Our industry is obsessed with sequels. Just look at 2011's upcoming slate, for example; Gears of War 3, Arkham City, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3, Elder Scrolls V. We're not complaining - not now, anyway - but it has made us think; what's the best follow-up yet this generation? We've had a whole host of excellent new IPs and long overdue successors. But what sequel has impressed us the most?
Now, before we dive in, a few ground-rules. First; to make this list, said sequel must follow up a game exclusive to this generation. So the likes of Fable 2 and so on and so forth don't count. Second; this must be the second entry in a series; not a third or a forth. Now we've got that out of the way, let's get cracking shall we!
We'll level with you; Bioshock is nowhere near as good as the original. It doesn't even come close. That said, living up to Irrational's dystopian underwater epic is a tall order. And while developers 2K Marin couldn't quite replicate the same sense of wonder, dread and jaw-dropping spectacle as Levine, they did deliver a solid, polished experience with a surprisingly robust and enjoyable multiplayer component. The created a game that could never really have the same impact, but they certainly made a slicker, smoother, more challenging FPS experience and for that, they should be commended.Click here to read more...
The PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 shipped with an interactive comic that allowed players to experience the story of the original Mass Effect and create a save file based on their choices. EA and BioWare have now released Mass Effect: Genesis as an expansion pack for ME2 on Xbox Live... but rather than a free extra, it will set you back 320 Microsoft Points.
Speaking as a fan of the franchise, I would absolutely urge you to not download it. The original Mass Effect, despite its flawed combat, provided one of the most powerful and intricate storylines to have ever featured in a game (far surpassing the sequel), and you owe it to yourselves to snag or rent a copy to experience it first hand. Plus, 320 Microsoft Points will snag you 4 Indie games or a full XBLA title during a Deal Of The Week.
You can also get the original Mass Effect for about £4 on PC, which I'd recommend to anyone - PS3 owners included - who happen to own a half-decent rig and fancy playing Mass Effect 2.
Will you be downloading Mass Effect: Genesis? Or is this a case of one DLC pack too far? Let us know (or thoroughly rebuke me for my impertinence) in the comments!
It's not often you see a develop boasting of its newest racer's sheer amount of dialogue, but Ubisoft Reflection is doing just that, proclaiming the supposed fact that Driver: San Francisco features more lines of dialogue than even Bioware's chatty space-opera, Mass Effect 2. In the latest Driver title, series stalwart, John Tanner, has fallen into an untimely coma. As such, the game itself is his fantasy. John can leap from vehicle to passing vehicle at whim, opening the game up to a dazzling - and potentially confusing - array of chase or escape options.
But why does that mean Ubisoft is recording hundreds of hours worth of dialogue? Well, when Tanner decides to jump into a passing Sedan with a soccer mom on her way to pick up the kids, he'll be privy to the conversation she's having. "There are hundreds of characters in the game, that we've recorded," explains Ubisoft Reflection, "they all have their lives and their stories". It's an interesting feature to champion, seemingly irrelevant to the core driving feature, but it'll no doubt give Driver: San Francisco some much-needed personality and a voice, if you will. [OXM]
Mass Effect 2 was awarded Best Game at the BAFTA Videogame Awards on Wednesday, and rightly so, in my humble opinion. It's a fantastic game of truly epic proportions, and I can't wait for the final chapter later this year. In the meantime, Bioware is bridging the gap between Mass Effect 2 and 3 with a chunk of DLC titled Arrival. Rumored for months, now we finally have a release date and some tantalizing info to sink our teeth into.Read on for more!
Lots of action at the BAFTAs last night, with Mass Effect 2 swooping in and beating off the likes of Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Heavy Rain to win 'Best Game'. Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood kicked things off by winning the award for 'Best Action' and David Cage's Quantic Dream opus Heavy Rain took the most awards of the evening with three: 'Story', 'Technical Innovation' and 'Original Music'. Black Ops beat out Red Dead Redemption for the public vote, although lost the multiplayer trophy to Need For Speed: Hot Pursuit, with iPhone game Cut The Rope beating off games with far bigger budgets to nail the 'Handheld' award.
Hosted by comedian Dara O'Briain, the awards also saw the 'BAFTA Fellowship' bestowed upon the irrepressible Peter Molyneux, presented to the Lionhead man by Sir Ben Kingsley. Molyneux thanked the gaming community and all of his colleagues before joking that he was 'just the idiot that stands up and says, "Why don't you make a game about theme parks? Or dungeons?"'. He also thanked the gaming press, admitting that he perhaps sometimes overhyped games and invented new features to keep journalists on their toes in interviews. Finally, he thanked his family and paid tribute to an 'incredible' industry.Check out the full list of winners after the jump...
