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Matt Gardner

RANT | How "Mature Games" Are Usually Anything But These Days

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, Comment, Dark Mature Gritty Games, Deus Ex, Heavy Rain, Mature games, Rant, Spec Ops: The Line, Violence

RANT | How "Mature Games" Are Usually Anything But These Days

I want to talk about three buzzwords today, and I'll have to ask for your indulgence as I get slightly angry about the semantics of marketing doublespeak and the damage it's doing to our industry. So many of the press releases we get these days, usually pertaining to shooters or hack and slash titles, come bearing emphatic statements supposedly to do with quality. But a trend has arisen wherein, perhaps in attempt to move away from the somewhat childish connotations associated with the word "game", titles bearing 18-certificates now have to come with a blurb that spells things out. Just in case you weren't aware, folks, these are "mature" games, with "dark" subject matter, told in a "gritty" way.

This is all bollocks, of course, because nine times out of ten, what this actually means (and this is a direct translation) is "We've filled this game with guns, violence, and maybe some boobs, you'll shoot a lot of people in the face, and everyone will speak in a gravely voice and act like The World is at stake."

RANT | How "Mature Games" Are Usually Anything But These Days

To be honest, I think  the game that first started to really make mme angry about this was Kane & Lynch 2: Dog  Days, the insinuation being that a bit of wobbly-cam and buckets of grime would make for an intense, dark, and gritty adventure. Except it didn't. It made for a nausea-inducing standard third-person shooter. There was talk of Inversion featuring a relatively gritty and mature storyline. Of course, it had about as much bearing on the action as an ant might have on a football match. The  obvious current talking point is Visceral's take on Army of Two, which is literally described as "intense, mature and grittier" by EA.

Click here to read more...

SCEE Release A Fat Ratchet & Clank: Q-Force Video

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
CrossPlay, PS Vita games, PS3 games, Ratchet & Clank: Q-Force, SCEE, Videos

The folks over at the SCEE blog have just unloaded a massive video blowout of Ratchet & Clank: Q-Force goodness from Gamescom, featuring an interview with Insomniac's Shaun McCabe. Expect crossplay, new features, and some tower defence elements to get discussed in this vid.

Q-Force hits PS3 and PS Vita this Autumn, and you can catch up with Brendan's recent preview right here.

The Vita trailer is up top, click here for the detailed interview >>>

New MechWarrior Online Trailer Delivers Death You Can't Even See

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Catapult C1, Massive Badass Awesome Mechs!, MechWarrior Online, PC games, Piranha Games, Trailers, Videos

New MechWarrior Online Trailer Delivers Death You Can't Even See

"Death You Can't Even See" is the alias for the most recently showcased piece of delicious mech-related armaments in MechWarrior Online. GameTrailers have gone large with a video of the Catapult C1. Surprisingly manoeuvrable for a Heavy Mech, it's designed to sit beyond the range of an enemy's guns, and obliterate all foes with copious missiles.

Watch the video and find out more after the jump >>>

FIFA 13: EA Canada "Can't Ever Envisage" Cross-Platform Play

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Cross-platform play, David Rutter, EA Canada, EA Sports, FIFA 13

FIFA 13: EA Canada "Can't Ever Envisage" Cross-Platform Play

We're shattering some dreams this afternoon!

Were you hoping that one day in the future, football fans of all platform backgrounds might be able to come together and play in  harmony? Well, you're clearly a shoegazing nutter, and it's time for you to get back to reality, as FIFA executive producer David Rutter has poured cold water all over that beautiful lie of a dream.

Click here to read more...

No 1080p Mass Effect 3 For You, Prospective Wii U Owners

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
1080p, BioWare, EA Games, HD gaming, Mass Effect 3, Straight Right, Wii U games

No 1080p Mass Effect 3 For You, Prospective Wii U Owners

Were you looking forward to being a day one buyer of the Wii U, slipping Shepard and co.'s third adventure into the machine, and basking in some real 1080p HD quality visuals?

Well tough luck, folks, because that's really not happening at all.

Click here to read more...

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Hands-on Preview | It Takes Two, Baby!

