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EA WINTER SHOWCASE 2010
November 7, 2010, 11:42 pm
Filed under: Previews

Back in November, I attended the annual EA Winter Showcase – a big, shiny expo for the biggest of the giant publisher’s upcoming titles.

Like a mini-E3 just for EA stuff, the showcase offered time with a load of exciting new games, as well as some not-so-exciting ones. But we’ll graciously avoid discussing them (*cough* Rango “cough*).

Off the back of the whole shindig I did a few previews and rather than put them in separate posts, I’m collating them all here. Links and preview excerpts for Bulletstorm, Dead Space 2, Battlefield Bad Company 2: Vietnam, Battlefield Play4Free, Crysis 2 and Fight Night Champion can be found after the jump.

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Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood Preview
October 22, 2010, 12:11 pm
Filed under: Previews | Tags:

“My name is Desmond Miles, and this is my story.”

Forget Altair and Ezio for a minute, Assassin’s Creed has always been about Desmond. With the secrets of a centuries old war locked within his genetic memory, the cocky bartender is at the very epicenter of it all. Without Desmond Miles, Assassin’s Creed simply wouldn’t exist.

It’s fitting then that as the series has progressed, Desmond has played a bigger and bigger role in the gameplay itself. Little more than a participant of interactive cut-scenes in the first game, in Brotherhood he’s taking centre stage for entire levels.

Based on the opening couple of hours we sampled recently, we’re gonna be seeing a lot more of the hoodied secret assassin. But before that, Brotherhood has to reacquaint us with a whole bunch of mechanics, a load of backstory, and a certain florally-accented Italian chap.

(Read more at Play.tm)



WWE Smackdown vs. Raw 2011 Preview
October 22, 2010, 11:03 am
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Wrestling’s a funny thing, isn’t it? Large, oiled up men in skimpy shorts rubbing themselves all over each other, then pretending to be kicked in the balls. Or equally oiled up ladies with boobs made of pure muscle, grappling in bikinis. It’s bizarre.

Yet it’s huge. Indescribably massive. An odd concoction of dance, athletics, gymnastics and piss-poor soap acting, it’s incredibly popular. Squillions of people watch it. Yup, squillions.

It’s also presumably an odd sport for games developers to get their heads around. Give them a boxing title and they’ll concentrate on making those punches look like they’re really connecting. Or give them a shooter and they’ll try and make it look like you buried a bullet in that bloke’s skull.

But with wrestling, which is deliberately bad acting anyway, what should they do? Try and make it look like what the wrestlers are trying to make it look like, which doesn’t actually look like what it looks like?

While I ponder all that nonsense, let’s go through all the basics.

(Read more at Play.tm)



Enslaved Preview
October 22, 2010, 10:50 am
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You shouldn’t read this preview. Really. Play the game when it comes out, sure, but please try not to read too much about it. Even the smallest details will spoil the experience. So thanks for clicking, we appreciate it, but you can close the window now. Thanks.

Still here? Ok, but don’t say we didn’t warn you

Our reluctance to share the our experiences with Enslaved: Odyssey to the West comes from the fact that the story is just so good we want you to discover it for yourself. We played a sizeable chunk of the game at Namco Bandai HQ recently and we’re already hooked. Honestly, we don’t remember a time when a videogame narrative had us so intrigued.

So let’s start with the stuff you probably already know. Enslaved takes place on a distant future Earth, many years after a mysterious robot invasion has driven all but tiny pockets of humanity. Since then the cities have been reclaimed by nature. Vines dangle from collapsed concrete flyovers, lush grass carpets the cracked pavement, and thick, twisting tree trunks sprout from the tip of half-toppled skyscrapers.

Crashing into this oddly beautiful graveyard come Monkey and Trip, escapees from a passing slave ship. Trip, or Tripitaka to give her full name, is an ecological-minded yet tech savvy young woman, used to living her wits. You, meanwhile, are Monkey, a hulking brute of a man more used to expressing himself with violence than sitting down and discussing things over a nice cup of tea.

