Saturday, 12 June 2010

Alpha Protocol Brady Games Signature Series Guide Review

Alpha Protocol Signature Series Guide
Xbox 360/PS3/PC
RRP £12.99/USA$19.99










What is more exciting than living the life of a Spy?  Womaniser, rogue or duty-bound the world of espionage is one of intrigue and danger.  I suppose thats what makes it all so exciting!

Saturday, 5 June 2010

Brady Games UFC 2010 Signature Series Guide Review

UFC Undisputed 2010 Brady Games Signature Series Guide Review
Xbox 360/PS3
RRP £12.99/USA$19.99








Game Guides have always been a grey area for me.  On the one hand they can be seen to be a kind of cheat, but on the other, they can improve your understanding of games and give you a hidden depth otherwise unknown to the average gamer.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

UFC Undisputed 2010 - Review

UFC Undisputed 2010
Format: Xbox 360/PS3
Developer: Yukes
Publisher: THQ











Another sub-par yearly update, or a surprisingly significant improvement?

UFC 2010 is here. A game I have been looking forward to since I played UFC 2009 (see http://righteousreviews.blogspot.com/2009/05/ufc-2009-undisputed-review.html). I won't bother repeating the whole review, I felt UFC 2009 was lacking in certain areas, but overall it was a very enjoyable game.

Those areas, thankfully, are what Yukes have worked on for UFC 2010.

As with all yearly updates, the expected fighter roster update is extensive.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Video games and violence in today's society

The connection between video games and violence has been ever-present in mainstream media over the last 15 years as game realism increases. But is there any factual basis to these views?

After recently watching the abhorrent (nay, faux) debate on The Alan Titchmarsh Show, it has really hit home how naive mainstream media and audiences are to the games industry compared to, say, the movie industry.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Blur - Multiplayer Beta Keys To Give Away! EDIT - NOW CLOSED! congrats to those who entered and won!

Xbox 360 Blur Multiplayer Beta
Format (Full Game): Xbox 360/PS3/PC
Developer: Bizarre Creations
Publisher: Activision
Available: Q2/Q3 2010






Today we have 3 keys for Bizarre's Blur Multiplayer Beta to give away.

Blur is the latest racer from the developer who brought us the PGR series.  Its not as serious a racer as the PGR games, but with that kind of legacy, its looking to be quite impressive.

So to be in with a chance of winning a beta key, in the comments section below, post a caption for the following picture:



The better the comments are the more likely you are to win.  So get thinking guys and dolls and post your caption and your XBL Gamertag in the comments like this:

Barricade mistook the ringing as an insult again.  GT Sibboz
The competition will close tonight, 12/03/10 at 10pm GMT and prizes will be sent out via xbox live message after 10pm GMT.

So Good Luck!.

(PS, If you didn't get my terrible caption, Barricade is the Decepticon Police Car in Transformers)

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Bioshock 2 Review

Bioshock 2 (Xbox 360/PS3/PC)
Reviewed on Xbox 360

Genre: FPS
Developer: 2K - Irrational Games, Various 2K branches, Digital Extremes
Publisher: 2K Games

Feb 9th 2010 Euro Release


Rapture, the fruit of Ryan's labour, has survived.

I've been looking forward to Bioshock 2, the first was simply awesome.  The storyline, music, art design and theme all worked amazingly well together.  However, after hearing Ken Levine was going to be taking a backseat on this project, I was slightly concerned.  His input and direction on Bioshock definitely pushed the development team in the right direction and put the story at the forefront of the experience.  Would this happen without his direct influence?  Have I been humbled?  


Would you kindly read on....

The long awaited sequel finally arrived this year.  Set ten years after the events of the first game, you take on the role as 'Delta', a unique Big Daddy, instead of the previous amnesia sufferer.

Your back in Rapture, and boy, it ain't no prettier.  The Splicers are as vicious and hideous as ever, it seems they've been busy over the years splicing up and generally creating a nuisance of themselves against the Big Daddy's.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Special Editions - My Guilty Pleasure

Ever since the first special edition games, I have always been on the look out for that 'Ultimate' package.