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Disney Interactive, Epic Mickey 2: The Power Of Two, Games previews, Gamescom 2012, Junction Point, Warren Spector

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Hands-on Preview | It Takes Two, Baby!

Platforms: PC | PS3 (tested) | Xbox 360 (tested) | Wii

Developers: Junction Point

Publishers: Disney Interactive

Gaming is littered with underappreciated siblings, and battles between brothers and sisters. Luigi will always be overshadowed by his fat, red brother; the Williams sisters are always trying to gain the upper hand over one another, battling it out for favour and victory (in fact most of the Tekken backstory boils down to family troubles); Liquid Snake's driving goal is to prove that he's better than his brother Solid Snake; there's Kasumi and Ayane, Dante and Vergil, Kratos and Hercules, and a good deal more besides.

But one of the greatest stories, a real life story, in fact, is that of Mickey Mouse and Oswald the Rabbit. The tale of Oswald's jealousy - envious of the acclaim and success Mickey claimed instead of him - and the story of his redemption, not to mention Mickey's, all came out win the first game. This second title sees Mickey called back to the Wasteland for another adventure. The world of forgotten characters has found itself beset by earthquakes, and though the residents are rebuilding slowly under the direction of Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, the mysterious return of a suspiciously friendly Mad Doctor heralds fresh destruction. Now Mickey and Oswald must team up and work together to get to the bottom of The Mad Doctor's transformation and uncover its true meaning.

Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two Hands-on Preview | It Takes Two, Baby!

Of course, the biggest shift with this sequel comes in the form of drop-in/drop-out co-op gameplay. At any point during the game, a friend can fire up a second controller - locally or online - to render some assistance as Oswald. Mickey is one again armed with his trusty paintbrush, able to colour in and thin out various items, objects, and characters in the game; Oswald, however, gets himself a snazzy little remote control that can be used to stun enemies, who may then be painted over to turn marauding baddies into handy allies.

Click here to read more...

SEGA Go Nostalgic For JSR, NiGHTS HD, and Sonic Adventure 2 In Heritage Trailer

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Jet Set Radio HD, NiGHTS HD, Sega, Sonic Adventure 2, Trailers, Videos

SEGA have gone on a big nostalgia bender in a new Heritage trailer that showcases the delicious new HD visuals for the likes of Jet Set Radio HD, NiGHTS HD, and Sonic Adventure 2.

We got all sorts of excited for the JSR redux, as you can read about in our hands-on preview from earlier this year.

Hitman: Absolution's Purist Mode Will Be Unlocked From The Start

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Action Games, Hitman: Absolution, Io Interactive, Purist mode, Square Enix, Stealth Games

Hitman: Absolution's Purist Mode Will Be Unlocked From The Start

Were you worried by the somewhat action-oriented trailers foreshadowing he fifth comming of our favourite slaphead assassin? Were you concerned by Instinct - the glowing overlay that allows Agent 47 to see enemy positions and patrol paths? Do you hate HUDs? Well, chill Winston. Everything is going to be ok.

IO Interactive have announced that the game's Purist mode - which removes Instinct and the detailed HUD - will be unlocked from the start. So if you want to hurtle headlong into the stealthy fray without any assistance whatsoever, you can do so straight from the word go.

Click here to read more...

Daily Bite: Voice All Of The Original Pokemon

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Funnies
Tags:
Daily Bite

The expressions are even better than the impressions.

Thanks Tash!

Why We Love . . . George Stobbart

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Adventure Games, Broken Sword, George Stobbart, PC games, Point and Click, Why We Love

Why We Love . . . George Stobbart

The last few years have given rise to the stereotype that video game protagonists should be male, dark-haired thirtysomethings, with a hint of gravel to lend their voices gravitas, and the hint of some designer stubble to ensure gruff machismo...possibly voiced by Nolan North. But there was a time, back in the glorydays of the venture game, when heroes didn't have to be armed with chain blades, AKs, M4 rifles, dual silver ballers, or a massive scythe . In fact, they didn't have to be armed at all.

