I’ll come out and say it – I like to think that I’m amongst friends here – so that there can be no secrets between us:
I like my Western-style RPG console games, but Bethesda’s huge time sink “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” scares the crap out of me.
I don’t regard the prospect of a 100 hour plus game as something to be cherished – I see it as that game that I bought that I’m never going to see the end of (unless I get sacked, have my legs broken or experience some other more random phenomenon which gifts me a whole mess of time on my hands to play the game in). “Skyrim” is Everest and I’m the plucky yet still eminently disposable Sherpa who’s destined never to see its terrifying peak.
Given that game’s rampant success and universal critical acclaim, I think it’s fair to say that they won’t miss me – so I’m going to get my WRPG fix on by diving into:
Well, his hair's better than mine...
I’m really looking forward to “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”, despite a lot of forum chatter about how broken and annoying the boss fights are.
I’m pretty sure that I won’t see the end of this game before the end of the year – like many clumsy-fingered, deserted-by-talent gamers my age, I tend to play in small nibbles of time and any advance in a game is often hard-won and not without much cursing and threats of unwarranted violence towards my blameless Xbox 360 controller.
It’ll hopefully fill the gap between now and “Mass Effect 3” in March 2012 – with Starbreeze’s reboot of “Syndicate” also helping me get my black duster coat and mirror shade cosplay Jones sated.
Filed under Gaming, Geekery
In some respects, this is a crap time of year to be a gamer.
Every week from now until the end of November, and into the beginning of December, sees two or three huge games franchises on release, with so many titles jostling for not enough space in the hearts of games fans that it comes as no surprise when some major series or a high-profile new IP fails to get its moment in the sun.
I’m slightly worried that this fate might yet befall “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” when it comes out next week.
How can you resist the awesome? You can't!
Sure the reviews will help the game’s cause, but it’s a PS3 platform exclusive, so it doesn’t benefit from any 360 or PC sales to bolster the Sony’s sales in this quarter of the year. It’s out the week after “Battlefield 3”, and has a very limited amount of time before “The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim” comes out, and “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” crashing through the window and stealing the hearts and minds of most gamers until some time next spring.
Where does this leave games like “Uncharted 3” or the new “Need for Speed: The Run” in the run-up to the festive season?
Logically, I feel sure that the PS3 massive is going to be out in force to support this game, but there’s a part of me that worries that the same treatment which befell the apparently awesome “Resistance 3” might affect this game.
I’ve pre-ordered it – have you?
Filed under Blogs, Gaming
Kotaku be trollin’. At least that’s the impression that you could get from some of their “Battlefield 3” stories this weekend.
It all looks very impressive…
Kotaku writer Kirk Hamilton played some of the single-player campaign at an Electronic Arts press day and came away somewhat nonplussed by its linearity, some game design shortcomings (translation – ‘it’s too much like “Call of Duty”‘), technical issues with the PC build being played and the sense that the game series’ uniqueness has been sacrificed in an effort to chase the almighty dollar of the “COD” audience.
The game’s single-player aspect is, perhaps unsurprisingly, being treated as a lengthy tutorial for players who want to jump into multi-player and the story’s framing device recalls that of “Call of Duty: Black Ops”. In an effort to grab some of that audience, it appears that EA and Dice have gone all-out to make them comfortable, which might not please the players who’ve come to expect a certain kind of game under the “Battlefield” banner.
You can check out the game for yourself on October 25th.
Filed under Blogs, Gaming
Like going fast? Fond of Jeremy Clarkson? Got an Xbox?
Red car? Check. Photorealism? Check. Not "Gran Turismo"? Check.
You’ll be wanting to download the Forza 4 demo, then.
Up now for Gold subscribers, available on Friday if you’ve got a Silver account.
Whilst you Silver folk are waiting, why not watch this if you’ve never seen it before?
This is my city. It's like somebody forgot to pay the electric bill, isn't it?
Those eagle-eyed scouts at NeoGaf have made a thread, so it must be true – Australian Official Playstation magazine have reviewed the eagerly-awaited “Batman – Arkham City” and given the game a euphoric 10 out of 10.