It seems to have become a compulsive addiction of mine, one that's stung me a few times over the years.  So I've decided to rate the ones I have so far accumulated.

Gradually, I will be going through my collection, reviewing the quality and content of each edition.  I will also include the game review if its a recent release.

Keep an eye out for full features coming soon.

Sibboz

Friday, 5 March 2010

Metro 2033 Goes GOLD!

Metro 2033 (Xbox 360/PC)
Developer: 4A Games
Publisher: THQ
Available: 19th March 2010 Euro Release

The eagerly anticipated Metro 2033, has gone gold people.
Here is the official press release:





THQ Inc. (NASDAQ:THQI) today announced Metro 2033™, the atmospheric first person shooter set in a post-apocalyptic Moscow, has passed the gold master stage of development and entered manufacturing. Powered by brand new technology - the formidable 4A Engine - Metro 2033 will set a new graphical benchmark on both Xbox 360® and PC when it hits retail outlets on March 16th in the US and Germany, March 18th in Australia and March 19th in the rest of the world.
"We’re excited to be bringing such a truly original experience to market," said Richard Williams, Vice President of Global Brand Management, THQ. "Metro 2033 couples a deep and engaging story with incredibly atmospheric first person shooter gameplay, and the 4A Engine provides cutting edge technology behind the most impressive visuals seen on either PC or console to date."
Metro 2033 has already been acclaimed for its graphical prowess on both Xbox 360 and PC, with the latter benefiting from advanced DX11 features and NVIDIA PhysX implementation. In addition, gamers can enjoy Metro 2033 in 3D, powered by NVIDIA 3D Vision.

This is fast becoming one of my most wanted of 2010, coming in under the radar its going to be a surefire hit.

Keep your eyes on www.righteousreviews.com for the preview and review!

UFC Undisputed 2010 - THQ updates 2009's best seller

Estimated Release: 28th May 2010
Platforms: Xbox 360/PS3
Developer: Yukes
Publisher: THQ





The much anticipated update to the 2009 success is nearly here and with UFC110 just passing its a timely article. As you have read (if you've been a reader of Righteous Reviews for a while) I could not have looked forward to an update more, here's my closing thoughts from the 2009 review to remind you:
"I'll give this a 8.5/10

A tightly programmed game, fun to play, nice to look at, but not without its faults, it should impress a lot of people. 

This will hopefully sell amazingly well as I would like to see some improvements made in the career mode for the next UFC game, but will the control system prove to complex for the average gamer and put them off? I really hope not, as if you give this the time it deserves, it can be a very enjoyable game."
See UFC 2009: Undisputed Review (XBOX360/PS3) for the full article.


What have THQ got instore for us this time around?

Well, first up is the cover star. Brock Lesnar will be on the cover of UFC Undisputed 2010.





Brock Lesnar made his UFC debut at UFC:81. A former amateur and professional wrestler, as well as a mixed martial artist, he went on to win the UFC Heavyweight Championship by defeating Randy Couture at UFC:91 on 15 November 2008.
“Brock Lesnar’s intensity and relentless commitment to the sport of mixed martial arts, as well as to the UFC, make him a perfect candidate to be the cover athlete for UFC Undisputed 2010,” said Dana White, President, UFC. “You want to be a fighter? Videogamers and fight fans around the world need to step up to Brock’s level when they enter the virtual Octagon in UFC Undisputed 2010!”
Lets see what 2010 has to offer shall we??

Last year, UFC Undisputed 2009, had over 80 life-like fighters.  This year they have gone and upped the ante and decided to include over 100.  THQ state 'Fighters & Personalities'.  Does this mean realistic ring entrances and fighter interaction (more on that later)?

 My comments on UFC2009's graphical quality said it all, "They really are photo realistic: blood, sweat (and probably tears) have been recreated with such quality and precision its quite an achievement", and to be quite honest, it seems to have improved again.  The most impressive part of the character models had to be the physical presence of the fighters, every swung punch and kick meant something, whether it was blocked or hit squarely on the chin, you saw and felt that impact.  Encounter too many kicks to your legs my friend, and you were limping.

