I've been playing a fair bit of Titanfall this week now that the game is done and dusted and good to go, and have been checking out the campaign component to the game that adds a few talking heads and gravelly voices over loading screens in between matches to give players a little more context to the free-running, mech-strewn, jetpack-aided violence.
Titanfall has always been a multiplayer-only game, and that's actually a position to be admired. I wish Battlefield had done that with its most recent instalments instead of trying to out-COD COD. That Battlefield 4 -- a multiplayer-focused game -- barely works online is a travesty, and one I would gladly have traded for the team spending more time on that part of the game and not releasing an all-in-one content package with completely forgettable offline components.
Knowing what you have, pushing the limitations that you set for yourself as a creator, and making the best game you can within those parameters -- this is a tried-and-tested approach that has seen many games logged in the annals of this industry's hall of fame.
Titanfall's campaign is likely to prove a little divisive. It's pretty thin on the ground, very bare bones indeed. The game's opening cinematic does a mild job of situating you in a frontier environment betwixt the two warring factions of the IMC (the Alliance) and the Militia (the Browncoats). There are contextual voiceovers during the interminable wait between the nine levels that make up the campaign trail for either faction, but I can't help but feel that a little cinematic or just something a little more visually stimulating than the matchmaking screen would have helped a little bit more.Click here to read more...
We had to give it one more chance; we always said we would. What with all of the talk of Maxis finally delivering an offline mode, fixing the problems that plagued SimCity during its first few months, and finally having a game that was actually playable, we felt it was important to see whether or not, one year on from release, SimCity might actually be worth paying money for.
You can nab the game for under £20 these days, a far cry from the almost laughable digital prices EA had the gall to set at launch. The content that was missing from those early days is now fully operational -- regions now make sense, and you're only left waiting a minute or two for regional features and buildings to register rather than hours or days or weeks or, in some cases, months.
The simulation is still a little wonky in places, but GlassBox does its job more or less properly now. There'll still be the occasional oddity here and there, but Benny Hill moving vans and school buses stealing children are no longer the problems they once were.
We said this time last year that visually, GlassBox did a wonderful job, and that the UI was glorious, and that still holds true. The first few hours of SimCity are better than ever, effortlessly addictive, and brimming with charm. But then you hit the wall, and you have two options: start a new city, or wait. And wait. And wait.
Fixing bugs and ironing out creases is one thing, but the trouble with tidying up the mess means that now, more clearly than ever before, we can see just how fundamentally flawed the region system is on a conceptual level. We'd hoped that the opposite might have been true, having been vociferous in our condemnation of the minuscule city sizes; but alas. You can here me chat about it in distraught and disappointed tones in the video below.Click here to read more...
Star Citizen has just broken the $40 million mark in terms of stuffing its crowdfunded coffers. That's the same as the GDP of a small Polynesian island.
"We’ve done it again!" wrote Chris Roberts over on the RSI forums. "The Star Citizen community has pushed us to another incredible crowd funding goal: $40 million, a number that would have been an impossible dream at the start of the game’s development. I’m constantly amazed by the continued support we receive and how this community manages to grow every day. Since the last milestone we’ve added over 10,000 new citizens!
"Some say that space sims are niche. I’m not so sure!"
It's a damn fine, if wholly unsurprising, achievement at this point, and serves to underline two things: that Star Citizen is a game, an experience, a universe that everyone wants; and that Cloud Imperium are doing an excellent job at growing and maintaining a community.Click here to read more...
Voice actors are becoming increasingly important in our industry, and perhaps nowhere is this more apparent than in narrative-driven action titles such as inFamous: Second Son.
Well, in order to take a closer look at the nature of bringing virtual characters to life, we sat down with critically-acclaimed voice actor Troy Baker at a recent inFamous: Second Son event to have a chat about fleshing out the game's protagonist -- Delsin Rowe -- with voice and character and personality, as well as discussing some of Baker's most challenging roles, and the rising stock of voice actors in an industry that is truly beginning to find its feet as a narrative medium.
Got beef with someone? Is there something in particular that's been annoying you of late? Well it's Titanfall day in the US today, and a little gif creation site has popped up that lets you drop a Titan on anything you want.
Here's a little example of us dropping a Titan on an analyst whose name we've banned from this site:
All you need is a picture of the person/item/abstract notion that you'd like to crush with a mechanical leviathan, and head over to this site.
inFamous: Second Son has a lot riding on it. It's the first major first-party title for the PS4 since the console's launch, and excitement is clearly high for Sucker Punch's game. The bundle is already outselling the Xbox One's Titanfall package, and there's no doubt that inFamous: Second Son *looks* the part.
We'll have a much more in-depth look at the game next week when the embargo lifts and we can share our Second Son review with you.
In the meantime, we sat down for a chat with Brand Development Manager Ken Schramm at a recent event for the game, and here's a little video interview with Ken talking about how the team leveraged the power of the PS4 to try and create a more immersive experience, some of the powers and play-styles that are on offer in the game, the importance of Delsin Rowe as a character, and also about the pressure of producing the first big-name, exclusive PS4 title following the console's launch.
Playstation Plus 365 Day Subscription | £29.99 | Currys
Currys are offering PS Plus cards for under £30 right now. You'll have reserve and collect rather than opt for home delivery, but that's still a nice few quid saved. Besides, Sony's Instant Game Collection is fantastic for PS3 and Vita owners, and the service is essential if you want to play multiplayer on PS4.
It's Game Buzz time, folks! Ready your eardrums for some magnificent waffle as we dive into the hottest topics from the industry from the past seven days.
