While you'd be forgiven for thinking Rockstar chose the current generation of consoles to help power their homage to the Old West, the reality is that Red Dead Redemption was originally planned for release on the Playstation 2 and Xbox, with certain geometry assets so dear to the developer they refused to update or remodel them when the game was eventually ported to next-gen consoles. That's according to Matt Kazan's online portfolio, a former Rockstar employee who spills the beans on quite a few Rockstar projects.Click here to read more...
So let's spice things up with a little cheer and optimism, as we list the most badass, lovable and just plain good protagonists who've arrived this generation. Introducing, The Top Ten 7th Gen Protagonists!
Let's kick things off with Platinum Games' shape-shifting, alluringly-proportioned witch, Bayonetta. She might not be the most well-written character - although it's much better to be so-bad-it's-good rather than just plain bad - but when you can summon dragons made of mystical hair and beat ten shades of holiness from demonic cherubs, you deserve a place on our list!
inFamous' crackling protagonist won over many a gamer's heart in 2009, with his so-gravelly-I-make-Christian-Bale-sound-like-a-schoolgirl voice and bald noggin. Despite his design being plucked from Superheroes 101, Cole was an eminently likable character whose journey you truly felt a part of. When Cole discovered a new power, fizzing in his palms, you experienced the same electrifying rush of possibility and potential.Click here to see which other sparkling central characters made Felix's top ten...
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!
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Even if it hasn't necessarily been a groundbreaking, goalpost-moving year for video gaming, the list below is enough to make any joystick fiend quiver and salivate with delight. I'm drooling as I type. The past twelve months have seen some truly phenomenal releases. There've been some happy returns returns, from Ezio to Kratos, and some new faces too such as the grizzled John Marston and the flamboyant Bayonetta. We've seen some outstanding open, expansive worlds and locales, and also been treated to taut and focused action. Again, a tough assortment to choose from, and one that was hotly contested and debated.
Click here to read more...
Years ago I sat down in front of my Xbox and slotted Red Dead Revolver into the disc tray and spent many an hour romping around the various Old West environments that the game offered, so it was a great day when I discovered a sequel was in the works, however it was also extremely frustrating as I knew it'd be a while until I finally got my hands on it, but boy was it worth the wait!
Red Dead Revolver blew me away with its gritty unconventional characters, masterfully woven plot, and a massive landscape to roam around in where things could unexpectedly jump out at any moment to test your skills as a gunslinger.
The sheer number of things that you can do in the game is definitely one of the major strings to its bow and means that you can hop in for whatever you're in the mood for, whether that's a few hands of poker, or a quick horseback ride into the desert to rope yourself a couple of outlaws to name but a few of the activities on offer.
You'll now have to excuse me for turning a bit soppy at this point because whilst the game portrays the Old West in a light similar to Deadwood, which is pretty much how I imagine it would have been rather than the tamer, politer imaginings of old John Wayne movies, it also captures the romance of that period in America's history allowing you to ride off into the sunset and putting you in the shoes of a character who simply wants to settle down with his family and earn an honest living.
Ok back to guns and explosions and the like, grrr! The multiplayer is infuriatingly addictive, especially if you form a posy with a couple of friends, pile into a fort, man the guns and cannons, and then see how long you can hold up for before getting yourself into a Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid moment.
Also, seeing as I'm quite a big fan of horror movies and the zombie genre, one small criticism that's always in the back of my mind when playing games is 'Yeah this is good, but there aren't enough reanimated corpses roaming around for my liking!' Luckily, The Undead Nightmare expansion pack ticked that particular box and didn't disappoint in any way in my opinion.
All in all, it's the sum of its parts that makes Red Dead Redemption the best game I played in 2010 and once again I find myself crossing my fingers and toes in hope of sequel.
This is a particularly difficult decision for me and as I'm writing this I've got all the games I bought and more importantly kept hold of over the course of 2010 sitting on my desk. So, do I go with the deliciously gory co-op experience of joyously decapitating zombies with friends that Dead Rising 2 offered; the cut throat worlds of Assassin's Creed Brotherhood and Call Of Duty: Black Ops; the continuation of a truly marvellous story in Mass Effect 2; the chance to dive back into the terrifying yet also wondrous city of Rapture in Bioshock 2; the fantastic multiplayer mayhem featured in Halo: Reach and UFC Undisputed 2010; or the chance to settle any lonely adventurer's curiosity of another wasteland in Fallout: New Vegas? Hmmmmm.