That is only the tip of the ice berg when it comes to UFC2009's fight mechanics and guess what, they've gone and added a whole new layer.  This time around the guys and dolls behind UFC2010, have added two new fight mechanics to make it all the more realistic.  The 'Sway System'.  This allows for some free flowing counter attacks, with full upper body and head movement to keep out of the way of incoming attacks and turn them against your opponent.  Also introduced, is the new 'Posture System'.  This addition allows for some fight ending strikes where ever you are on the ground.  And to add even more realism, they have decided to add the 'South Paw' stance, to make your custom fighter even more like you (if you're a south paw, that is!).

The customisation was, to say the least, exceptional in 2009.  In 2010 even more fight styles have been added to your rĂ©pertoire; Sambo, Karate and Greco-Roman Wrestling.  Alas, no word on putting your face into the game via XboxLive Vision Cam or the PS3 EYE cam.  In my opinion this would have been an awesome feature as with the already amazing character models, seeing my face and my mates on screen getting the living hell battered out of us, would have been hugely entertaining.

In regards to the online component, I cannot wait until this is released as a certain UFC rival of mine, Nicky Sensei, is in dire need of a rematch.  UFC2009 started off well, hardly any lag and quite a well rounded ranking system as well as player matches that were enjoyable.  Unfortunately that didn't last long for me, but that may be due to my overpriced internet provider not coming through on their promise of a stable connection.  This year, the online side of things have been given a complete overhaul.  You now have the ability to form fight camps and leagues so that you and your friends can compete against and train with each other.  WOW.  I never expected this, at all.  I'm surprised, horrified, pleased and jumping for joy all at the same time.  If this can be pulled off, it will be the ULTIMATE online fighting game.  That's not all!  The career mode in UFC2009 was ..... lacking really.  It had a very surgical feel to it and never had much interaction other than the fights.  Its all changed now.  With the new feature 'Game Is watching You',  tracks every action and uses this information influence ingame commentary, you opponents intelligence and your overall career progression.  There has been no talk of ring entrances, but with the inclusion of interactive weigh-ins and interviews, that affect your popularity and cred, I'm hopeful they are also incorporated.  The new career mode also has online co-op sparring.  Again, WOW.  The guys at Yukes and THQ, have brought to life some amazing ideas.  Now lets just hope that it all works smoothly.


Its definitely looking to be the most immersive fighting experience you will come across.  If UFC2009 blew EA's FNR4 out of the water, I have no idea what EA's MMA is going to look like after UFC2010 has had a go at it.

Here are some screen shots:





Keep an eye on www.righteousreviews.com for the inbound review.

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Just Cause 2 Demo - Available Now for PS3/Xbox360

Just Cause 2, the sequel to a surprisingly good open world shooter, now has a demo available for you to peruse and enjoy.



Here is the full press release:





Available for PlayStation® 3 computer entertainment system, Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and PC, the Just Cause 2 demo will feature a massive 35 square miles of the Lautan Lama Desert, a vast expanse of stunning, sun-scorched scenery taking up just one of the many islands in the 400 square miles of the Panau archipelago. Packed with towns, villages, military installations, mountain ranges, missions and more, the demo will feature an astonishing amount of activities for the player... and opportunities for adrenaline-fuelled chaos are limitless.

Hunt down and assassinate one of the game’s 50 military colonels; devastate military bases, bio fuel chambers, government infrastructure and more; hijack tuk tuks, military 4x4s, armoured vehicles, mopeds, helicopter gunships, light aircraft, mini vans and numerous other military and civilian vehicles; freefall from desert outcrops or from burning planes at 20,000 feet; and unlock one full, multi-stage mission, traversing the mountains to a heavily fortified government radar station and ending in an unforgettable desert car chase.

“The Just Cause 2 demo is simply massive and with so much to do, the replay value is enormous,” said Lee Singleton, General Manager of Square Enix London Studios. “It’s easily one of the biggest freeroaming demos of all time and for fans of openworld games, it’s unmissable.”

