Sept 2010; Move, F1 2010, Dead Rising 2, TGS and more
Anticipation. It’s the constant state of the avid gamer; always with their fingers on the pulse, they await the next big sensation. Whilst they feast on a gratifying main course of Dead Rising 2, F1 2010 and Move, they long for the sweetness that desert will bring (Gran Turismo 5, Last Guardian).
It’s a good thing then that this age is throwing out enough titles to satisfy even the most gluttonous of consumers. It’s also a curse: what if you want it all? No one has the time; it can’t be done.
If September taught us anything, it’s that there is a wide selection of menus available to suit everyone’s tastes – from the FPS junkie to the driving fanatic. The variety was on show at the Tokyo Game Show, at the HQs of Activision and EA and in the locked-down bunkers of Irrational Games. Here’s the rundown of the month…
Move finally arrived in September to usher in a new chapter in the PlayStation 3 story. Forget the celebratory Wii-killer remarks and ignore the flame-bait Move vs. Kinect debates, they’re unnecessary and they obscure the reality.
The hardware has stood up to heavy scrutiny, gaining respect in the process. It offers accurate 1:1 tracking, making you feel in total control. And yes, it’s hugely satisfying to hold while pretending to swing a gold club – we could do with some practise, mind.
It’s not charting new territory because of its similarities to the Wii-mote, but this doesn’t make it redundant. Why? Move creates new opportunities on the PlayStation 3, introducing new types of games, new ways to play them and new audiences. Plus, all the major third-party developers are excited by the prospects of Move and they are giving the device their full support. The AAA titles aren’t here yet but they’re on their way.
In the meantime, there are plenty of launch titles to keep us entertained. We are already seeing the controller getting put to a variety of uses in Start the Party (party), Sports Champions (sports) and Kung Fu Rider (erm, trolley racer?). Of these three, Sports Champions offers the clearest evidence of Move’s impressive accuracy. It also gives us our most involving gaming experiences on the PlayStation 3 to date; Gladiator Duals is a real work-out and we really felt it in our shoulders, even on shorter sessions. Read more about these Sony developed games here.
Aside from Sports Champions, the best games we’ve played so far have come from third-party studios. EA Sports’ Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11 is an especially good fit for Move. It felt phony having to swing a golf club by flicking a thumbstick in previous golf games, so to be able to put your real swing to the test adds an authenticity to the genre. There are some minor issues but they can easily be ironed out for next year’s Tiger Woods. For the first time in years, the golf genre actually looks like it has potential to grow and surprise. Who thought that was possible before Move arrived on the scene?
Move also gave us an excuse to revisit Resident Evil 5. We invested 50 plus hours into the game after it was released and we’ve been clawed back in again. There’s a definite learning curve, but the Move controls soon become second nature. You’ll be pulling off headshots in no time at all. Move is mainly used for aiming, but there are several other decent uses of it, like shaking it to reload and swiping for a knife attack. Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition is just one of a number of games that have been patched to include Move controls. Here’s a list of some of the other titles.
Move has already given the PlayStation 3 a healthy dose of vitality, and we have lots more to look forward to. Earlier in September, Guerrilla Games showed gameplay footage of Killzone 3 using Move. It looked effortless to control the character and reactions seemed to be more responsive as well. This will be music to the ears of those who felt the controls in the last game were too heavy. Could Killzone 3 be the game that makes Move an essential piece of kit for PlayStation 3 owners? You’ll find the Killzone 3 demonstrations here.
There were also new releases that will appeal to those who prefer to play with a ‘normal’ controller. The first one we’ll cover is F1 2010, and we’ll also contradict ourselves by saying it’s best to play this game with a steering wheel, not a ‘normal’ controller. A steering wheel can really improve your accuracy in an out of corners. This is really beneficial in F1 2010 because the game puts a stronger emphasis on accuracy and precision than most racers. If you don’t have a steering wheel, or the money to invest in one, you’ll still get by fine with your DualShock.
It’s been developed by Codemasters, who are running the game on their celebrated Ego Engine. It’s ferocious and fast, just how we like it. Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised because the fantastic DiRT 2 also ran on this engine.
F1 2010 requires you to have total concentration and a methodical mind. Sure, there are a number of options to help the novice and make the racing more forgiving, such as breaking and steering assist. Not everyone is Lewis Hamilton after all. We do, however, recommend that you play with the shackles off because that’s when F1 2010 comes alive.
Speaking of shackles, it’s something that Dead Rising 2 lacks. Yes, there are too many zombie games out there and we would like more variation, but Blue Castle Games have shown that this well worn genre can still produce surprises – and be a hell of a lot of fun to boot. Dead Rising 2’s unique selling point is the ability to combine everyday objects into something obscenely destructive. Found some nails and a bat? Why not put them together and make a nail bat? That’s an obvious combination. How about adding an assault rifle to a wheelchair to turn it into a mobility tank? Now you’re getting an idea of how creative and ridiculous Dead Rising 2 can be.
Tokyo Game Show 2010
200,000 gamers descended on Tokyo to witness the Tokyo Game Show, and they got to see some of the big titles Japan has in the pipeline.
The game that everyone was most excited to see was Team Ico’s The Last Guardian, and we did get to see a beautiful trailer. Sadly, it’s brief and details are still in short supply, but that’s to be expected with the game still far away from release.