Well you've all seen the title and picture for this section! The winner is of course, Dead Rising 2, simply because it's the game that's led to some of the funniest things I've seen in a video game this year; jumping around with a friend throwing traffic cones on zombies so that we could turn around to see a sea of confused undead corpses blindly bumping into one another left me in stitches of laughter. The Gladiator / Running Man style format of the multiplayer was something a little bit different that was good fun if you became bored of the main game. Finally, whilst it certainly wasn't one of the best games to grace our screens last year, I could jump into it for a quick bit of zombie killing if I was in a rush, or I could settle in to try and discover what caused the outbreak this time around if I had enough time to discover the illusive truth.
I don't really want to spend much time talking about this useless addition to the Star Wars games franchise because the trailers, TV spots, and even the demo had me jumping for joy at the prospect of wielding the force as Darth Vader's apprentice once more. Sadly, the game itself fell way way WAY too short of the mark, and for me it's not only one of the most disappointing games of 2010, it's also one of the most disappointing games I've ever played, and the fact that I had to pay £40.00 for this abomination left me filled with enough rage and hatred to give even The Dark Lord of the Sith a run for his money.
This is an easy one! Imagine if you will, it's Christmas day, there's a present shaped like an Xbox accessory sitting under the immaculately decorated tree, you rip it open to discover that you've been given Kinect for Christmas! For me that initial joy was just the beginning of one of the funniest experiences I had during 2010. There's nothing quite like watching your family immerse themselves quite so deeply in the new gaming technology that Microsoft've given us, especially when you've got a living room with low ceilings which led to mild concussions being inflicted whilst playing Kinect Adventures. However, the comedy piece de resistance came on Boxing Day when my Brother and I finally managed to get my Mum to give Dance Central a whirl! As you can imagine her performance led to everybody else in the room falling off their chairs in stitches of laughter, whilst Lady Gaga's Poker Face blasted out of the TV's speakers.
Lets not forget that Kinect, whilst also serving as a though roughly enjoyable comedy tool not only for the above reasons but also for the photos and video footage that it captures of you playing, is also a remarkably clever bit of kit that allows you to throw your controller away and shed the pounds instead of piling them on during extended video games sessions. Having now tried it out, I'd also go so far as saying, I think that it marks a dark time for the Wii and could even lead to the beginning of the little white box's eventual demise, but that's just me.
For me this is another pretty close call between a couple of worthy sequels including Test Drive Unlimited 2, Batman Arkham City, Crysis 2, and Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
In the end though I have to go for Test Drive Unlimited 2 though because whilst Skyrim is the sequel to one of my favourite games EVER, Crysis 2 is the follow up to one of the most visually beautiful games I've ever seen on the PC, and Arkham City looks quite frankly like ass kickingly good fun, I know that at any point I can drift into TDU2 fire up the engine to a Pagani Zonda R, Ferrari 458 Italia, or Aston Martin DBS, and let go of all my worldly worries as I cruise along listening to the car purr, or call up a couple of friends for a quick drag race.Click here to see the rest of Tom's highlights for 2010...
Red Dead Redemption - It may have been a derivative experience - Grand Theft Horses anyone? - but RDR, plus its add-ons and zombie-themed downloads, brought great voicework and genuine humour to the mix. And, if you were brought up on Westerns, the chance to be a cowboy and sort out the bad guys (should you choose that route) is too irresistible to describe. Smart, seductive, grown-up and, thanks to the period weaponry, a challenge. While I agree it's lovely to wield a virtual modern gun in many a FPS, there's something about conserving your limited bullets that appeals, bringing a little more strategy to the mayhem, particularly given the general inefficiency of a Wild West bullet. Mostly though, it's the cowboy thing - ah, sweet memories of a 1970s childhood - and the occasional laugh-out-loud moments that kept me coming back til it was done.
LEGO Harry Potter very different but a very close second!
PES 11. Yes, I know, FIFA makes people that look more like the real players and it's all slick and shiny and stuff. But when PES is on form - and 2011's incarnation is, for my money, the best yet - it's unbeatable. Football isn't always about glory goals, sometimes it's about grinding out a 1-1 draw against inferior opposition in the mud and the rain. PES gives you that. You can assemble incredible teams - and this year's Master League transfer market angle makes it a little too easy to my mind - but they won't always gel and might take a few weeks to get used to each other. That aspect comes across brilliantly. You can almost feel your squad's shoulders slump as your opponent gets a lucky break and scores with their one, single minute shot of the game after their keeper's kept you at bay for 89 minutes. It's also capable of teeth-grindingly annoying refereeing decisions, as an innocuous tackle gets punished or, worse, a player you're not even controlling gives away a penalty or scores an own goal. I have woken my wife up twice arguing with the ref. Ahem.
Best of all though is the tactical aspect, with the drag and drop system that's so painfully bloody obvious it's a wonder it's taken this long to appear.
