Sunday, 12 June 2011

Impressions of E3 2011.

This isn't a post where I'm going to list everything that happened at E3 this year, because you can easily find all that information online or in your head if you watched it. 

What did you think was awesome? Anything that you weren't expecting? Anything that you predicted? What did you think about the big announcements and unveilings? Anything disappointing?

Personally, I think that Playstation's display bundle is brilliant. It's the perfect size for a bedroom, and a nice little price. Plus, it comes with Resistance 3! I will have to think about getting one because it's a great way to get into 3D gaming. I don't think anyone saw this coming, so it was a great little surprise. 

I loved all the stuff about the NGP, or the PSVita as it's officially named. I can't wait to see more about the Bioshock title that was announced for it, and I'd love to see some other brilliant titles announced too such as Loco Roco or maybe another GTA. With the dual sticks, there is a huge range of gaming possibilities that the PSP didn't have before. And the price is great! I was honestly thinking it would be £500+. I couldn't see Sony doing it for less. But for £280 (This is on Amazon, there have been no official prices announced for England yet but this seems about right) you can't go wrong! There has been loads of new ideas put into this system and I can't wait to get my hands on one. And plus, it has trophies! That was one of the reasons I didn't play my PSP much, I wasn't being rewarded. I see trophies as an incentive to play more of a game and now, a whole system. I'm not sure about them saying it's the next generation of hand held gaming, but hey, it's Sony we're talking about. 

The Wiiu. The controller was shown at the Nintendo briefing and it was a little strange. I can't see it catching on, to be perfectly honest. It looks silly. It's a good idea, I suppose. But it doesn't seem very practical. I can't really see what it can be used for in the long run. I saw the mini games that they showed, and the Zelda items on the screen, but it just seems awfully gimmicky if you ask me. The console itself wasn't shown although it was seen in the booths afterwards. Here's a picture…..e-eyes-on/.

The biggest disappointment was the Xbox briefing. They are pushing the Kinect as a new console, whereas Sony are pushing the Move as a controller, and a different way to play games on your PS3. Microsoft have tackled the Kinect in the wrong way. They have got contracts or licenses with Lucas Arts and Disney and Sesame Street, but they've just ruined their 'console' by doing so. I was really looking forward to the Star Wars game, but now it's just a disgrace. It's an on-rails thing, in which the guy was just swinging his arms to kill the droids and saying 'Lightsaber on'. They also ruined Fable. From what I saw, it was also on-rails. Sure, the whole spell casting thing was pretty cool, but having the game on rails ruins the idea of Fable. 

And of course, the final disappointing and underwhelming demo of the week was Modern Warfare 3. I know people say every year how much the CoD games look the same as the predecessor, but this time, it really is. It's the same engine which just makes the game look unbelievably stale, and of course, it is bound to have the same problems as before. With all the other shooters around now, it is starting to be overshadowed by the bigger and more powerful games, namely Battlefield 3. I'm not saying I won't get it, but I am saying it's probably going to be a severe disappointment, and I hope this is the beginning of the end for CoD. As much as I enjoy it with my friends, and you guys occasionally, it has become tedious and I want something to outshine it. I'm rooting for Battlefield this time. 
So, that's my view on the week. What about you guys? 

Friday, 20 May 2011

The almighty PSN has returned!

Hurrah! PSN is back up and running! Actually, it has been since Sunday, but I was too lazy to make a blog post about it.

So, it's was down for 24 days because of some silly hackers that thought it would be good to destroy the weekday evenings of students like me. Disgraceful! Sony should have fixed it now though. More firewalls, higher encryption on our data, brilliant. We should be safe from this happening again, or so we are told. 

Sony had promised us some sort of 'Welcome back' program to rekindle our love for them. They have delivered and it is in the form of extended subscriptions and free games! 
The titles we get to choose from are: 

Wipeout HD/Fury
Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty
Dead Nation

Awesome! I will be selecting Wipeout for nostalgic reasons. I grew up with it on my PS1, playing it with my Dad. That was great fun and it would be good to relive some of those moments. And I think I will pick Dead Nation too. You can't go wrong with a zombie game, especially one with Co-op play. 

And, don't worry, people with a PSP haven't been missed out. If you own a PSP you also get to choose two games from this list: 

PSPModNation PSP
Pursuit Force
Killzone Liberation

Not only do we get some completely free titles, we also get some extended subscription goodies! 

30 days free Playstation Plus for those of you without Playstation Plus.

If you are already a Playstation Plus subscriber, you will be given 60 days free subscription.
Music Unlimited subscribers will be given 30 days free subscription.
They have also mentioned that they will be giving us some stuff on Playstation Home but they haven't announced what it will be yet. 

So, it looks like this is an apology for our time away from online play. Free things are always good! Thanks Sony! Only thing is, we need the Playstation store to be running before we can download this we wait. Again. 