The Just Cause 2 demo will be available March 4th, 2010, on PlayStation®Network, Xbox LIVE® Marketplace and Steam.

As Rico Rodriguez, the Agency's most powerful weapon, players must take on the island of Panau and its military regime in order to track down Rico's former boss and mentor, Tom Sheldon, who has gone rogue with millions in Agency cash and intel. Using a unique grapple and parachute combination, there is no vertical limit as the air becomes your playground: grapple a passing plane in flight, hijack helicopters, BASE jump from the tallest buildings or mountains and leave a trail of chaos and destruction in your wake. Just Cause 2 offers players the freedom to tackle missions any way they choose and, with over 100 vehicles and countless upgrades and collectibles, the choices for relentless adrenaline-fuelled action are limitless.

Here is the xbox marketplace link:

Moto GP 2010 - Demo info

We have just received this press release from Capcom informing us of a playable demo for Moto GP 2010.






We’re pleased to confirm that the MotoGP 09/10 demo will be arriving on XBLA and PSN on Thursday 4th March. The demo will offer players a chance to compete in one of three great game modes – Championship mode, Time Trial and the all new Arcade mode where you win time extensions for executing skilful manoeuvres. Put in a bad performance and your dreams of racing to victory will be over.

MotoGP 09/10 will be available at retail across Europe and Australia on March 19th. Fans will be able to compete in the most up-to-date racing experience earlier than ever before with the 2010 season content available to download free of charge shortly after launch.

After enjoying previous versions, we can't wait to have a crack of this update and the new features.
Check out our previous article for more info:
Moto GP 2010 latest info

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Activision fire top talent???

Reports are coming in that Jason West co-founder of Infinity Ward and studio head Vince Zampella have been fired.

Not much is known regarding the reasons for Jason/Vince leaving IW, but it does not bode well for IW and the community.  (UPDATE: It seems to be related to some kind of 'insubordination' incident with Activision filling a lawsuit, more to follow).

Many in the industry are assuming that the pair were fired because of suggested opposition against Activisions rumoured plans to charge a monthly subscription to future Call Of Duty online multiplayer.

 If this is true, it is a terrible move by Activision who are already receiving bad feedback from the community as 'sell outs'.

All of this is conjecture and internet rumour that is so far without a press release direct from IW or Activision.


IW's creative strategist Robert Bowling has issued the following on his twitter:

I should also say, while I appreciate all the calls, tweets, messages and hearing my ringtone a lot. They're in vain - as I have no info.

We will post when we have more.

This infact seems awfully familiar to the Dreamworks (original Medal Of Honor developers) exodus that created IW in the first place....

What are your views?

Sunday, 28 February 2010

EA's MEDAL OF HONOR "Re-imagining"


Franchise Re-booted with New Development Teams, New Soldier, New Setting
Medal of Honor™ returns to the front lines, this time in today’s war. For the first time in the franchise’s 10-year history, Medal of Honor is leaving the WWII theatre and putting players in war-torn Afghanistan. Electronic Arts Inc. (NASDAQ: ERTS) today revealed that in 2010, Medal of Honor, an all-new first-person shooter game, will introduce the Tier 1 Operator: a relatively unknown entity directly under the National Command Authority who takes on missions no one else can handle. The development team has been working closely with Tier 1 Operators from the U.S. Special Operations Community since the earliest stages of development to create the most authentic modern war experience. Inspired by real events, Medal of Honor reveals the mission of today’s most elite American soldier – his will, his mindset and his uncompromising professionalism.
Medal of Honor is being built with a best-in-class single-player campaign. The Medal of Honor development team at EALA has been hand-selected by the studio leadership of General Manager Sean Decker, Executive Producer Greg Goodrich and Senior Creative Director Rich Farrelly. To compliment the single-player experience, EALA has enlisted the multiplayer expertise at EA DICE. This team will develop the multiplayer experience of Medal of Honor. These two studios are coming together to deliver a world-class Medal of Honor that is poised to re-set the franchise for a new generation.
“When we first set out to reinvent Medal of Honor, we wanted to stay true to its roots of authenticity and respect for the soldier but bring it into today’s war. The Tier 1 Operator is the most disciplined, deliberate and prepared warrior on the battlefield.  He is a living, breathing, precision instrument of war.” said Greg Goodrich, Executive Producer, Medal of Honor. “We are honored to have the rare opportunity to work closely with these men to create a game that shares their experience.”
“EA has always been an advocate for telling the soldiers’ story. The new Medal of Honor follows that tradition. We felt it was important to tell the story of today’s war and today’s elite soldiers via today’s most relevant medium – videogames,” said Sean Decker, VP and General Manager of EALA. “We are so proud to bring together two powerhouse development teams to make this game a reality; EA Los Angeles and EA DICE. Medal of Honor promises to be an unforgettable entry in the modern shooter genre.”
Follow them on twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/medalofhonor. Become a fan on Facebook athttp://www.facebook.com/medalofhonor. For additional information and news, visitwww.medalofhonor.com.