It’s interesting to see how excited we all are for The Last Guardian, despite us knowing very little about it. If you haven’t experienced Team Ico’s games in the past, you could easily mistake us all for being slightly mad. We’re excited because of Team Ico’s great pedigree, they are the team who made Ico and Shadow of the Colossus after all.
They were both hugely creative and iconic games on the PlayStation 2. Shadow of the Colossus was especially influential, with every developer since trying to match the epic scale which that game offered. These games also took the player on an extremely emotional journeys.
Team Ico pushed the hardware to new levels with Shadow of the Colossus when everyone else assumed the PlayStation 2 had already peaked. It’s expected/hoped that they will now set new benchmarks on the PlayStation 3.
At TGS, it was also announced that Ico and Shadow of the Colossus will be re-released on PlayStation 3 in Spring 2011. The Ico and Shadow of the Colossus Collection will receive an HD makeover and will be playable in 3D. This is the perfect opportunity to play them if you missed them first time round.
A new Devil May Cry was announced at TGS, simply titled DmC. Ninja Theory (Enslaved, Heavenly Sword) are the team entrusted to revitalise the franchise. The Devil May Cry series has always been popular, but with Devil May Cry 4 there was a feeling that the franchise had started to run out of ideas. Thankfully ideas are something Ninja Theory clearly aren’t short of.
The game has been moved to a more contemporary, darker world. Dante isn’t the same either, his character is straight out of the Stephanie Meyer’s school of design. He certainly wouldn’t look out of place on the Twilight set. This, unsurprisingly, has caused a significant amount of backlash, but we suspect people will warm to the new Dante in time – he has attitude in abundance.
The gameplay looks familiar: twin-pistol assaults combined with hack’n’slack attacks – it looks fast and exciting. It’s hard to judge from a debut trailer but already Ninja Theory have us full of anticipation. We doubt we’d be as curious about the game, as we are right, had Ninja Theory churned out another Devil May Cry in the style of the previous offerings. They’re being bold and ambitious, let’s hope it pays off.
The collaboration between influential game creators, Shinji Mikami and Suda 51, was also revealed at TGS. The game is a third-person action title called Shadows of the Damned. The gameplay looks a lot like Resident Evil 4 except more heavily stylised; Hell has never looked cooler. The dream creative partnership alone is reason enough to follow the progress of this game.
The above three games are still a long way away from release, the next one isn’t. Gran Turismo 5 will be hitting stores in November and just when we thought we’d seen all there was to see from the game, up popped Polyphony Digital with a few more surprises.
The most impressive thing on show at TGS though was the new dynamic weather models. We saw blizzards and torrential rain, we even saw a Volkswagen Samba Bus try to drive in these hellish conditions. Polyphony say the worst conditions will test even the most skilled racers. Weather models are nothing new, but the level of realism on offer here is staggering.
We also found out that Polyphony Digital are big fans of ModNation Racers. Don’t believe us, check out this video from the PlayStation Blog which sees Gran Turismo creator Kazunori Yamauchi review the game. What’s more interesting is how this interest in ModNation is affecting Gran Turismo 5. It’s in a good way; the game is set to feature a track editor. Every new announcement makes it clear why the game has been in production for so long. The level of depth is incredible.
Visit here for more news and videos from TGS 2010.
Medal of Honor and Call of Duty: Black Ops will soon be going head-to-head with each other as they attempt to claim the position as the top modern war themed FPS. Right now, it’s too hard to tell which will come out on top. Both are looking very good while offering different styles of gameplay: Black Ops is more frantic while Medal of Honor is a lot more thoughtful.
The new multi-player modes for Black Ops are very exciting. Wager Mode sees players gamble their XP in sessions in the hope of winning big. Players will have to be on top of their game or they’ll risk losing it all. There are lots of other juicy multi-player modes on top of this so make sure you read back on Echo307’s full account of the modes, which you’ll find here. One mode that’s missing in that article is zombie co-op mode. Treyarch had remained tight-lipped about its inclusion, but it’s recently been announced that it will indeed be in Black Ops. Zombie co-op was considered by many to be the best thing about Call of Duty: World at War so this is certainly a fan pleaser.
As good as Black Ops sounds, don’t rule out Medal of Honor. We were flooded with a number of trailers by EA and saw lots to get excited about. It’s less twitchy than Black Ops, favouring tactical battles over expansive areas. The Objective Raid mode, which sees one team trying to charge behind the other’s battle lines, looks to be as compelling as Battlefield: Bad Company 2’s Rush mode. Visit the following links to see the various Medal of Honor trailers for yourself: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
It’s still a long way away, but it’s hard not to get excited about BioShock Infinite, especially after seeing that epic 9.5 minutes of gameplay footage which Irrational Games recently revealed to the world. There’s no space to go into depth discussing all that happens in the trailer because there really is a lot.
Infinite will appeal to fans of BioShock 1; the atmosphere and mood is equally as terrifying as it was in the first game. Yet, those who disliked the first game have reasons to stay hopeful that this will be more to their liking. Columbia is much more colourful (beautiful, even) and the gameplay is much more varied this time round. The trailer is crammed full of intense gameplay, interesting character interactions, horror and massive set pieces. To find out more, have a read back at our article on the subject. Can you wait until 2012? We’re not sure we can.
Have a great October…
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