I looooove Binary Domain. Maybe it's the outstanding damage modelling. Maybe it's the cheesy sci-fi setting, but with the added bonus of interesting characters andsmattering of choice and consequence gameplay thrown in for good measure. Maybe it's because it handles really nicely. Or maybe it's because it went pretty much under the radar (much like the also excellent Singularity) and it takes people like me shouting about it to get others to buy and play the damn thing!
Seriously, play it. It costs less than a burger. Thanks to Sir_bob @ HUKD!
Inversion is a passable Gears clone with some nice ideas. The anti-gravity mechanic at the heart of the gunplay is a nifty idea, but it's also completely undermined by the game never really using it's USP to the fullest advantage. Instead, here we have a mediocre shooter with a forgettable plot, limp setpieces, and little by way of imagination besides enemies appearing on walls and ceilings.
If you're really, really bored this summer, and you've somehow played all of the really awesome games that have come out this year so far, then this is a good deal at face value (be quick, though, it runs out in eight hours), and we're honour bound to tell you about it.
But I wouldn't call it a good game.
One of the undeniable highlights of Nintendo's E3 showing was Splatoon -- a new take on the third-person multiplayer shooter that coated the genre in a fresh lick of paint.
Or rather ink.
Nintendo have never struck us a company that'd jump into the saturated online shooter market, you wouldn't find them crafting a COD killer or taking the field against the likes of Halo or, indeed, Battlefield. But Nintendo are all about innovative twists on well-worn themes, and in Splatoon they've not just handed a roster of their beloved mascots Quasar rifles or paintball guns, they've gone and greenlit a brand new IP. Nintendo EAD making a new IP and a multiplayer shooter? Don't be alarmed, hell hasn't frozen over just yet.
The excellently named Splatoon features two teams of four players vying for control of a level, marking territory by splattering everything in sight with ink to match the teams' respective colours. You essentially run about the place, covering as much of the map as you possibly can in the colours of your team, splattering any miscreant foes you come across, and transforming into a squid every so often to refill your paint gauge, traverse the place a little faster, and just because it's cool.Click here to read more...
It's had a tortuous road to release and undergone a fair few makeovers, but the game formerly known simply as XCOM, is finally with us, and we've got the first 25 minutes of the game for you to check out.Click here to read more...
Developer: Insomniac Games
Insomniac’s first outing since leaving Sony’s nest was always going to be a tough task. But with such a strong history of inventive weaponry in the Ratchet & Clank and Resistance games, chances were that anything they put their minds too involving boomsticks would be fun.
Fuse is a third-person cover shooter with a heavy emphasis on co-op. With the multiplatform competition consisting of the like of Kane & Lynch and Army of Two, it’s all there for the taking. Fuse packs a little extra punch by allowing for four-player co-op action, rather than a paltry two.
The game is set in a near future, allowing for a slight sci-fi edge to things. You play as one of four Overstrike agents -guns for hire- on one long job after things get screwed up in the first mission. A volatile alien substance known as Fuse, gets into the wrong hands, meaning bad people would like to use it in nukes and so on.
Fortunately, they leave behind four prototype weapons, which your team promptly appropriate for themselves. A warp gun fires lasery shots that eventually build up into small black holes that can be chained together. A crossbow-like weapon fires flaming bolts that can be remotely detonated. A shatter gun eventually freezes enemies, leaving them vulnerable to standard weapons, enabling you to shatter large groups like glass. The final weapon provides a mobile shield, albeit one that can absorb bullets and grenades before repelling them back at the enemy.Click here to read more...
Platforms: PC (tested) | PS3 | Xbox 360
Developers: 2K Marin
Publishers: 2K Games
The year is 1962. The Bay of Pigs Crisis has just happened. Paranoia is rife on the US mainland as the Cold War begins to kick off, and the world is plunging into a quagmire of paranoia, secrecy, mistrust, and clandestine ops.
Only the Communists aren't the real enemy at all.
The above forms the basis for 2K Marin's tactical action title, and if it sounds eerily familiar, well that's because it is.
"There wasn't a “Big Bang moment” where the [XCOM] service just came into being, so we really wanted to tell an origin story, and we really liked the idea of setting the game in 1962, just after the Bay of Pigs incident," producer Nico Bihary tells me. "So you have this global atmosphere of paranoia, it's the start of the Cold War, and set against that backdrop we have this really believable story about how XCOM could be formed.
"So we have this clandestine organisation, constructed to defend against enemy threats and covering them up, but it takes time. So we wanted to zero in on the Bureau as this organisation that really hasn't matured yet technologically or organisationally to fight off a massive alien threat, but was really established early on to be a counter-intelligence group."Click here to read more...
I've roped in my flatmate to help me review Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel. He knows nothing of the franchise, not of the frat-tastic fistbumping of the first two games, nor of EA's desire to distance this third game from the perceived missteps of its predecessors. He is the perfect guinea pig for this co-operative experiment.
And he has a point.