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Darksiders Review


Darksiders (Xbox360/PS3)
Reviewed on Xbox360
Developer: Vigil Games
Publisher: THQ
Jan 8th 2010 Euro Release







So I have put off reviewing Darksiders until the patch, sorry, 'Update' was released.
“Why?” you ask. Well I wanted to give the game an honest chance to impress me. I know games that need updating so soon after release usually annoy the hell out of me, but I thought I should give it a chance. After-all, new year, new me.

War is here..



You play as War, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The role of these Four Horsemen,in the world of Darksiders, is that of a peace keeping force between Heaven and Hell. A peace keeping force put in place by The Charred Council. If the treaty (or Seal) between the two is broken, the Horsemen are sent to stop the battle. At the start of the game your summoned to Earth as total war has broken out between Heaven and Hell causing the destruction of Humans. During one of your early battles, you discover that the Seal has not been broken and you are the only Horseman that has been summoned. So you now get reprimanded for your involvement in the battle and have all your shiny powers taken away by the Charred council. War, being sentenced to death, requests that he has the opportunity to find out what caused the battle and restore balance, the council agrees but under the condition that he is bound to a keeper of the council, The Watcher (you may recognise the voice from Batman: Arkham Asylum). This Watcher, is with you always and will kill you if you stray from the mission.

I won't go into anymore detail regarding the story line, but it has kept me interested. Which is asking a lot considering the most recent games releases have not been able to keep me playing. Most games seem to be lacking a gripping and immersive story these days, much to my annoyance. Obviously a game needs amazing graphics, intuitive control systems and comprehensive gameplay mechanics to be competitive today, but I really don't believe it can become a truly successful game without a good story. It needs heart, some emotive connection with the player and although Darksiders doesn't have that particular emotional connection, I believe it has the immersive story that is needed far more than any technical advancement made today.
Plus, Good vs Evil on a Biblical scale, never gets old.

War is ugly..

War is never meant to be pretty, that seems to be the case here. The world created in Darksiders is by no means ugly or boring. The areas you travel are detailed and huge with very little loading. The criticism I have would be that the environments are slightly grey and drab. Yes its meant to be a post apocalyptic world, sparse and dead, but that's my only criticism with the look of the game. The character models are solid, looking good while attacking as well as dying. The level bosses look good too, with varying attacks to keep you occupied.

War looks like he has been cloned from Marcus Fenix, Hellboy and Altair, a hooded brute with a big left fist. War's, armour is detailed and his weapons are functional well detailed. Particularly the Crossblade, this boomerang style weapon can hit multiple enemies at once and is useful in many of the various puzzles in Darksiders. The overall design seems to have a touch of cell shading to the colour scheme, which gives it a look of an animated movie in my opinion. This is not a bad thing as it gives the game another unique selling point, something to make the game stand out in a genre of similar looking and playing hack n slash games (see GOW I,II,III/Dante's Inferno).


