To say we were looking forward to our appointment to see Irrational's Bioshock Infinite would be an understatement. It earned our vote for Game of Show last year at Gamescom and so it was with shivers of barely concealed anticipation that we entered a familiar looking fin de siècle lounge and nestled into the leather sofas eager to catch the latest glimpse of Columbia and the adventures of Booker DeWitt. Behind closed doors, away from the feverish hustle and bustle of the rest of the show floor, there was only the beautiful world Ken Levine and his team have dreamt up, and the piercing cry of the menacing Songbird. The relationship between Elizabeth – the girl who you, as Booker, are sent to rescue from her ivory tower – and the Songbird is a complicated one. She loves and fears him, we are told by the developers, her safety is his number one priority, but the Songbird is as much Elizabeth's jailer as her protector. 'You must promise me one thing,' Elizabeth says at one point, tears stinging her eyes, grabbing Booker hand and forcing it around her own neck. 'Never let him take me back.'Hit the jump to check out the rest of the Bioshock Infinite E3 2011 dev demo preview...
Sony just treated us to a Bioshock Infinite trailer at their annual E3 conference, showcasing the brilliantly realized world of Colombia and the potentially fascinating relationship between Booker DeWitt and Elizabeth. It was explosive, tantalizing stuff. But they weren't finished; Ken Levine then took to the stage, addressing his recent criticism of Playstation Move. Apparently, it attracted the interest of Sony. Instead of just implementing Move support, which they did, Irrational went one step further, too.Click here for more
E3 2011 is just around the corner, and we'll be bringing you plenty of news coverage and juicy games previews from the expo next month, but before everything kicks off we thought we'd share our personal picks for the proceedings and let you know what we're excited about. If there's something in particular you're psyched for, let us know in the comments box below, and we'll try to make sure we cover it while we're out there.
It's time Sony slapped a name on this little fella if they expect it to be on anyone's Christmas list instead of a 3DS. I'm surprised they've left it this long to be honest. In fairness if it wasn't for the recent PSN crisis, the NGP might have had some more details revealed by now.
The successor to the PSP is going to be packed with features, but the one I'm still most excited about is the second analogue stick which will remove any limits for the top names in gaming. Action games will get better camera and aiming controls and the FPS genre will be immediately dominant. We've already seen two huge names running on the machine, in Uncharted and Killzone. Graphically, the NGP is going to smash the competition, as it's much closer to the PS3 and 360 in terms of raw power compared to Ninty's gameless 3DS and more importantly, the iPad.Click here to see what Josh and Felix are looking forward to...
We're big fans of Bioshock here at Dealspwn, and the third - non-chronological - entry in the series topped our list for 2011's upcoming titles. But other than a few teasers and a developer walkthrough, Bioshock Infinite has been kept carefully under wraps for much of its development. But with E3 just around the corner, 2K have opted to whisk away the curtain, with a veritable deluge of previews hitting the web.Hit the jump for more
E3 is less than a month away now, and already rumour is rife and speculation is circulating as to what we can expect from not quite the biggest, but easily the most anticipated expo of the year. It's a bit ridiculous, in all honesty, each and every publisher jostling for attention with bombastic announcements and jaw-plummeting reveals. And we love it.
So we thought, in anticipation of the big day(s) and to appropriately whet your appetites, we'd fill you in on all the big announcements we expect to be made, and what else might occur. We'll be at the event, too, providing you with up to the minute coverage each and every day!
It's no secret Nintendo is preparing to unveil the Wii's successor at E3. It's been confirmed. But just what can we expect from the so-called Project Cafe? It's rumoured to be more powerful than a PS3, it might even feature a blu-ray drive, too. Furthermore, the controller is set to play a large part in defining the Wii 2. According to reports, it acts almost like a tethered DS, allowing you to take games away and play them on the go, only to return to the console proper and continue the progress you'd already made.Click here to see what else we're looking forward to
There are plenty of things that make Bioshock a game that's won so many of our hearts; the creepy underwater city of Rapture that takes your breath away when it's first revealed; the engrossing story line and fascinating characters; having to hack everything in sight . . . haha only joking! However, there's something special that rips the gameplay out of your typical first person shooter formula; plasmids!
