This week, we talk about Denis Dyack's comeback and who he should form the worst superteam ever with Uwe Boll, we take a look at the new PS4 update the significance of Share Play, we lambast Driveclub some more, and rejoice in a great week for Star Wars fans.
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 LucasArts is no more. But let's be honest, will anyone really notice? In recent years, the studio once held in the highest of esteem for pioneering a golden age of adventure games, and (dare we say it) superlative licensed titles, has become a byword for everything wrong with the industry - once dominant hive of creativity laid low by quick-buck sequels, haemorrhaging talent, and shameless greed from the parent company overlords. We've had barely a peep out of the in-house development team in years, with a hands-off presentation of Star Wars 1313 last year and a vague leak surrounding Star Wars: First Assault the only hint of life behind those closed doors.
With that in mind, there's perhaps not much to lament with the news that Disney has called time on LucasArts' existence. However, to borrow the words of High Fidelity's Barry, is it in fact unfair to criticize a formerly great studio for their latter day sins?
Of course not. And those sins are the reason LucasArts is now defunct. But we should take a moment to remember some of the greatness that has borne the Gold Guy logo, and recall a time long ago, when LucasArts was synonymous with awesomeness...
I think of LucasArts and I think of two very separate things: Star Wars and adventure games. The former is a given, and remember this was back in the days when licensed games didn't have to suck as a rule. As a studio, they nailed wish fulfilment. We wanted to be crack pilots in the battle between the Rebels and the Empire, and the X-Wing series provided. We wanted to be a smuggler and a Jedi, and stepping into the boots of Kyle Katarn gave us that opportunity too. Dark Forces was my very first FPS, and I loved it. When LucasArts handed their license over in these early days, too, collaborations gave us Jedi Knight and KOTOR.Click here to read more...
Videogames have let us clamber into the virtual bridges and cockpits of truly incredible spaceships over the years, from the smallest fighters to gargantuan dreadnoughts. However, top ten lists tend to become dominated by the same usual suspects- and to this end, here's a true roundup of gaming's most awesome combat vessels that may include some unsung heroes you've sadly never even heard of. Strap in. Lock S-Foils in attack position. Engage!
Honourable Mentions: The Pillar of Autumn, DarkStar One, Millennium Falcon, USS Sovereign
Despite a fairly dodgy name, the Hellbender is an absolutely incredible war machine. Standing alone against the Bion menace, its powerful shields and ability to hover in midair allow it to become a devastating stationary weapons platform or blistering dogfighter at a moment's notice- packing enough raw modular firepower to annihilate entire fleets of Bion warships and ground troops. The jump engine allows the Hellbender to strike at any target system without warning, making it capable of inflicting massive shock and awe.
The Pillar of Autumn is a classic... but it turned out to be much more useful as a bomb than it ever was as a spaceship. The Spirit of Fire, on the other hand, is a much more impressive piece of military hardware. Once a humble colony ship, it was retrofitted as a planetary assault carrier that can engage multiple Covenant vessels in atmosphere as well as deploying unstoppable waves of ground troops to the battlefield. The combination of raw firepower and decisive tactical edge guarantee its place in UNSC history.
Any ship that's designed to crack planets more than deserves its place on the list, but the Ishimura's primary claim to fame are the nightmarish Necromorphs that haunt its claustrophobic corridors. Despite being a shameless homage to Event Horizon and System Shock 2, the Ishimura's mix of tight tunnels and massive zero-G environments make it a perfect setting for an unforgettable survival horror experience.
The Normandy is a fantastic vessel with a couple of major design flaws. First of all, its cargo lift frequently results in crew suicide due to its unbelievably slow transfer rate. More worryingly, it now sports an impractical 'open plan' new look thanks to the Collectors blowing it to seven shades of hell.
Still, credit where credit's due. The Normandy saved the galaxy from an implacable alien menace and inspired a Cerberus remake, cementing its place in the list.
The TIE Defender is a clear case of design by necessity. Let's face it: the standard TIE Fighter is godawful, featuring no shields and a pathetic array of weaponry. Realising their mistake, Sienar Fleet Systems went back to the drawing board added two more lasers, two ion cannons, a tractor beam, shields and two supplementary missile hardpoints. It had a cost to match, but rebel pilots stand little chance against the Defender's ludicrous armaments. Plus, it looks monumentally badass.Click here to find out which totally awesome spaceships made the top 5...