War is tough..
I've been humbled and surprised by this game. I was under the immediate impression that Darksiders was going to be a repetitive 'hack n slash' bane of my life. I am happy to admit I was completely wrong. This is no common 'hack n slash'. There are FPS elements, amazing platforming areas and some quality combat. Something that Darksiders has implemented which stands out is the camera use. Instead of having a static camera like most 'hack n slash' games, Vigil have decided to give the player full control of the 3rd person camera. No more side-on or 'room corner' combat. Constantly following the player, it shows off the size and magnitude of the environments and enemies you come across. The best part of the camera system comes in the form of projectile weapons. A simple click of the right analogue stick and the camera zooms in and brings up a targeting reticule. This allows for accuracy when throwing items required for certain puzzles or targeting distant enemies. Having multiple weapons assigned to individual buttons also makes for some impressive combos, using the Y,X and RT buttons. As with all 'hack n slash' titles, there is a lot of levelling up and purchasing of upgrades, which isn't too much of an issue. I would have personally liked to have seen a different mechanic involved rather than the standard soul gathering and chest opening that's seen in similar titles. The level design is pretty sound. Autosave checkpoints are in pretty decent places, frustrating as it is when you die after a long difficult battle, having the autosave in better positions helps a players game-rage a hell of a lot. The biggest problem I encountered, in regards to gameplay, had to be how little help you get navigating the world you inhabit. For example, one level had an exit you can't use until you kill everything and find something for the 'gate keeper'. I looked high and low for this area, walking around the level for over an hour. Then I realised, The Watcher. As you have The Watcher seemingly glued to your armour, pressing the back button will summon him and he will give you hints to your current objective. Let me clarify: THE CURRENT MISSION. No, not the tasks that lead up to the mission objective, its just 'You need to conquer (insert generic level boss here)' and not 'we need to find this artefact before we can move on, its over in that direction...'. Why oh why! This could have been the games saving grace, especially when you have no idea where to go. I finally found the solution to my dilemma via an online hints site. Yes I know shameful, but even with the hint at my disposal, I still had difficulty finding the tomb that I had to drag away from a dungeon opening. No highlighted cursor or anything really, just a small silver sparkle on a grey tomb. How am I meant to see that? Make it red, gold or even purple but not silver on grey come on guys! I don't want to be handheld through a game, but a little signposting wouldn't hurt.

Overall its a tidily developed title, a little improvement on the level navigation/objective locations would definitely have prevented dome much unneeded frustration. Its a big thumbs up from me.

Score: 7.5/10

Playing Darksiders, I feel a little bit more joy than with the usual hack 'n' slash action adventure games like God Of War et al. I find these games very repetitive and unimaginative, but so far I'm enjoying Darksiders. Its impressed me far greater than I expected and I would recommend this to anyone as there is definitely something for everyone to enjoy in Darksiders.


Thursday, 18 February 2010

Moto GP 2010 - New info on the latest franchise update

Estimated Release: March 2010
Platforms: Xbox 360/PS3
Developer: Monumental Games
Publisher: Capcom

The successful MotoGP franchise has its latest version due for a release in March.  Popular with a wide range of fans, it looks to be a best seller again this year.  Here is the latest info and screen shots we have been able to gather.

MotoGP 09/10 takes the series in an exciting new direction rewarding players for their racing style and skill on the track. Gamers will get all the riders, tracks and teams from the official 2009 MotoGP season AND free downloadable content from the 2010 season as it unfolds. The free update means gamers will be able to play the most up to date MotoGP season content earlier than ever before.


MotoGP 09/10 will feature an all new 'Arcade' mode where players must complete different race challenges before the time runs out. Time bonuses will be awarded for those who take risks on the track but losing concentration will mean you face time being deducted making this an exciting gameplay addition for racing game fans. Run out of time and your chances of living the MotoGP dream will be over.


Complementing Arcade mode is the introduction of a fully realised 'Career' mode which provides an expansion to the MotoGP experience. Players take control of their MotoGP championship both on and off the track competing in the races and managing their team as they try to build their career as a racing pro.


Gamers can compete in a full championship season across all three MotoGP bike classes and pit their skills against players around the globe with the robust online mode.