Long before the likes of Nathan Drake were delivering throwaway lines following the mass murder of several goons, there was a floppy-haired Yank with a frequently flippant sense of humour saving the world from Templars, Aztec deities, assorted gangsters and drug barons, armed with only a quick wit, an uncanny gift for hide-and-seek, and a seemingly unlimited supply of air miles.

That man is, of course, Broken Sword's George Stobbart.

One can't forget the unnaturally deep pockets too, nor his affinity for disguise. As much at home yanking out a manhole and heading into the sewers as masquerading as a doctor or a hilariously bad jongleur, Mr. Stobbart's best qualities are an undeniable sense of curiosity, and the tenacity of a bloodhound with a scent caught in his nostrils. He's a child of the Nineties - no Wella-styled hair for him, it's all about an early-Beckham mop on top. There are times when Stobbart channels the pithy asides of classic Hugh Grant, albeit without the quintessentially English bumbling.

Click here to read more...

God of War: Ascension Gets PAX Prime Furies Trailer

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
God Of War: Ascension, PAX Prime 2012, SCE Santa Monica Studio, Trailers, Videos

God of War: Ascension Gets PAX Prime Furies Trailer

Ah the Furies. Ancient vessels of vengeance, they held the contract that bound Kratos' life inescapably together of Ares. However, with Kratos off mincing about doing his own thing, they're rather displeased and swear revenge upon him...something about taking his life and endless suffering. Anyway, a new trailer from PAX Prime has lifted the lid on the Furies' representation in God of War: Ascension.

God of War: Ascension drops on March 15th here in the UK, with the States getting it three days earlier as per usual.

Click here to read more...

The Walking Dead Ep. 3 Review | Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Adventure Games, PC games, PSN, Survival Horror, Telltale Games, The Walking Dead, The Walking Dead: Episode 3 - The Long Road Ahead, XBLA, Zombies

The Walking Dead Ep. 3 Review | Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 (reviewed)

Developers: Telltale Games

Every time I finish another chapter of Telltale's emphatic masterclass in choice-and-consequence adventure gaming I have to immediately replay it, possibly even from the very beginning of  the saga. Three chapters in, that's starting to take a little longer than before.

The reasons for that of course, come in the form of the weighty moral decisions one has to make along the way. The  whole point of The Walking Dead as a concept has been to explore the crippling humanity that comes with staring into the face of the zombie apocalypse, and the lengths that people will go to in order to survive. The question that is constantly posed when it comes to Telltale's series is just how long can you - as central protagonist Lee -keep your humanity as it disappears so very rapidly from  the world around you.

The Walking Dead Ep. 3 Review | Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

The echo of the finale to the second chapter - one of the endings sees Lee and his band of survivors turn their back on a man essentially howling, begging for death - forms the prelude to the darkest chapter so far. Deep distrust and abject denial are at the heart of this particular slice of zombie-evading action. Indeed, the Walkers feature somewhat less than perhaps they have in the first two chapters (although the final few scenes more than make up for this), but desperately striving to stop your little group ripping themselves apart makes for compelling stuff.

Click here to read more...

Insomniac Announce Fuse, Supposedly Overstrike Reborn

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
FPS games, Fuse, Insomniac Games, Overstrike, PAX Prime 2012, Ted Price

Insomniac Announce Fuse, Supposedly Overstrike Reborn

We were all a bit miffed when Insomniac's Overstrike - the four-way FPS title that they showed off at E3 2011 - failed to make an appearance in LA or Cologne this year. However, Ted Price took to the stage at PAX Prime to deliver a keynote speech that came with the unveiling of a brand new IP from Insomniac that's supposedly an overhauled version of that previous project, named Fuse.

Click here to read more...

Oculus Rift Interview | Palmer Lucker and Nate Mitchell Talk Virtual Reality

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Gamescom 2012, interview, Nate Mitchell, Oculus, Oculus Rift, Palmer Luckey, VR headsets

Oculus Rift Interview | Palmer Lucker and Nate Mitchell Talk Virtual Reality

As you'll no doubt have seen from our big fat Oculus Rift Hands-On Preview, we got to sit down, test out the VR headset, and have a chat with Oculus founder and Rift creator Palmer Luckey, alongside Oculus' VP of Product Nate Mitchell. Here's the interview in full:

Matt Gardner (Dealspwn): So first of all, why the “Rift”? I'm just going to put this out there...that's a badass name!