The ArkhamCity.co.uk forum also report on German magazine Play3 (game play video here) running a cover story next week – the online consensus on the translated magazine preview copy is that this is a 92% game.
Batman - caped crusader or mardy bum?
So, if I take down the last two chapters of “WH 40K: Space Marine”, turbo through “Gears 3” and find some spare cash down the back of several sofas, I should be in a good place to pick up “Arkham City” after I beat the first “Batman” game.
Being a developer isn’t always the heady whirl of exotic sports cars, trophy girlfriends and free-flowing cash that many gamers believe that it is.
Consider the fate of last year’s cancelled sports simulation, “NBA Elite 11”.
The Lakers ineffectual new defence puzzled some fans...
Kotaku this weekend has a fine piece in their sports-game focussed ‘Stick Jockey’ feature on the problems inherent in releasing a demo for a yearly sports game .
Any glitch in a build which doesn’t necessarily reflect the quality of the end product is writ large and potentially the subject of keen attention by a fan base which is noted for the voraciousness of its passion and intensity of its scrutiny. Basically not the people who will be quiet about flaws in your product or minor kinks in the production process which may have been ironed out already.
Well worth a read if you’re currently on the fence about picking up “FIFA 12” or similar sports-ball games.
Virtual, high-end PC gaming from your desktop, mobile device or tablet.
So, PC gaming service OnLive launched in the UK yesterday and it makes for an interesting service. This is one of the first ‘Cloud’ gaming services to launch in Europe and gives you the chance to play high-end PC titles on your laptop, tablet or other mobile device via some high-tech compression algorithms. No need for a super-fast rig, bleeding-edge graphics card or capricious hard-drive – click the title on screen to play a demo, and if your broadband is beefy enough, you’re playing the PC version of “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”.
There’s no getting away from it – the experience feels positively science-fictional. It shouldn’t work, but it bloody well does! ‘How is this possible?’ was the phrase nipping about in my head as I demoed my way through “Trine” and looked at live play streams of “Warhammer 40K: Space Marine” and the aforementioned “Deus Ex”. The video feed probably isn’t up to snuff for PC owners who have gear capable of running these titles at full resolution and top settings but they probably are not the demographic that this service is aimed at. It’s akin to watching an HD YouTube stream that you can play. It’s genuinely really weird and cool at the same time.
This is the kit that you plug in to use the system on a flat-screen TV.
You are greeted with the usual options for subscriptions and purchasing games on signing up, but there are a lot of free demos and membership is free. It’s worth a try – just to have your mind.blown.
There are other options – semi-legendary developer Dave Perry is behind the browser-based gaming platform Gaikai, which promises that you can play Crytek’s “Crysis 2” in your browser using similar distributed processing and cloud-based tech.
Or ‘sorcery‘, as we should be calling it. Wholly indistinguishable from magic, dudes and ladies, that’s what I’m saying.
Eurogamer – when not busy staging their London Games Festival this weekend – have new video up of the keenly-anticipated Rocksteady Games sequel, “Batman – Arkham City”.
Am I allowed to confess that I didn't finish the first game?
It’s Joker-centric, looks neat and there’s no way on Earth that I’ll have time to play it.
I have “WH40K – Space Marine” to power through, “Gears 3” to start and I’m swearing off anything else until “Uncharted 3” in November: no time for “Battlefield 3” or “Modern Warfare 3” (neither of which are my thing, to be honest) or “Skyrim” either.
Can some start-up do the decent thing and get on that time-freezing thing, please?
Squeak! Money off "Gears 3"! Squeak!
Via the mighty Ugly Geezer on Twitter – “Gears 3” is £25.00 at Morrisons when you buy 2100 Microsoft Space points – for a total of £43.99. Pretty darned good if you’re into Gears multiplayer and, more so, if you’re going to pick up the Season Pass.
Over at Eurogamer, DICE/EA have video of “Battlefield 3” running on Xbox 360.
Oscar Mike! Foot hostiles! Tango & Cash! Random nouns and verbs!
Yes, it’s not quite as bananas as it looks to be on PC. Yes, it is still looking quite amazing.
It’s hard not to see how this would find its way into the home of any gamer also looking forward to “Modern Warfare 3” this Autumn.