My, what a question. From a gobsmacking moment, it might have to be bringing the rocket down early in Black-Ops. Or possibly The Best Ever Goal I Have Ever Scored in PES: goalkeeper rolls out, two passes across midfield, perfect lobbed through ball catching out the United defence, striker runs by, beats offside trap, volleys ball into top right corner from 35 yards. In terms of giggles though, it would have to be a two player Free For All Modern Warfare 2 sesh. Three seconds to go, I'm ahead on points, lining up the match-winning head shot through my sniper rifle. As I go to take the shot, mate in building opposite fires RPG into my man's delicates. Game winning, side-splitting and making sure my avatar never reproduces. Rocket Propelled Grenade in the nackers. Really not a good way to go, is it?
If anyone can make sense of Clone Wars and hack it down to size then it's the LEGO team. I'm a huge fan of LEGO (more of that 70's childhood thing / in-game comedy) and their games have been amazing in terms of complexity, challenge, unlockable content and good nature. The observations are super too, given the brick-y nature of its characters and the complete absence of dialogue. In terms of Clone Wars this means no Hayden 'wood boy' Christensen and, one assumes, a quiet Jar Jar Binks so that has to be a VERY GOOD THING. From a completist point of view the arenas look enormous too.
Having had a sneak preview of two levels, this is shaping up to be a fine and enormous experience. The first sees you in a ship taking on a mahoosive Imperial destroyer as well as assorted minions on flight decks and in landing bays. The second requires team work as you bring the ship down from within, via light saber wielding, Force powers and, er, R2D2-lifting and puzzle solving, as action shifts between two Jedi teams. In two player, these can, apparently, be done separately and simultaneously via split screen.
I'm also very excited about Test Drive Unlimited 2 with its detail, ease of interactivity, daftly enjoyable online stuff - come to Ibiza, let's hang in my apartment - tand, particularly for taking a standard aspect of gaming - remodelling your avatar - and giving it the humorous twist of having to visit a plastic surgeon to make it happen. Oh, and then being forced to drive around in bandages for the next hour til it heals. For the record, the driving experience is pretty good too.
The sweary, gory, very silly Bulletstorm looks like killer fun too
Yes, that’s right. They even let the Dealspwn newbie have a say on the gaming highs and lows of the past year. So grab a drink, sit back and take a look at my ramblings through the year that was 2010; a year filled with zombies, cowboys, very angry spartans, never-ending waves of Zerg, more zombies, meat-shaped cubes, Illusive Men, racing simulators, motion-control shenanigans, even more zombies, roof-leaping assassins, golden guns, ninjas, terrible MMO’s and mutants called Lily.
Oh, and zombies.
Game Of The Year
Red Dead Redemption, Fallout: New Vegas and Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood nearly won out here, but in the end I felt the nod should go to Blizzard’s return to the real time strategy genre with StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty. Overall the gameplay from the original had been left unchanged with only a few tweaks here and there, and yet it still played like one of the best and well balanced games in years. It was a smooth gameplay experience from start to finish, providing you could survive the Zerg rushes every other minute.
The storyline was incredibly well done, providing you could stomach the tongue-in-cheek macho nature of it all, detailing the continuing struggle of Jim Raynor as he fights against the Terran Dominion and hunts for his lost love Sarah Kerrigan, now the Queen of Blades for the Zerg. When the epic single-player was done, the monstrous online mode was waiting along with online leagues and serious competitive business for those brave enough to throw their hat into the virtual ring. With further developer and community support for varying game modes announced this year there is more than enough content to keep purchasers happy in the first of three releases for Starcraft II. Sure, £35 is pricey for a PC release these days (and it would sadly mean you were funding the evil that is Bobby Kotick) but those that took the plunge will tell you it is worth every penny, and for that reason is my pick for GOTY.Click here to see what else caught Carl's eye in 2010...
For me, 2010 hasn't quite been a landmark year we all expected, but a thoroughly consistent one. Almost every month, we've seen top-tier titles hit the shelves at such a rate it's reduced our financial ability to do something other than place yourself in front of the television and grab the controller. It hasn't always been great, and I believe we've seen far too many identikit challengers and recycled concepts for my liking, but I can't argue with the quality I have enjoyed that's made 2010 quite special, indeed.
I was torn between this and Red Dead Redemption, but ultimately it was the quality of Bioware's characterization, even against Rockstar's brilliant attempt, that swayed my hand. I loved Mass Effect 2, having found the first a flawed classic to endure rather than enjoy. It stepped up in every department, from the astonishing visuals, the pitch-perfect writing, pacing and plot-points, the visceral combat system and truly wonderful cast of companions. I was honestly distraught on the last mission when first one, then two, then three of my crew fell to the Collectors. And it was all my fault.Read on to see why Mass Effect 2 won my vote, and what other titles deserve a mention
Lots of things going on in the Dealspwn news room today as Spike TV rolled out the red carpet last night to present this year's two hour extravaganza that is the annual Video Game Awards show. For all of the doom and gloom surrounding the global economy, studio execs with grimaces etched into their faces and people levelling the finger at pirates, used games, lazy development and corporate hacks, it's been a year that's seen some phenomenal games get released. This was always going to be a close run thing, and it'll be interesting to see how these compare when we run our own GOTY season early in the new year.