This week, we chat about Jack Tretton leaving Sony after nearly two decades with the company and how E3 will never be the same again, Jon tells all from his hands-on with MGS: Ground Zeroes, we take a little look at some of OnLive 2.0's new features and ask if the cloud company have jumped the gun again, we have a natter about the Watch Dogs delay and ask if we're even still excited for Ubi Montreal's open world hackathon, and as South Park: The Stick of Truth releases, we reflect on some of our favourite licensed games from yesteryear.
Parental Advisory: We've tried to keep it as conversational and informal as possible, and you should be warned that there may be some instances of strong language.
So this is what seasonal filler looks like.
We reviewed the original Dead Nation back in 2010, and Brendan handed out a very fair 6/10 score and made note of the fact that Housemarque's top-down Left 4 Dead rip-off was enjoyable but repetitive, made better by playing it with a chum. Zombies were enjoying something of a popular resurgence back then -- they've never fallen out of fashion, but there are pockets where the jadedness vanishes and they become hot property once more. But now, in a world four years on, the release of a super HD version of what was already a pretty derivative title, falls a little flat.
For those who missed it the first time around, Dead Nation is a fairly capable twin-stick shooter that sees players exploring a dingy, dark, post-apocalyptic urban space crawling with the undead, across ten stages of shadowy, score-attack action. Or should that be survival-horror? This was a problem that I had with the original game -- I never felt that the survival aspects married up particularly well with the rather more Housemarque-esque arcade, twin-stick action.
The game itself hasn't really changed much at all, so I won't rehash Brendan's review here. If you didn't get on with Dead Nation last time, there's little to get excited about here. But fans of the base game and PS4 owners desperate to squeeze every last drop out of that PlayStation Plus subscription will be pleased to know that the Road to Redemption DLC is thrown in here for the Apocalypse Edition, which adds in the Arcade and Endless modes for good measure, making the tradeoff between risk and reward even more important -- do you risk everything for a greater score, even if you're under-equipped? A new Challenge mode is also featured, allowing you to go head-to-head against your friends, beaming their avatars into your game for a spot of competitive action in order to boost your leaderboard position.Click here to read more...
OnLive has always been somewhat ahead of its time. When it launched back in 2009 we were incredibly excited about it, but the service was hampered by restrictive bandwidth, piss-poor internet infrastructure, and unhelpful ISPs. There were a whole bunch of features that we really liked, married to a UI that was pretty cool, but the whole thing was dependent upon systems beyond the company's control, competing with services that had been around for years.
That's all changed now.
The key difference with the release of OnLive 2.0 is the shift from being a competitive service to a complimentary one. To be honest, that's been the case with cloud gaming and its perception in general -- we're not in a place where streaming can supplant offline media in this industry, but that doesn't mean they can't overlap.
The biggest addition to the service is a new initiative called CloudLift. The idea is that you buy a game on a digital marketplace and it also unlocks on OnLive, meaning that you buy that game once and then take it with you wherever you go. Better yet, this includes Steam games. Sync your Steam account with your OnLive account and you'll get Steam codes for the games you buy on OnLive, and you'll be able to start your game at home on your PC, then fire it up on your tablet or phone with the OnLive app, and carry on from where you left off via cloud saving.
Essentially CloudLift gives you access to streaming versions of games you already downloaded, and OnLive is the only service that offers cloud play as part of a game purchase.Click here to read more...
I've said a couple of times this year already that you could be forgiven for forgetting that we'd even had not one, but two next-gen consoles release at the end of 2013, such is the dearth of activity that we've seen in the early part of 2014. That's changed a little in recent weeks as the Titanfall hype train has begun to gather steam and bundles have started appearing for Respawn's shooter on Xbox One and Sucker Punch's latest inFamous title on the PS4.
But for me at least, there's still a sense that although I've bought the ticket and am standing, waiting for the arrival of this heralded new generation, not much has changed as yet, and that aside from some shinier graphics here and there, the new box is pretty much the same as the old box -- at least in terms of what's on offer.
Dead Rising 3 stood out for its scale, allowing for zombie-mashing on a previously unimagined level. It's an enormously important thing -- an expansive feature only made possible thanks to increased power, that fundamentally ties into the central core of the gameplay. It's brilliant, though somewhat marred by the inescapable torrent of insulting tripe that's forming the game's DLC menu -- the less said about that, the better.
We should note too the shining, shimmering splendour of Killzone: Shadow Fall. It's still the only next-gen title to really drop my jaw in terms of visuals, and it did a fine job of selling the power of the PS4. Sadly, though, that's about the only thing it did a fine job of, trading the potential and promise of its first level for something wholly generic, unimaginative, and laborious.Click here to read more...
Sony have gone big with a new PSN sale boasting discounts for over fifty games on the network, from older classics such as Tomb Raider, Crash Bandicoot, and Hitman, to newer marquee titles such as Uncharted 2, Rain, Tokyo Jungle, and God of War HD.Check out the full list after the jump >>
It's here, the massive Xbox One March Update is finally rolling out across the world, and you can check out the whole list of new features after the jump (including Twitch integration, Dolby support, improved Friends lists and party chat), along with a bunch of other stuff that Microsoft have announced will also be coming this month.Click here to read more...
In a recent, wide-ranging interview, Respawn Entertainment's Vince Zampella addressed the recent leaks -- "at some point you just have to throw up your arms and say, ‘alright, you got us’" -- as well as lifting the lid on the DLC plans for Titanfall, and confirming that the game will offer a Season pass discount for the game's DLC to those who want to invest early.
Zampella also addressed the multiplayer focus for the game and explained why there's no singleplayer component to Titanfall.Click here to read more...