Saturday, 14 May 2011

Red Faction: Armageddon- A few snippets of information.

Red Faction Armageddon is the fourth instalment in Volition Inc's space-based shooter series. Each of the games in the series has featured extreme environmental damage, including huge explosions and sledge hammers to bring down buildings! This brings new, innovative ways to kill enemies and complete missions. No two people will be able to play the game exactly the same way. 

Now, I haven't played the first two games in the series, but I am aware that they were both set in the first person perspective. Having not played that, I cannot say whether I prefer the third or first person perspective for this series. However, I have played the third game in the series, Red Faction: Guerrilla. It worked extremely well, allowing you to view of everything around you, even behind you. This would prove helpful in falling buildings. You could look back to see a wall crumbling and quickly manoeuvre out of the way of the falling rubble so you don't get crushed. I very much liked the third person perspective, it's a change from the many first person games on the market today so I am glad they are sticking to it and not going back to their roots. 

The game will feature several new weapons, and bring back ones from Guerilla. The gun they have been publicising a lot in their gameplay videos and at various gaming expos is the 'Magnet Gun'. This new contraption allows you to fire at one object, and then at another and the first object flies towards the second! I have seen it being used in many innovative ways. You can shoot at an enemy and then at a building to send it soaring into a wall and watch it get crushed by metal girders. And of course, you can shoot two enemies and watch them headbutt watch other and fall over. That's pretty hilarious! The singularity bombs from Guerilla are returning but in the form of a rocket launcher! This sounds unbelievably destructive. Firing a mini black hole at building that are completely destructible, and then have them detonate afterwards? That's going to cause some serious damage!  I am very much looking forward to using the 'LEO exosuit'. I don't know when you will get this suit, but from what Volition said at E3 last year, it will probably be later on in the game. They described the LEO exosuit as "a robotic suit with powerful weaponry whose biggest strength nonetheless appears to be its ability to crash through structures with little effort. Darius piloted the LEO at full speed through a horde of aliens, splattering them on contact, and then brought down an infested building by crashing through its walls." Sounds exciting to me! I can't wait to get my in-game hands on that!

As you could probably tell from that quote up there, there are some brand new enemies including martian beasts! From the gameplay I've seen there are several types, and you have to fight each of them in a different way if you want to stay alive. There are of course humans in the game too, if you want to batter some people to death. I believe they are cultists, following their leader. They wear some pretty sinister looking spikes, and all look suitably evil. 

Here's a little video taken from 'G4TV' showcasing some of the new enemies and weapons that we will be seeing in Armageddon. 

The main story of the game is, apparently, much more forced upon you, meaning the game takes a much more linear shape rather than the sandbox approach of Guerilla. I don't know if this will be a good or a bad thing at this point, but I loved the sandbox style of Guerilla and I will surely be sad to see it taken out of the game. The plot consists of various settings, underground in mines and networks of tunnels made by the ancestors of the colonists. The colonists are now below the surface of Mars because the huge Terraformer was destroyed by a meteor leaving the surface inhabitable. The game follows Darius Mason, the grandson of the great Alec Mason from Guerilla. He is tricked into opening a huge mine shaft by a Marauder priest which awakens dormant species of marian creatures, which then proceed to come out and destroy settlements and murder the people in them. Nice. Darius must then join the Red Faction, save the people of Mars, and clear is name. Exciting, right? 

There will of course, be some multiplayer features in the game. There aren't many games that don't implement the online functions of today's consoles anymore. I remember Guerilla's multiplay being an awful lot of fun, smashing building with your friends, providing you have some, is a great laugh. They had the basic game modes, team death match, death match, capture the flag  and brand new game modes exclusive to the game. One of these was 'Siege'. A game mode in which one team had to bring down certain buildings while the other team tried to prevent them from doing so. I'm not sure why I've just described Guerilla's multiplayer experience because Volition have decided to take it out of the game for Armageddon! They have decided to go down the co-op route, creating and endless horde game mode called 'Infestation', in which players must work together to fight off incoming aliens. I welcome these co-operative game types with open arms, but come on Volition, why did you take the competitive games out! We loved those! 

The new 'Infestation' co-operative game mode.
So, there's a brief overview of the game. Personally, I am very much looking forward to this game. I enjoyed Red Faction: Guerilla an awful lot. I love the destructive abilities of the game, and I can't wait to try out the new weapons and bash in some alien heads!

Here are the release dates for Red Faction: Armageddon worldwide: 

North America: June 7

  • Europe: June 10
  • Australia: June 10
  • United Kingdom: June 10

  • I hope you enjoyed reading this blog post, I should have more up in the future about all sorts of games, new release previews, games I'm playing and maybe even some reviews. Don't forget to follow me for more, and thanks for reading!