Rockstar and BioWare took the lion's share of the plaudits this year, with Red Dead Redemption and Mass Effect 2 both doing excellently. Kratos popped up to swipe a couple of awards both on PS3 and PSP, and Ubisoft could breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood had managed make some noise just in time to snaffle a trophy as well.
We'll have trailer roundups and all of the announced reveals for you coming over the next hour or two as well.
In the meantime, check out 2010's winners in full [Joystiq]:
GAME OF THE YEAR
STUDIO OF THE YEAR
BEST XBOX 360 GAME
BEST PS3 GAME
BEST Wii GAME
BEST PC GAME
BEST HANDHELD GAME
Kinect's marketing campaign has served to marginalise the peripheral into the casual/family market, with Microsoft insistent that their motion capture camera won't be necessary for the (fictitious and ill-defined) core gamer. However, Microsoft Game Studios boss Phil Spencer has told Gamespot that Kinect will be as "fundamental" to the Xbox 360 as Xbox Live itself, without forcing third party developers to include it in inappropriate ways.
[Kinect] is as core to the platform as Live is. And we think about the all products in our pipeline, including things that haven’t been announced.
I think over time for first party, you’re not going to see that differentiation between “Is that a Kinect game?” and “Is that not a Kinect game?” You’re just going to think about these things as 360 games. Now that doesn’t mean there’s no controller included. This is just like Live, since Live is used in many different ways across many different experiences that we build.
This strengthens the notion that Kinect might be a trial run for mo-con integration into Microsoft's next generation console- and the fact that it "doesn't mean that there's no controller included" suggests that some hybrid titles may also not be out of the question. Either way, we're looking forward to getting hands-off with the peripheral on November 10th.
Spencer also weighed in on the subject of HD remakes of classic Xbox titles. HD ICO, Shadow Of The Colossus and the Sly Cooper collection (as well as other rumoured PS2 titles) has been proving wildly popular for PS3 owners, but Microsoft will be apparently taking a more pragmatic approach.
We obviously have a lot of new things going on, so the thought of re-doing a bunch of things is probably difficult to just weave into the overall portfolio. If you can provide real value to the customer, there could be possibilities for that, but I don’t spend a lot of time thinking about it.
Sony's set to slash the price of the UMD-less PSPgo by £65 on November 1st, but analysts are unconvinced that that this will help the beleaguered handheld sell more units. In fact, it's much like locking the stable door after the horse has bolted- with the PSP2 now generating an enormous amount of exciting buzz. Analysts from M2 Research and Wedbush Securities have called the price cut "too meagre, too late" considering the console's original inflated RRP- and the fact that it will still be more expensive than the infinitely more versatile PSP 3000. [Gamesindustry]
Listen up, Sony: a hardware price cut will not be enough to shift this thing. Only a wholesale restructuring of PSN prices to make downloadable games more competitive vs physical copies will bring the PSPgo into the mainstream gaming marketplace.
Red Dead Redemption's Undead Nightmare DLC has hit today, providing a ghoulish twist to the familiar rawhide formula. Xbox 360 owners will be able to pick it up for 800 Microsoft Points. PS3 gunslingers will be able to snag it for £7.99- but as an added bonus, Playstation Plus owners will receive a 20% discount, bringing it down to £6.40.
If you haven't yet bought into Red Dead Redemption, you might consider waiting for the standalone Undead Nightmares package that will includes the Undead Nightmare DLC pack as well as the Outlaws to the End Co-op Mission Pack, the Legends and Killers Pack, the Liars and Cheats Pack and all the Multiplayer Free Roam modes released so far. It's been confirmed for a November 23rd release. Or you could wait even longer for the inevitable Complete Edition...
EDIT: RDR: Undead Nightmares collection is also available on XBL for 1600 MS Points. Thanks, ODB.
After releasing an impressive behind-the-scenes trailer, Telltale Games has confirmed their upcoming Back To The Future adventure title for a December release on PC and Mac. The iPad and PS3 versions will hit "after" this date- though there's still no word on an XBLA port.
The PC and Mac versions are currently available for pre-order from Telltale Games for $24.95, including a bundled downloadable copy of Puzzle Agent and access to the exclusive developer forum. In a classy move, $1 from every pre-order will also be donated to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research.