Gaming

[E3 2014] Alien: Isolation Gets It Right, Is Scary

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[E3 2014] Alien: Isolation Gets It Right, Is Scary

In a sense, the interactive entertainment based on the Alien universe have translated that universe quite well: some of them were solid and workmanlike, and some of them were complete train-wrecks – an almost-perfect parallel to the film series.  Some of the Alien games were mindless, idiotic action-fests with little in the way of subtlety or pathos, chock full of static characters, awful dialogue, and poor visuals but still bewilderingly maintaining a basic, lowest-common denominator sense of appeal – yes, James Cameron, that was a shot across your bow.

Some of them have been mediocre – good ideas, acceptably executed, but ultimately flawed products – David Fincher’s Aliens 3 & the Aliens versus Predator series.

None of them have measured up to the taut, brilliant, innovative masterpiece of tension and terror that was Ridley Scott’s Alien.  None of them have even managed to be genuinely frightening. And while it’s a bit early to judge Creative Assembly’s Alien: Isolation, it certainly isn’t too early to say that the storied developer behind the Total War series is taking it in precisely the correct direction.

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[E3 2014] DOOM

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[E3 2014] DOOM

The last few years have not been kind to idRage, a labor of great love and the freshman outing of the idTech 5 engine was met with something short of all-out enthusiasm.  Wolfenstein was met with rave reviews and great audience response – but Wolfenstein had far more to do with Machine Games than it did id. DOOM was announced several years ago, but after months of silence came a statement indicating progress on the project had stalled, and the title would be rolled back and reset. Since then it’s been quite difficult to divine just what id has been doing with themselves.

Earlier today, a hint was given in that direction.  Bethesda Softworks, the publisher now exclusively backing id‘s software development added an enigmatic glimpse into the direction of newest outing in the DOOM franchise.

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[E3 2014] Halo, it’s me Master Chief Collection

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[E3 2014] Halo, it’s me Master Chief Collection

With many conferences of E3 2014 finally over, it’s time to digest what we got to see. After last year’s Microsoft E3 snafu it was interesting to see what titles they were going to bring to the table. What better way to make your pitch for the Xbox One than the very franchise that made the Xbox so popular?

Yes dear readers, Halo is back. Now it would be far too easy to make another Halo game, but instead we get a tug at the old nostalgia strings referred to in this article as the Master Chief Collection.

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[E3 2014] Grand Theft Auto V Confirmed for Next-Gen, PC

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[E3 2014] Grand Theft Auto V Confirmed for Next-Gen, PC

Grand Theft Auto V broke every major sales record in the industry, and was universally hailed as a phenomenal game-play experience.  The critical and audience reception was universally positive and it broke new ground in technical and narrative avenues alike. Even to audiences disinclined to interest, Grand Theft Auto V was an in impressive and compelling title.  A single question surrounded the release of the latest outing in Rockstar’s flagship franchise, and that was: “Last gen only? Really? Are you sure?” and that usually uttered in tones as hopeful as they were concerned.

 

The reasons were unquestionably financial. Within six weeks of release, Grand Theft Auto V had sold 29 million copies. Next-gen console sales, given very positive sales forecasts, won’t hit that number until March of 2015.  Rockstar undoubtedly wished to spend their polish-time for the current generation, and consider next-generation and PC development at a later date.

That later date has come. During last night’s Sony Press Conference, a Fall release for Grand Theft Auto V was announced for PC, PlayStation 4 and XBONE.

 

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[E3 2014] Batman Arkham Knights: Batmobile Battle Mode & Gameplay, YAY!

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[E3 2014] Batman Arkham Knights: Batmobile Battle Mode & Gameplay, YAY!

Last week Warner Bros and Rocksteady gave a tantalizing look at Batman Arkham Knight’s newest attraction, the Batmobile.  With an informative video and enough mayhem to tease any Bat-fan with a promise of more to come during E3, the Batman has come to fulfill his word.

I’m just gonna leave this video here… Yeah, that looks good.

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[E3 2014] Fable Legends Beta coming this Fall

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[E3 2014] Fable Legends Beta coming this Fall

10 years ago Fable brought something new to the RPG world by giving a player the ability to choose their own path of good, evil, or a little of both.  Now Fable Legends will again bring something new to the XBox One, a multi-player experience where a player can team up with other heroes or reign terror down as their own personal villain.  This week at E3 Microsoft revealed gameplay footage showing the beautiful enviorment, intrepid heroes, and a little of what it’s like to be bad.

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[E3 2014] Battlefield: Hardline – Six Minutes

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[E3 2014] Battlefield: Hardline – Six Minutes

… And those six minutes speak for themselves. Lately, the industry has seen a trend: merging the single- and multi-player game-play dynamics into one, connected experience. Red Dead Redemption’s Posse mode, GTA Online, Payday I & II, and many others have tried to create the most dynamic possible experience, bringing together the narrative quality of a single-player and the dynamic flexibility of a multi-player experience. Battlefield: Hardline is the latest foray into this trend, and from what we’ve seen, is poised to make some serious waves.

As you’ve likely heard, Battlefield: Hardline is a heavily-media inspired title, structured episodically and informed by works such as Heat, The Wire, and similar crime epics. The new direction allows the team at Visceral Games – that’s right, the developers behind the Dead Space franchise, and Dante’s Inferno – to jump the military ship in favor of a world of crooked cops, and brutal criminals and everything in between.

 

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[E3 2014] Tom Clancy’s The Division is a Different Kind of Dystopia

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[E3 2014] Tom Clancy’s The Division is a Different Kind of Dystopia

We’ve know about Tom Clancy’s The Division for some time now. We’ve know it’s set in America, post-plague, in some very desperate times. We’ve known that you play as a member of the titular Division – a group of in-plain-sight heroes dedicated to maintain order in the chaos.  I don’t think any of us were on the fence about this title, given last year’s excellent game-play demo but Ubisoft’s heavy-hitter wasn’t content to rest on its laurels.

At both the Microsoft and Ubisoft E3 Press Briefings, Tom Clancy’s The Division was shown to great effect.

In an in-engine game-play demo at Microsoft’s E3 Press Conference, the new Snowdrop engine stretched its legs, and showed some amazing fidelity and flexibility. Later, during Ubisoft’s Press Conference, The Division showed a more poignant, cinematic side.

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[E3 2014] Rainbow Six: Siege rises from the ashes of Patriots, and Shines

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[E3 2014] Rainbow Six: Siege rises from the ashes of Patriots, and Shines

The biggest surprise of Ubisoft’s E3 2014 Press Conference was, without a doubt, the announcement of Rainbow Six: SiegeRainbow Six has been in holding pattern ever since bad timing and sensitive subject matter froze the title in an interminable holding pattern. But good news, fans of tactical action don’t have that much longer to wait.

The footage, the gut-punch at the end of a lack-luster Ubisoft presser, is all game-play, and all alpha.  And man, is it sweet.

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