloading games while also trying to destroy technical limitations between developer and machine, Sony officially announced their next-gen beast tonight: the PlayStation 4. And it’s coming this Holiday.
Over the next few months leading up until E3, where we’ll see way more of the system and the games racing to its launch window, you’re going to hear a shitload about the PS4. You’ll hear so much about it, even the system’s logo is likely to give you a migraine. Or send you into fits of animalistic rage which only warm blood can calm. Happens every goddamn time they announce new hardware (just relax; gamers are given, like, three grace kills before the law takes notice).
So I’ll keep this quick and sweet, folks. Hit the jump for a full lowdown.
In 1996, one month after the release of the surprise hit Resident Evil, Capcom initiated development on a sequel, headed by creator Shinji Mikami. While several key elements will sound familiar to fans today — including a zombie outbreak plaguing the sleepy mountain town of Raccoon City and rookie cop Leon S. Kennedy’s desperate fight through an overrun police station — this original build of Resident Evil 2 would never see release.
Somewhere between 60 and 80 percent complete, Mikami scrapped the entire game, criticizing the gameplay and locations as “dull and boring.” Now commonly referred to as Resident Evil 1.5, the initial build’s stark differences from the final game’s design seem anything but boring to fans who would go on to pour over short, blurry YouTube videos showcasing the cancelled title.
On paper Aliens: Colonial Marines sounded absolutely ace. A direct continuation to one of the most influential and timeless science fiction films of the last fifty years signed off as official canon by 20th Century Fox, developed by Gearbox Software, one of the most renown and rejoiced gaming studios of this generation.
Colonial Marines should have been great. Living and breathing Jimmy Cameron’s universe, a perspective on the future that countless, countless games, novels, and films still unabashedly rip off to this very day, should have made for an engrossing interactive experience that its imitators could hardly match because, instead of playing loose homage to the 1986 film, Colonial Marines had free reign to tap from the source.
I’ve been a huge fan of this franchise since early childhood; my immediate, almost unconscious response to “What’s your favorite movie?” is always “Aliens” without hesitation, and I’ve been excited about this game for a very long time. By the time this review posts, you’re likely to already have heard the sordid truth. It hurts me to say that Aliens: Colonial Marines doesn’t just miss the mark, it makes a vapor cloud the size of Nebraska fifteen miles away from it.
The Last of Us (PS3) - May 7th
There’s just something magical about a dilapidated, crumbling apart post-apocalyptic landscape because the setting almost always makes for some extremely beautiful gaming environments.
Naughty Dog’s next big game may have been quiet for a little while, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hiding just around the corner waiting to snatch you up (and, my, it’s good to see a glimpse of what ND can do with horror). May’s fast approaching, folks.
Next-Gen Rising: Latest Predictions for the New Wave of Consoles
The dark clouds are rolling in too fast, the earth rumbling too loudly. Faint rumors have been promoted to a dull roar, and we all know what Sony and Microsoft are about to say: new consoles are on the way.
One industry analyst in particular, a Mr. Colin Sebastian of Baird Research and Insights (I’ll save you a mouse-click: it’s an organization paid money for telling other companies how to spend money), has offered up his opinion and educated guesses as to what to expect this year when it comes to the coveted next-gen.
Speaking with both industry developers and distributors, Sebastian thinks Microsoft and Sony are aiming to announce new hardware this year, right before E3 which will, in turn, make this year’s expo the biggest since 2000 when the PlayStation 2 and original Xbox went toe-to-toe. What’s more, Sebastian believes these new systems — utilizing the same tech found in today’s higher-end PC’s; a sexy prospect for would-be developers — will launch as early as this Fall, both likely landing between the $350 to $400 price range.
Related predictions Mr. Sebastian conjured see brick n’ mortar retail threatened by the new consoles’ penchant for digital distribution, but until download speeds and pricing catches up with demand, physical sales will remain valid and strong at least several years into the next generation’s life cycle.
Also, he sees Nintendo as goddamn doomed once competition ratchets up, thanks in no small part to the Wii U’s limp launch. Sebastian says the company needs to deliver on their trademark first-party goods (like this rumored monolithic Zelda game), lest Nintendo suffers the same sad fate as Sega, and is forced to back away from the home console market and license out those same first-party games onto competing platforms. A grim outlook, indeed.
So, fellow gaming connoisseurs, what are your next-gen predictions and what’s it going to take for you to jump on the new console bandwagon?