The wonderful little genetic mutations attract players like a moth to a flame, as they sit waiting to be released from their glowing red containers or a Gatherers Garden, and once you add them to your DNA you'll start to build up super powers faster than a Marvel Comic's character who's stumbled into an unfortunate accident involving radiation.
I think the best place to start's with my favourite plasmid, electro bolt. It's by far the most useful plasmid in the game, allowing you to; zap enemies before bashing their heads in with your sturdy red wrench or drill, which in my opinion is the best tactic in the series and it's such a shame you couldn't wield the wrench again in Bioshock 2; open doors by blasting broken keypads; eliminating whole groups of splicers who are carelessly hanging around in pools of water; and momentarily stopping Big Daddies in their tracks when you're desperately trying to get out of their kill zone!
Need a splicer to run away screaming in agony cursing your name? Well, that's exactly what you'll get if you unleash the power of incinerate on them! Setting the twisted freaks on fire has the added bonus of making them head for the nearest source of water, and you know what that means . . . electro bolt time! Unbelievably, pools of water aren't the only liquids that splicers'll hang around in, they'll also stare into space whilst their feet are firmly planted in oil, allowing you to get rid of them with a quick, satisfying snap of your fingers. Another obstacle that'll stand in your way is ice, but you'll make quick work of the solid H2O by raising the temperature a few hundred degrees or so.Click here for more plasmid action!
Speaking to Play, Ken Levine explained that Bioshock Infinite wouldn't feature Playstation Move support because he believes he'd be "cheating" customers. However, while we won't be waggling Sony's remote to batter goons with wrenches, we might be wearing bulky glasses as we do just that in-game. Referring to 3D, Levine admitted "it’s something I’d be more open to".More inside!
2010 has been an odd year. It's been positively stuffed with action, brimming with blockbusters, with video games making a hell of a lot of noise, attempting to capitalise upon the enormous successes of 2009. We've seen some truly staggering achievements this year, games exhibiting such developmental technical brilliance that have dazzled our eyes , forced our mouths agape and, particularly now with everyone vying for a slice of MoCon pie, caused us to look very silly indeed.
There's been plenty of behind the scenes drama going on this year, as I mentioned in my retrospective glance at a few of this past year's highlights. But when it comes down to it, the games are what we have left upon which to judge the last twelve months. No one can deny it's been a pretty solid year in terms of the games themselves. Everywhere you looked there was another extremely polished would-be moneymaker preparing to ship. Gamers, in many ways, have been completely spoilt for choice this year. Throw Move and Kinect into the mix too and there really has been something for everyone - from basement dwellers to their grandmothers, from those with 5 minutes to spare to those with 5 days.
But for all of its pomp and circumstance, for all of the boisterous hyperbole, the PR stunts, swathes of adverts and headline-grabbing spats, speeches and slip-ups, 2010 has lacked something.
That something is soul.
Dave already alluded to this in his GOTY introduction when he said that we hadn't seen any goalpost movers this year, and I'm rather inclined to agree. There were plenty of fun titles and enjoyable experiences to be had but few, if any that blew my mind. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood earned its full marks for having the audacity to be released a mere year after ACII and not only top it but also wangle in some incredibly well-thought-out multiplayer too. But if you hadn't played any of the others it would have stumped you completely. It didn't really break new ground as much as perfect the old. Limbo, the other game I gave a ten to this year, is the only game I've ever played to really chill me to the bone. But it couldn't keep it up beyond a couple of hours and, whilst the second half of the game produced some excellent puzzles, it felt like the fireworks had passed.
The blockbusters this year have nearly all been sequels - louder, shinier and slicker: Mass Effect 2, God of War 3, ACB, Bioshock 2. The latter is a perfect example to encompass the year: better shooter, poorer game. Few, if any, of the mainstream studios this year (thank god for the indies!) have been prepared - except perhaps for SEGA (and I'm thinking here of the sheer lunacy that was Bayonetta) - to really be brave, to strive for the unique, the adventurous and the risky, and to truly push what it means to design video games. Not just building upon existing procedure, but shaking things up completely.
