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Opening Scenes | The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Gameplay - First 25 Mins

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
2K Games, 2K Marin, Action Strategy games, Opening Scenes, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, TPS games

Opening Scenes | The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Gameplay - First 25 Mins

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.

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Fuse Review | Co-Op Fusion Fun

Author:
Brendan Griffiths
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
EA, Fuse, Insomniac Games, third person shooter, TPS games

Fuse Review | Co-Op Fusion Fun

Platforms: PS3 (reviewed) | Xbox 360

Developer: Insomniac Games

Publisher: EA

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.

Fuse Review | Co-Op Fusion Fun

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.

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The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Hands-On Preview | Not Your Regular Office Job

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
2K Games, 2K Marin, Action Strategy games, Games previews, The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, TPS games
Discuss:
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified | PC

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Hands-On Preview | Not Your Regular Office Job

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.

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Hands-On Preview | Not Your Regular Office Job

"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."

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Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Review | Just, Why?

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Action Games, Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, EA Games, TPS games, Visceral Games, Visceral Montreal

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Review | Just, Why?

"Why are we in Mexico?"

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.Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Review | Just, Why?

"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.

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Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Demo Trailer Is Super Brown

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, EA Games, TPS games, Trailers, Visceral Montreal

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Demo Trailer Is Super Brown

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.

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FISTBUMPS AHOY! New Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Trailer Is Brotacular

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, EA Games, TPS games, Trailers, Visceral Games

FISTBUMPS AHOY! New Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Trailer Is Brotacular

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.

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Have A Gears of War: Judgment Video Double Whammy

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Gears of War: Judgment, Microsoft Studios, People Can Fly, TPS games, Videos

Have A Gears of War: Judgment Video Double Whammy

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.

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New 'Guts of Gears' Video Shows Off Judgment's Multiplayer

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Epic Games, Gears of War: Judgment, Microsoft Studios, TPS games, Videos, Xbox 360 games

New 'Guts of Gears' Video Shows Off Judgment's Multiplayer

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.

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Gears of War: Judgment Leaks Online, Microsoft Wave The Banhammer

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Banhammer, Epic Games, Gears of War: Judgment, Hackers, Microsoft Studios, Piracy, TPS games, Xbox 360 games

Gears of War: Judgment Leaks Online, Microsoft Wave The Banhammer

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.

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EDF 2025 Trailer Has A Lot Of Screaming

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Action Games, Earth Defence Force 4, Earth Defense Force 2025, Namco Bandai, TPS games

EDF 2025 Trailer Has A Lot Of Screaming

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.

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Trion Set April Date For Defiance Launch

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Defiance, MMO games, TPS games, Trion Worlds

Trion Set April Date For Defiance Launch

With the second beta weekend freshly announced for next week, Trion have issued a live-action trailer for upcoming MMO shooter Defiance, as well as dating the full release for April 2nd.

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Defiance: Second Beta Begins Next Week

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Defiance, MMO games, PC games, TPS games, Trion Worlds

Defiance: Second Beta Begins Next Week

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.

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Gears of War: Judgment Demo Dated, Early Access For GameStop Pre-orders

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Demos, Epic Games, Gears of War: Judgment, Microsoft Studios, Pre-order bonus, TPS games

Gears of War: Judgment Demo Dated, Early Access For GameStop Pre-orders

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.

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New Army of TWO Trailer Loses The Skaters, Shows Off An Explosive Encounter

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, EA Games, TPS games, Trailers, Visceral Games

New Army of TWO Trailer Loses The Skaters, Shows Off An Explosive Encounter

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.

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Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Interview | Julien Lamoureaux Talks Setting And Splitscreen

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, EA Games, Games previews, Interviews, Julien Lamoureaux, TPS games, Visceral Games

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Interview | Julien Lamoureaux Talks Setting And Splitscreen

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.

Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel Interview | Julien Lamoureaux Talks Setting And Splitscreen

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.

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Visceral: "Splitscreen Co-op Multiplayer Is A No-Brainer"

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
News
Tags:
Army Of Two: The Devil's Cartel, EA Games, Julien Lamoureaux, Local multiplayer, Splitscreen, TPS games, Visceral Games

Visceral: "Splitscreen Co-op Multiplayer Is A No-Brainer"

Thinking of making a co-operative shooter? Well, if you are, "it had better have splitscreen", according to Visceral Games, who've taken over development for Army of Two: The Devil's Cartel.

We sat down with Lead Designer Julien Lamoureaux for a brief chat at a recent press event to chat about the upcoming third-person shooter, and he told us flat out that for co-op games like Army of Two, "splitscreen is a no brainer".

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Fuse Hands-On Preview | Complimentary Co-operative Carnage

Author:
Matt Gardner
Category:
Features
Tags:
EA Partners, Fuse, Games previews, Insomniac Games, Overstrike, TPS games

Fuse Hands-On Preview | Complimentary Co-operative Carnage

Platforms: PC | PS3 | Xbox 360 (version tested)

Developers: Insomniac Games

Publishers: EA Partners

Let's be honest; we actually rather liked the look of Overstrike - a quirky, colourful, Saturday morning cartoon of a shooter, with wildly innovative weapons, deliciously inviting and truly complimentary co-op action, and plenty of cheesy one liners. But, as Insomniac's Ted Price noted, that E3 trailer back in 2011 was more of a tantalising series of vague promises more than anything else. It was an attention-grabber, though the prospect alone would have been more than enough. Insomniac Games being given complete freedom and autonomy over their very own, completely new IP - a four-way co-operative extravaganza with unique weaponry from the people who brought you Resistance. Yes please.

Fuse Hands-On Preview | Complimentary Co-operative Carnage

But, of course, Overstrike is no more, and instead we are presented with a title that appears to have had its available colour palette dominated by greyscale, and an altogether more serious tone brought to the table. Fuse - the phoenix born from Overstrike's ashes - revolves around the same concept: four-way co-op shooter action, with plenty of outlandish weaponry upon which to feast. But it's not just a simple name change for the sake of it - which frankly we'd have disputed anyway, Overstrike is so very badass....OVERSTRIKE! - but rather a reflection of the one thing at the heart of this game. Fuse, the alien element that powers the weapons and abilities of A-Team wannabes Overstrike 9, is no longer simply a MacGuffin; it's the foundation upon which everything in this game rests.

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Gears Of War 3 | £13.10 | Amazon | Xbox 360

Author:
Jonathan Lester
Category:
Deals
Tags:
Epic Games, Gears of War 3, Microsoft, TPS games, Xbox 360 games
Gears Of War 3 | £13.10 | Amazon | Xbox 360

Felix rated Gears Of War 3 very highly indeed in our full review. The multiplayer is certainly fantastic, though I personally feel that longtime fans may feel let down by a campaign that refuses to match its predecessors in terms of variety or thrills (it has its moments, mind). Though we've seen Gears 3 cheaper, Amazon have the best price at the time of writing - saving you about £2 on The Hut and much more elsewhere.

All hail taswir1 at HotUKDeals.