(Read more at Play.tm)



GAMESCOM 2010 PLAY.TM PREVIEWS
October 22, 2010, 10:49 am
Filed under: Previews | Tags: , , , ,

Back in August I visited Cologne, for Gamescom 2010. The first big trade show I’ve ever attended, Gamescom was a blur of appointments, ad-hoc interviews, amazing games and lovely people. It was both a massive priviledge and utterly exhausting.

But the real work didn’t start until I got home. I had to write about it all. By the time I was finished I had knocked out 22 previews, 4 big interviews and a whole bunch of news stories. In total it all came to around 30,000 words.

So, because Collect is for collecting, it’s all going up here. But rather do individual posts for each article, I’m consolidating them. Below you’ll find links to all the previews I wrote for Play.tm, along with some flavoursome snippets.

I’ve put the Gaming Union previews and interviews up separately.

Homefront

“It began with the image of a child’s crayon scrawl stuck to the blistering walls of a makeshift, sun-speckled shelter. By the end we’d seen an army of Koreans lay screaming in a squall of phosphorous, a missile-spewing drone lay waste to its surroundings, and a dizzying cacophony of explosions, death and destruction.”

Bioshock Infinite

“As the lights lifted following our demo, there was silence. Usually, the end of a demonstration gives way to chatter, questions and developer proclamations. Not so with BioShock: Infinite. Instead, the congregation sat, speechless. Dumbfound. And that’s not hyperbole. When Irrational release the footage, you’ll see for yourself. 2012 seems like a long, long way away.”

Spec Ops: The Line

“It’s all very well to pay lip-service to narrative and mechanical maturity, but when your characters are dumb macho jocks, you risk undermining the message.”

Okamiden

“Kuni rides along on the wolf’s back, nattering away as he goes, offering tips and hints and the odd chucklesome, fourth-wall breaking quip. While Kuninushi was present during the entirety of our demo, the finished game promises a number of different partners. We hope they’re all as charming.”

Red Faction: Armageddon

“Whereas Guerrilla was all about the dusty, open-world of Mars’ surface, Armageddon returns to Red Faction 1’s underground setting. By doing so, this fourth entry in the series promises to offer a far more focused, linear experience than its occasionally aimless predecessor.”



GAMESCOM 2010 GAMING UNION PREVIEWS

Back in August I visited Cologne, for Gamescom 2010. The first big trade show I’ve ever attended, Gamescom was a blur of appointments, ad-hoc interviews, amazing games and lovely people. It was both a massive priviledge and utterly exhausting.

But the real work didn’t start until I got home. I had to write about it all. By the time I was finished I had knocked out 22 previews, 4 big interviews and a whole bunch of news stories. In total it all came to around 30,000 words.

So, because Collect is for collecting, it’s all going up here. But rather do individual posts for each article, I’m consolidating them. Below the jump you’ll find links to all the previews I wrote for Gaming Union, along with some flavoursome snippets.

I’ve put the Gaming Union interviews and the Play.tm previews up separately.

Continue reading



HALO REACH PREVIEW
August 9, 2010, 8:27 pm
Filed under: Previews | Tags: ,

Worried that Reach will be your last chance to play a Bungie Halo game? Don’t. It may be the last one you’ll ever need.

With a campaign that promises to cherry-pick the best elements from the entire canon, and multiplayer that cleverly builds on years of innovation, Bungies farewell to the series they created a decade ago may just be the definitive Halo experience.

You could be playing it for a long, long time.

And whats more, it’s tantalisingly close. Our recent look at the opening 15 minutes of the campaign, tour of the astounding Forge World, and hands-on time with a beefed-up Firefight, is likely the last well see of Reach before it starts appearing on shelves across the world. It’s almost time to start the fight.

(Read more at Play.TM)