Except, perhaps for Quantic Dream...
Kicking off our series of personal reminiscence trips, our PlayStation connoisseur Brendan gives us his overview of 2010.
Arguably more of an interactive movie than a game, but the bravery shown by Quantic Dream to try something different from the norm can only be applauded. Before playing the game I was really worried that it would be just a long series of Quick-Time Events. Thankfully Heavy Rain was packed with enough choices for the player and brilliant production values to make all these worries fade away within the first hour of play. Rarely are we given so much choice on how a story plays out with such an interesting set of characters, who if we weren't careful could die permanently and possibly change the journey and outcome of this dark crime story. Did it change gaming forever? Well, not really, nobody else seems to be trying to emulate Heavy Rain's success. But but it showed what is possible and that many gamers are more open to something a little different for a change if only developers and publishers are willing to take a chance.
I completed the first Bioshock for the first time, just a few days before Bioshock 2 came out, so I could review it for the site I wrote for before Dealspwn. This meant I was in a great position to compare both games without the rose-tinted glasses. The decision to put the player into the boots of a Big Daddy was inspired, mainly because of the way the game had you interact with the Little Sisters. Protecting them while they harvested Adam from corpses was an unnerving affair, made even more complicated by what to do afterwards. Would you harvest them for a large supply of Adam, or free them, hoping there'd be an award later on? I opted to try and save them all and this is where the stand-out moment of the game occurred.
There were two Little Sisters in the same area. One of mine, harvesting a corpse while I was fending off splicers and the other cowering behind a Daddy I accidentally pissed off (thus had to kill) during the shoot-out. Yep, I picked up the wrong one and didn’t realise for an hour. After dropping off my free-loader I made my way back to the area where I’d lost the first one and felt genuine guilt (and massively relieved) when she emerged from the shadows and ran over cheering: “I knew you wouldn’t leave me behind.
Other games just aren't getting close to how much emotion they can provoke, or asking questions from a gamer about how far they'd go to make life easier on themselves. Bioshock Infinite will be asking similar questions, albeit in a completely new sky-high location. Unfortunately I'll have to wait this time, along with everyone else. Roll on 2012.Click here to read Brendan's picks for gaming moment, most disappointing and most anticipated games.
It's almost time to bid farewell to 2010, a year in which Bioware delivered space-opera at its finest with Mass Effect 2, where Rockstar reinvented the Old West with Red Dead, with Bungie shattering yet more records via Reach, and Black Ops finally proving Treyarch a worthy custodian to the franchise. It has, by and large, been a great year.
However, let us not dwell on the past, and instead look to the future. What should we begin hoarding pennies for and donating organs on the black-market to afford? With Spike's VGAs proclaiming Portal 2 as their most anticipated game for the forthcoming year, we thought we'd take a look at some of the other contenders and come up with our own list. 2010 was great, but 2011 looks even better. Don't believe me? Well, may I present the Top 10 Games To Look Forward To In 2011!
Origins' prolonged gestation resulted in a wealth of content but a distinct lack of polish. Dragon Age 2, on the other hand, with a fresh visual palette and updated combat, looks set to sidestep that particular accusation, as you shape the story of Hawke, a refugee, a soldier, a legend. You can't fault Bioware's ambition, and if Origins didn't prove them capable of spinning an epic yarn, Mass Effect 2 surely did.
Now I'm not much of an MMO man. Not by nature, but by choice. I know if I even set foot in Azeroth or whatever, in no time at all I'd be sat in a chair, nursing a paunch and atrophied leg muscles, one hand flitting across the keypad, the other wrapped around a can of Monster. However, I can't hide my excitement for Star Wars The Old Republic. I've even forgiven Bioware for not making a true sequel to the original KOTOR on the Xbox. I can't wait to shape my Bobba Fett bounty hunter with a penchant for Han Solo-style tomfoolery.See which other games Felix is looking forward to next year...