Uncharted 3 Beefs Up its Online Offerings - Beta hands-on

Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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Get ready for some crazy action
If Uncharted 2's multiplayer was a pepperoni pizza, then the online portion of Uncharted 3 is a supreme.

 

When I first heard about all the extra modes, customization options and tweaks developer Naughty Dog would be adding to the formula, I'll admit I was a little skeptical. I loved U2's online for its simplicity, and the list of additions for U3 was about a mile long.

 

The Uncharted 3 online beta launched Tuesday evening and, after pouring several hours into the new offerings, I'm feeling pretty damn good about what the final product will have to offer. In this particular case, it looks like all those extra toppings will result in a more delicious pie.

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I Wish I Could Review Pride Of Nations

Tuesday, June 28, 2011 at 4:00 pm
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It looks pretty, but damned if I know what it means

Many video game journalists avoid reviewing massively multiplayer online (MMO) games, because the understanding is that these are specialist titles that truly require experts to assess them properly. The lesson I learned from trying to review Pride of Nations is that at this level of complexity, turn-based strategy games require specialist reviewers, as well. After over a week of having the game, I still have no idea what the hell I'm doing when I try to play it, and it comes down to one thing: my refusal to read the manual.

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F1 2011 Looks to be Firing on All Cylinders

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 2:00 pm
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Buckle up for another lap
Codemasters' F1 2010 received quite a bit of praise when it was released last year. Unwilling to leave well enough alone, the team has spent the past year adding to that winning title, fine tuning the nuts and bolts and strapping on some additions that should put a smile on any racing fan's face.

 

During the F1 2011 E3 showing, the developers made it clear that they were not out to cash in on a yearly racing title.

 

"It has to be more than just an update with new tracks," said Codemasters' Stephen Hood. "We wanted to squeeze as many features into 2011 as we could to persuade gamers that the new title would be worth their time and money."

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Bodycount Has the Guns, but Little Bang

Thursday, June 16, 2011 at 10:00 am
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Bodycount: "All about the guns"
Before introducing the small room of games journos to Codemasters' Bodycount during last week's E3 event, the developers stated that the game, set for an August release, is "all about the guns."

 

If this tagline sounds familiar, it's because it's the same one used for 2006's Black, which was pretty much built by the same group of guys.

 

After a brief demonstration and taking on two of the game's levels myself, I feel less inclined to agree with such a statement when it comes to Bodycount. Everything, from the guns to the story to the levels, felt a bit too generic.

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Resistance 3 Keeps Up the Good Fight - Hands-on

Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 9:00 am
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Just keep shooting
If you picked up Battle: Los Angeles on Blu-ray yesterday, chances are you've already sunk your teeth into the Resistance 3 demo available on the disc.

 

I had the opportunity to get in some time with another R3 demo during last week's E3 event, so here's an idea of what you can expect from Insomniac's latest FPS.

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Starhawk Soars at E3 - Hands-on

Tuesday, June 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm
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Here comes the backup
After some 8-on-8 multiplayer action at this year's E3, I have a feeling Lightbox's 2012 release, Starhawk, is going to scratch an itch console fans have had ever since the release of its 2007 spiritual successor, Warhawk.

 

While I'm a bit skeptical about how some of the changes will play out once the game actually launches, my 10 minutes of hands-on time left me hopeful. While Lightbox is hesitant to refer to the game as a sequel to Warhawk, there's no mistaking that Starhawk has the original's blood coursing through its neon blue veins.

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Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City Is Conflict - Hands-On

Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 6:00 pm
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Over the past fifteen years, the Resident Evil franchise has evolved (or, devolved, to some) into an action-based horror franchise. Resident Evil 4 gave players just enough firepower to handle the frequent swathes of enemies. Before that, we were ill-equipped, provided with scant ammunition and limited saves. Resident Evil 5 jumped the fence and made us almost supersoldiers. It was far more action-oriented than any of the previous iterations. And now the upcoming Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City is pure action.

This is most clearly exemplified in the new ability for gamers to move and shoot at the same time. It has been long-contested, with fans raging against Capcom's inability to adapt to the changing gameplay features that have become industry standard. But we all knew it was coming. And with that, there goes any remnant of the survival-horror genre that Resident Evil defined and redefined again. In a single move. And Capcom has some dicey ideas for this next one.

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Battlefield 3's Multiplayer Is A Sneak Peek Of The Next Generation - E3 Hands-On

Thursday, June 9, 2011 at 1:00 pm
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A lot of hype surrounds Battlefield 3 and its graphics engine. The game looks absolutely brilliant -- frighteningly realistic, gritty, and lavishly rendered. Its $100,000,000 marketing campaign is working, and the name is on everybody's lips all the time. But how something looks and how something plays can be totally different. I got to sit down on a game of Battlefield 3's multiplayer and tool around with about two dozen other gamers.

From what I can tell, this game is the next level. We don't need to see the Xbox 720 or the PlayStation 4 to see the next generation. Battlefield's gameplay, mechanics, and overall multiplayer experience is unparalleled. It's so advanced it makes other games look kind of silly in terms of being a pure exercise in combat simulation.

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El Shaddai, The Gospel According to True Religion

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm
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I have no idea how true El Shaddai: The Ascension of the Metatron is to its source. The demo I saw (and the PR guy who was guiding me) features some early combat sections with a little platforming near the end. And while the combat and platforming are perfectly adequate, the real pull for the game will be its narrative. 

The closest thing I did get to a story, however, was an quip by the PR guy: "God's gonna fuck the earth." I'm not sure if that's an allegory or the complete truth, though. The Book of Enoch -- the Dead Sea Scroll the game is based on -- wasn't on my summer reading list.

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XCOM Has Made Strides - E3 Hands-On

Wednesday, June 8, 2011 at 5:30 pm
​Last year, we had our doubts about 2K Marin's franchise reboot of XCOM. While the 1960s setting was appealing, all we saw of storyline and enemy design was a series of inky blobs attacking the John and Jane Does of the mid-century Midwest. It was cryptic, but lacked the intrigue needed to keep it on our radars over the past year.

This year's demo was a more in-depth look at the XCOM universe, and those who reside within it. What originally looked like a sci-fi first-person shooter has become a squad-based tactical shooter laced with RPG elements and a full offering of enemies, weapons, and technologies. 2K's ambition is definitely inspiring, and a few points brought up in the demo were hot-buttons for a potential compelling story. That is, as long as their ambition doesn't render the game too sprawling.

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Tags: E3, Hands On, XCOM