MotoGP 09/10 will include the following features:


  • Brand new exciting gameplay modes that deliver the ultimate GP racing experience
  • Ability to update the game with content from the 2010 championship as the season unfolds
  • Compete against riders across the globe in online multiplayer mode
  • Two player split screen allows you to compete against your friends
  • Select from 125cc, 250cc and 800cc championships
  • Realistic AI which emulates a true racing pack with different rider styles and pace
  • Accessible handling for players of all levels to create an enjoyable racing experience
  • 17 official circuits from the 2009 GP season



Tuesday, 16 February 2010

THQ Announce extended DARKSIDERS™ demo

THQ have today announced the release of the Darksiders demo, but this is no ordinary demo.  To show off the true content they have decided to create a 90 minute (yes one hour and a half!) demo so that players can really immerse themselves in gameplay and get to grips with the challenges available.

Keep an eye out for our full review coming soon.

Here is the press release:



EXTENSIVE DEMO ANNOUNCED FOR DARKSIDERS™


Over 90 minutes of gameplay coming for both Xbox 360® and Playstation®3

AGOURA HILLS, Calif. February 16, 2010 – Gamers will be able to get to grips with Darksiders™’ true essence in the upcoming release of a 90-minute game demo for Xbox 360® and PlayStation®3 based on THQ Inc.’s critically acclaimed action-adventure game.

The demo contains the entire first dungeon encounter from the game, the sprawling Twilight Cathedral. This engaging and challenging level contains dozens of puzzles for players to solve, new pieces of equipment to discover and epic boss battles against the monstrous demon Jailer and the savage bat-winged Tiamat. Representing a cross section of Darksiders’ key features, the demo will take approximately 90 minutes to complete for the average player. The demo will become available to download from Xbox LIVE® and PlayStation®Network on 25 February.

David Adams, General Manager of Vigil Games commented:
“We are really pumped to be bringing a playable demo for Darksiders to Xbox 360 and PlayStation3. We really wanted to give gamers a true idea of the variety of gameplay that the game offers and so rather than just making a standard 20-minute demo version of the first few levels, we decided to give away this massive level and reveal the true essence of the game.”


About Darksiders 
Deceived by the forces of evil into prematurely bringing about the end of mankind, WAR – the first Horseman of the Apocalypse – must return to Earth to search for the truth and punish those responsible. War must take on the forces of Heaven and Hell, forge uneasy alliances with the very demons he hunts, and journey across the ravaged remains of the Earth on his quest for vengeance.  Players harness the apocalyptic power of War, combining brutal attacks and supernatural abilities to decimate enemies who stand in his way.  With an extreme arsenal of weapons, War blazes a trail of destruction, and emerges even more deadly atop Ruin, War’s fiery phantom steed.  Darksiders is now available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.  For more information, please visit www.darksiders.com.

About THQ
THQ Inc. (NASDAQ: THQI) is a leading worldwide developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software. The company develops its products for all popular game systems, personal computers and wireless devices. Headquartered in Los Angeles County, California, THQ sells product through its global network of offices located throughout North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. More information about THQ and its products may be found at www.thq.com. THQ, Darksiders, Vigil Games and their respective logos are trademarks and/or registered trademarks of THQ Inc.
 Microsoft, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, the Xbox logos, and the Xbox LIVE logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the U.S. and/or other countries.
 "PlayStation" is a registered trademark of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.
 All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners

Friday, 12 February 2010

Red Dead Redemption - The Old West is back baby, after 5 years of production that is.

RDR
The West is back, and I hope its good!
Some of you may recall a game released on the PS2 and Xbox, in 2004, called Red Dead Revolver:










Rockstar decided to make a sequel a year after the original release, in 2005, under the working tittle 'Old West Project'.  Now its only a couple of months away, under the moniker, Red Dead Redemption, and I'm itching for some Old West action.