Four, maybe five hours into the game we're shooting up a graveyard somewhere in Mexico, for reasons that have thus far been totally skipped over. AI goons that all look pretty identical are running blithely into oncoming fire. My 'Alpha' is refusing to stick to cover, but on the plus side I'm earning 'Decoy' and 'Bait' points for a score that's never fully explained for leaderboards that seem to be an afterthought.
"We can be stealthy," said my character two minute earlier.
"Yeah, I can tell by your loud weapons and iconic masks," replied a sassy female operative who's joined us presumably just because she can.
This is before we activate Overkill, slow time down, and create a scenario where every round of rifle fire is explosive, and enemies explode like jam-filled piñatas.Click here to read more...
The name stands for Trans-World Ops. Visceral could have gone anywhere in the world for this game. Anywhere! But instead of being a little imaginative, Alpha and Bravo are held up in the middle of an existing (real-life) humanitarian crisis down in Mexico.
Moving that to one side, and trying to ignore the elephant in the room that is the boneheaded approach to a real-world conflict, it's so brown.
Still, this marketing trailer for a marketing demo will delight you if you get hot under the collar at a pleasing shade of ochre, or if you find tan tantalising, if you burn for bronze and salivate at the very thought of sepia.Click here to read more...
As someone who really didn't mind the fratastic boneheaded lunacy of the first two Army of Two games (hey, at least they knew exactly what they were, right?), I've been missing that bro-verloaded absence of seriousness in what I've seen of the third game thus far.
But this trailer features a little dash of Salem and Rios...and...AND...there's even a cheeky little fistbump in there.
Although vexingly it looks like it's in a cutscene.Click here to read more...
Judgment day is almost upon us! Ahem. Anyway, a new video from Kill Screen features Gears of War writers Rob Auten and Tom Bissell chatting about the complexities of penning scripts for games and how the role of the writers fits in around the game's design team.
There's also a second vid, courtesy of Microsoft, showing off some footage from the recent UK community day.Click here to read more...
Microsoft and Epic Games have dropped a new Gears of War: Judgment video onto the interwebs today, giving fans a look at the new multiplayer modes, weapons, in-game rewards, and a slew of gameplay updates.
Baird is on hand to walk interested parties through the new, class-based OverRun mode, as well as explain the deliciously dangerous new grenade types. We splurged the official blurb after the jump to go along with the informative vid.Click here to read more...
Well it was only a matter of time. Just as with Halo 4 before it, Gears of War: Judgment has leaked online, although it's done so a good month ahead of release; and, as with the Halo 4 debacle, Microsoft are threatening gamers with lifelong account and console bans if they're caught with illicit code.Click here to read more...
EDF 4/EDF 2025 has gotten itself an English language trailer. It's a bit basic, involving lots of people getting messily eaten and trampled by hilariously awful, gigantic creepy-crawlies, whilst screaming. A lot.
However, also shows off the Wing Diver suit, which will carry you out from underfoot, and let you take the fight to the alien scum from the skies.Click here to read more...
The Defiance beta key giveaway proved rather popular, and we all left beta weekend number one with flushed faces and beaming smiles. Not that we were allowed to talk about it. Anyway, the good news is that there's a second beta event coming up in under a fortnight.Click here to read more...
There will be a Gears of War: Judgment multiplayer demo, and it'll kick off on March 15th...but only if you pre-order the game from GameStop.
So that's a big middle digit to anyone outside of the US.Click here to read more...
Bravo finds himself "on the wrong end of a rocket launcher" in the second Army of TWO: The Devil's Cartel video of the week Don't worry, there are no confusing camera shots of skateboarders in this one, just a load of solid, TPS gameplay footage...which, you know, is what we actually want.
Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel will launch on March 28th for PS3 and Xbox 360.Click here to read more...
Playing through the latest short demo of Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel, there's an extremely strong sense of ambivalence. On the one hand, I'm in Mexico, in the present day, smack bang in the middle of one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. I know this because Visceral and EA have told me as much. It's also really brown, sandy, and dusty. On the other hand, the co-operative shooting has been tightened up immensely by new developers, Visceral Games. One side of my brain is quietly muttering, "This is wrong". The other half doesn't give a flying proverbial because it's quite a lot of fun.
At least those shades of brown look lovely. Frostbite 2 is once again the star of the show. Sandbags splutter and burst, pillars flake and crumble, and the dynamic lighting effects once inside are glorious to behold. It just seems a little bit of a shame that, given the TWO in Army of Two stands for Trans-World Ops, the developers settled here rather than, I don't know, anywhere else.
But I made these points in my post-Gamescom preview.
Getting hands-on with the game again, it's clear that Visceral have put in something of a shift. It's still really solid, and feels tighter than either of the previous games. The cover system is a simple, but crucially important feature, that feels snappy yet never sticky. The gunfire feedback, both aural and visual, is exceptional, and aiming mechanics and weapon handling feel responsive and yet also weighty and impactful, without being sluggish; Overkill yields its own reward.
After spending an inordinate amount of time blowing chunks out of pillars, I sat down with lead designer, Julien Lamoureaux for a swift chat.Click here to read more...