The PS3 version of Mass Effect 2 contains all the DLC that Xbox 360 owners had to buy with their hard-earned cash, but the latest patch has also delivered tantalising new info about a future DLC pack. What is Arrival... and more worryingly, what is 'The Ultimate Sacrifice?"Click here to read more...
Earlier this week David Braben, boss of Frontier and the man behind Kinectimals suggested that reviewers should be subject to a system similar to Metacritic to inform the public if the reviewer’s opinions can be trusted, arguing that most reviewers are looking at certain games with a “core-gamer” perspective.
A problem starts to occur when the audiences’ tastes differ significantly from the reviewer’s – or developer’s – own tastes," he adds. "This is becoming more of an issue as our industry matures to include a great many people outside this group – particularly so if the group targeted is not just this ‘core’."
Braben noted that this kind of thinking on the reviewer's behalf is fine if his audience matches their work, "but for a review on TV, on a website for kids and adults or in the mainstream media, it does not.
He even suggested that some reviewers wait to see what other people say before writing up their views, and that the reviews that go up immediately after a games release are usually spot on. While he did go on to state that reviewers have a hard job with “little glory” and that constantly good reviewers should be rewarded in some way, his words caused something of an outcry. However, unfortunately for Mr Braben, Metacritic co-founder Marc Doyle has rejected such an idea, and (armed with what some may call "common sense") stated that the audience is perfectly capable of deciding for themselves if a reviewer’s opinion resonates for them and deserves to be followed.
A critic's review and his or her score is an opinion - it's not right or wrong. We can judge the credibility of a critic based on the quality of his or her analysis, the depth of his or her experience in gaming, and a host of other criteria. We do exactly that when selecting critics at Metacritic.
He also rejected Braben's statement that the first to publish are usually right in their views, arguing that reviewers that are given more time to go through a game give a more well-reasoned article in the process. [Sprong] [Eurogamer]
Do you have an opinion on the subject? Perhaps you agree with Mr Braben’s idea? Tell us what you think in the comments!
The 14th Annual Interactive Achievement Awards, run by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science, took place in Las Vegas last night with the usual pomp & circumstance that follows such ceremonies, and those that watched the event were treated to an opening video featuring Duke Nukem and Borderlands’ own Claptrap up to his usual hijinks. On the awards front, Red Dead Redemption went away with five gongs to its name, although it didn’t manage to win the top honour of Game of the Year which went to Bioware’s Mass Effect 2, which walked away with an additional two awards.
Other winners included Heavy Rain, StarCraft 2, Limbo, and even Angry Birds HD catapulted its way to an award. You can get a full list of the winners and runners up at the official website located here.
What do you think about the winners and losers from last night’s event? Do you agree or disagree with the results? Sound off in the comments!
We are just one month away from the release of Kaos Studios’ FPS Homefront, in which you’ll be fighting to liberate an occupied America from some very angry North Koreans. In preparation Kaos Studios have released another trailer titled “The Resistance” which highlights some of the arenas of battle player will be visiting during the course of the game, as well as showing off some explosive action.
After 13 years of development we only have to wait 13 more weeks until Duke Nukem Forever is finally in our hands, but today news has broken of a “Balls of Steel” Edition of the game which will be available for pre-order. Along with the game there will be an array of extra goodies, including an art book, art cards, some poker chips and dice, a set of cards, a certificate of authenticity to prove you aren’t lying and small statue of the main man himself.
We here at Dealspwn are looking forward to the return of one of gaming’s biggest icons (as you can tell from Matt’s preview here) and although there has not been details of UK-based retailers offering this Edition as of yet we’ll be sure to keep you posted the moment we hear of anything. [VG247]
This was a close one. To be honest any of the games below could have taken the award and we would have been pretty happy. As it was it came down to a single vote. We've been blessed in the past twelve months to have seen a marked rise in the calibre of the games released, something that we're yet to fully adjust to as critics. we've delighted in a swathe of technically brilliant games, executed impeccably and delivered with thunderclaps of publicity and huge amounts of polish as you can see below. Perhaps looking forward into 2011 we should take that as a benchmark standard and aspire to higher heights of inventiveness and innovation, the blockbusters of 2010 have certainly made that an exciting possibility.
In the meantime, though, let's look back on some of the brightest stars of 2010.
Get your vote on below...and if there's a game you loved that didn't make it here, LET US KNOW ABOUT IT!
Click here to read more...
RPG fans had it good this year with strong showings from Bioware and Obsidian. Kingdom Hearts: Birth By Sleep reminded us that the PSP still existed, the Pokemon franchise returned with a reboot that once again stole untold hours of our time with compulsive critter-catching, not to mention significant amounts of XP-earning walking, and the DS consolidated things with the brilliantly complex Infinite Space and Dragon Quest IX.
Check out our shortlist and winner of the RPG award after the jump...
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...