With Rockstar in charge it can be one of my most rated or most hated games.  See, I love Westerns, Tombstone, Wyatt Earp, Gunfight At The OK Coral, Dances With Wolves, The Good The Bad & The Ugly, Back To The Future III (yes I do seriously like it as a Western as well as >), Westworld and Blazing Saddles. Yes there is quite a few there but I love them, the open lands, the kill or be killed life style, the gun fights, the atmosphere of the west and the art of the gunslinger is just so damn enticing to me.  I suppose its the same with my fascination with Sci-Fi, its escapism, a world I will never truly experience and one I find exciting and dramatic.    It really is thanks to my father I suppose.  His love for the Westerns was absorbed by me at a young age and it stuck.

With so much love for the Western genre am I setting my expectations for it far too high?


Short answer, no.  I may have a love for the genre but Rockstar have a huge opportunity to make something far bigger than Grand Theft Auto.  Not ingame map size, although it is possible, but in stature, critical acclaim and admiration.  The west is such a full and dynamic environment to set a game in.  Just think of all the Westerns you have seen, how many have not been deeply detailed, with rich characters?  I cant think of any and that's the biggest seller of a Western.  To be historically accurate and detailed as well as having a narrative that pulls you in and gets you caring for the characters.  If Rockstar can pull this off, there is a possibility to open up a whole new gaming demographic.  So far the Westerns we have been able to play have been OK at best on the current gen of consoles.  The FPS's, Call Of Juarez and its sequel were playable games, but were missing too much atmosphere and background to be a triple A title and Gun was not much better.

But Gun developer Neversoft had the right idea.

Two words: Open World


Yes the world created in Gun is small comparable to the expectations of today and it was a shoddy port of the old Xbox version, but its a huge step in the right direction.
I want a world I can wander around, ride my horse through a forest, set up camp by a stream, hunt for my food and skins, come across a high-jacking or robbery,  go to the local Saloon, enjoy the atmosphere, over hear drunken arguments over Poker, women even cattle deals gone wrong.  These are all stalwarts of the Western and I hope to the gaming God(s) that Rockstar understand this and find ways of including it all and more.  As I explained earlier, Westerns are always rich in character and have deeply detailed narratives that include a world filled with action and drama.  If Rockstar can truly transfer all the aspects of successful Westerns to RDR the world that we get to play in will be huge, dramatic and breathtaking to be a part of.

Rockstars Pedigree

Rockstar has a legacy of producing quality products, but repeatedly they have used a certain type of humour in their story telling.  Now I have enjoyed all of the previous GTA titles because of their humour, its what made them playable and unique, however GTA4 didn't have that same 'fun' factor for me.  They made it more serious, tried to make the game more of a simulation than arcade game.  For me, it didn't feel right for a GTA game, it still had humour but not in the same vain as the previous iterations.  Which leads me to be slightly hypocritical.  I think it will greatly suit the world of Red Dead Redemption.  A gritty, hard world that's unforgiving to those not strong enough to survive.





With a world full of potential, I am completely hopeful that Rockstar bring the out the big guns for this game.  The number of potential game mechanics available is huge.  Think hunting to earn your living, becoming an outlaw and robbing banks and stagecoaches or even becoming a deputy to prevent these crimes.  This game has the potential to blow all competition out of the water.

As you can see in the video below, Rockstar seems to be hitting the nail bang on the head.



Admittedly, without any hands on time with the game, we don't know how good (or bad) its going to be.  So all of these trailers only seem to be whetting our appetites for the main course.  But I cant help looking forward to this game, I'm already thinking of it as one my top 5 games of 2010.  There's not much else for me to say regarding my opinion.  I've made it clear I'm looking forward to it and that it has the potential to shock the gaming community with a game for exceeding any expectations any fans or critics could have ever had.

Here's some more videos from Rockstar showcasing the game:






So I'll leave you with this.
Just think if its really a Western Story, and not just a game set in the Old West, it will be a more impressive work than any GTA have been.

Red Dead Redemption will be released at the end of April on PS3 and Xbox 360

Unintended hiatus

A little apology out there to all my readership.

Various things had occurred in my personal life, which affected my availability to run this blog.
But dont be concerned too much.
Im back, as Arnie says, and this time im better than ever.
Keep an eye out for futher updates regarding this blog and another MYSTERY site I will be back working in conjunction with.

Cheers to the faithful,
Sibboz