Palmer Luckey: Well I was just trying to come up with something cool, you know? And I really wanted the name to reflect the idea of breaking into another reality. I just came up with it sitting at a 'Stop' light in my car, and I was just like 'The Rift...' that sounds pretty cool. So I posted it up online when I got home, and said 'Guys, we're making a headset, and it's going to be called The Rift!' and the rest was history.

Matt Gardner: What's the story behind the Rift? How did this project come about?

Palmer Luckey: I've been interested in head mounted displays and stereoscopic 3D displays for some time now, and I'd tried out tons and tons of head mounted displays. I actually have 43 unique units now, including doubles, and none of them are very good. [Laughs.] Well, what I mean by that is that none of them are lightweight or have a great field of view with good head tracking. So, being a tinkerer, I resolved to build my own head mounted display and build it the way I'd want it to be. It took a couple of years, but technology kept marching on and all of a sudden made it possible.

Matt Gardner: So can you sum up the Rift in a sentence? And what differentiates it from those other 43 headsets?

Palmer Luckey: It's an ultra-wide field of view, ultra-low latency, virtual reality headset.

So, most VR headsets have a pretty low field of view. They're like wearing a TV on your head: they're good for movies and TV maybe, but not really for immersing you into a game. The other big thing is that the Rift has really low tracker latency so when you move your head, the image moves in time with your head. It's not like you're moving your head and then the image follows. That's what a lot of other headsets with higher latency are doing: instead of feeling like you're in the game, it just feels like you're controlling the game with your head, and that's not nearly as immersive.

Click here to read more...

IO Interactive Release A Behind-The-Scenes Look At Hitman Absolution's New Contracts Mode

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Action Games, Contracts Mode, Hitman: Absolution, Io Interactive, Square Enix, Stealth Games, Videos

The folks over at IO Interactive have gone and released a behind-the-scenes video looking at the Contracts mode unveiled for Hitman: Absolution week or two ago in Cologne at this year's Gamescom. We'll have  big fat preview for you next week, but here's our appraisal of the feature in no more than ten words:

Play to create. Utterly intuitive. Fantastic replayability. Satisfyingly hardcore. Brillo!

Put the vid in your faces up to top. Game's out on November 20th.

Command & Conquer Ultimate Collection Unveiled, 17 Games Included

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Command & Conquer: The Ultimate Collection, EA Games, PC games, RTS games, Westwood Studios

Command & Conquer Ultimate Collection Unveiled, 17 Games Included

Welcome Back, Commander

Has it really been nearly two decades? Yes, it relly has. Seventeen years and seventeen games after Westwood first released Command & Conquer, EA are celebrating the RTS-series' longevity with a bumper Ultimate Collection.

EA have the release vaguely penciled in for "this fall" in the States, with the price currently marked as $49.99. It will be available for pre-order here eventually, but there was nothing about the collection at the time of writing.

Click here for the full list of titles included in the Ultimate Collection...

F1 2012 Dev Diary Shows Off Weather Fronts

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Codemasters, Dev Diary, F1 2012, Formula One, Racing Games, Videos

F1 2012 Dev Diary Shows Off Weather Fronts

A new dev diary for F1 2012 has gone live, detailing some of the improvements that the team at Codemasters have injected into this year's instalment. Revamped physics and audio, and some brilliant new weather effect are looking to ensure that this year's slice of F1 action will be a game of even greater depth and character than ever before.

Click here to read more...

Adhesive Tease Hawken PvE Details, Co-op Possibility In Future

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Adhesive Games, F2P, Hawken, Massive Badass Awesome Mechs!, Mechs, PC games, PvE, PvP

Adhesive Tease Hawken PvE Details, Co-op Possibility In Future

Adhesive Games' creative director, Khang Le, has confirmed that there's a PvE aspect to Hawken currently in development, fulfilling rumours to that effect that were swirling earlier in the year.

Click here to read more...