August 9, 2010, 7:06 pm
Filed under: Reviews | Tags: ,

I’m falling.

I had been making my way up the face of a high-rise, carefully negotiating my way from ledge to windowsill in search of the neon orb perched at the top of the structure. But as I made my penultimate jump, reaching out to the window frame just a few short inches from the roof, my fingers failed to find purchase. So now I’m falling, seven stories, straight down. Funny, it really looked like a surface I could hold on to.

You should get used to this sinking feeling.

A decade on from the events of Crackdown and Pacific City is in ruins. The familiar landmarks remain, but they have crumbled in the face of wide-spread anarchy. By day, militant rebels the Cell fight running battles with police across the city, aided by armoured cars, heavily defended strongholds and Gatling gun encrusted trucks. By night, however, the mutated light-sensitive Freaks shamble out from their subterranean lairs, taking to the streets by their thousands. It’s an entirely unwelcoming place.

Stuck in the middle of all this is you, a genetically engineered Agency super-cop referred to only as “The Agent.” The storyline, such as it is, centres around “Project Sunburst,” a mission to destroy the Freaks and bring order back to the streets of Pacific City.

(Read more at GamingUnion)



At E3 2008, Square Enix’s Yoichi Wada shocked the gaming world. Taking to the stage at Microsoft’s press conference, he announced that the latest in a series long associated with PlayStation would no longer be exclusive to Sony. Final Fantasy XIII was hitting Xbox 360.

It was a huge surprise, perhaps E3 2008’s only true megaton, an increasingly rare phenomena for an event beset by pre-show leaks. Comments threads and forums around the world exploded with rage.

The news was heralded as yet another example of the US giant’s spending power and increased market share. PlayStation were no longer the dominant force. One by one, the strong relationships Sony had developed with publishers over more than a decade were being eroded by the prospect of increased revenues that only Microsoft could offer.

But as well as nibbling away at Sony’s exclusives, Microsoft had also proved more than adept at securing their own. Indeed, their efforts dwarfed that of their rivals. By the close of 2008 a massive 205 titles were available exclusively on the Xbox 360. In comparison, Sony’s PlayStation 3 had merely 60.

Microsoft had quality on their side too. The Halo, Fable and Gears of War series were among the industry’s very hottest properties, and they were all on Xbox 360. Add titles like Crackdown and Mass Effect, timed-exclusivity on Bioshock and the GTA IV episodes, and Microsoft’s position looked strong. Unassailable, even.

Yet the intervening years has seen a shift in power. Franchise mistreatment, disappointing sequels and over-familiarity have tarnished the impact of Microsoft’s line-up. Now, in 2010, it’s Sony that have the upper hand.

(Read more at GamingUnion)