Monday, 17 January 2011

Even More Reasons to be Cheerful!

For your pleasure, here are some more highly anticipated games to be released later this year.  Please be aware that they are all concerned with shooting things...   

FEAR 3 May

You'll see the hand of molestation returns from Bioshock...

FEAR 2 was a really competent FPS offering frenetic fire fights and a bullet time mode that, rather than feeling like a throwaway gimmick, actually seemed to enhance the entire experience. I wasn’t really paying attention to the storyline in Fear 2, but I do seem to remember a bizarre sex scene with the freaky J-horror woman at the end. I’m guessing Fear 3 will have something to do with whatever evil is growing within her womb… The big change for Fear 3 is that the campaign allows for two player co-op, and the devs will be quick to tell you that the entire campaign has been built from the ground up to compensate for this. It seems a logical step forward… I’m sorry, didn’t I already say the combat in Fear 2 was amazing? Whilst the first character, Pointman, plays exactly as you’d imagine a Fear game to be played, the second character of Paxton Fettel (incidentally both characters return from the original FEAR, news to me!) is actually a ghost, requiring the player to utilize supernatural body snatching powers to wage war against the legions of gun toting cloned soldiers. John Carpenter also lends his horror director chops to some of the scenes in the game, whether this will improve the tacked on horror aspects of this brilliant shooter remains to be seen.


Adam Sessler is always watchable. 

Another FPS... I’ll stop you right there, because Rage is the next game from Id software the pioneering grand daddies of the genre, the creators of Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake. Rage has spent a long time in development, to the point that a lot of its ideas have already appeared in other games, remote controlled cars with explosives are of course a staple of COD Blops multiplayer, and the whole concept of Rage, a shooter set in a post apocalyptic Mad Max styled desert world with the chance to do a bit of racing has already been seen in Borderlands. Still, Rage seems to be getting some buzz from the industry insiders. The problem with Doom 3, Quake 4 and Prey was that they were very linear, in contrast Rage is supposed to provide the player with more freedom within a more open world. Which is a first for Id who are usually at home making atmospheric corridor environments. It all sounds good on paper… I just feel sorry for all the fans of 2006s Prey, who will have to wait a bit longer for that promised sequel. Sad face.

Warhammer 40,000: Space Marine

Not just any space marines. They are THE space marines. 

To this day, I am still a massive nerd, but at least I gave up collecting Warhammer back when I was a kid. I jest of course, the massive universe of Warhammer 40K is incredibly deep with its own history, characters and stories and people are quick to write it off out of fear that they may look a little sad, unbeknownst to them following lives of quiet misery and pointless endeavor… I’m ranting! Space Marine is an action adventure game with vague RPG elements made by the talented people at Relic Entertainment. Relic have already proved they can bring games workshop’s rich universe to life with the Dawn of War games. After what seems like a natural progression from Dawn of War 2, which was more character based, Relic are switching genres. Can they revitalise the shooter like they did with the RTS? If so, Space Marine is bound to be worth a look.

Duke Nukem Forever

Try to ignore all the bad language...

Duke Nukem Forever needs no introduction. It is the gaming world’s equivalent to Chinese Democracy, a game which has been in development for thirteen years. Those who have followed this tortured process throughout the years will have seen the game running on a variety of different engines. In Spring 2010, the game looked dead in the water after a fallout between developers 3D Realms and publishers Take-Two Interactive. Luckily, Gearbox studios picked up the project in secret and unleashed a playable demo to an unsuspecting audience at PAX. Now, unbelievably, the game is being polished and set for a springtime release. All the hype and anticipation would be nothing if it wasn’t for the quality of Duke Nukem 3D. Going back to play that game is still a joy, from the tight level design and of course the humour. Little has been revealed about Duke Nukem Forever, save for the demo and the basic storyline: 12 years after Duke saved the world from the aliens, the aliens come back and Duke is called to save the world again! The game also promises a heightened level of interactivity with the game world, which is why in Duke Nukem Forever you will be able to draw on a white board… Supposedly, the game also allows you to pick up a turd out of a toilet bowl and throw it at people. I’m being serious. I’m just hoping that this is implemented into the multiplayer mode because that will be an apt metaphor for online deathmatches in general. A bunch of reprobates throwing shit at each other.

Gears of War 3

See how these people TALK to each other whilst playing?  Notice how there is a GIRL also playing?  Games are certainly moving up in the world.  Not just for closet sociopaths, now where is my chainsaw bayonet?

Gears of War 2 was certainly epic, but there was a lot lacking in contrast to the finely paced original game. There were too many moving platform segments for my liking, you never had that strategic freedom of the first game, you always felt as if you were confined, mere spectators of the things going on around you rather than actual players. Hopefully Gears of War 3 will be an improvement over the bigger is better mentality of number two. The story of the game, supposedly the final chapter of the trilogy, is focused on the ongoing war with humanity and the locust.  This time around, both species are under threat from a new race, the Lambent, that were briefly introduced in the last game.  In what sounds an interesting development to the usual combat, the Lambent will mutate and develop as you fight them.  There is also jungle environments, since delapidated urban warzones, derelict industrial settings and snow levels have been largerly exhausted by the last two games.  The biggest draw, in Gears 3 is that it will support 4 player co-op during the campaign. The series has always played better with friends, and it may get people to appreciate Baird some more... In addition, there will be the usual multiplayer modes including a new ‘beast’ mode, which turns the classic horde mode on its head, having you play as the locust. Other additions include a new type of enemy, the Lambent, which mutate and evolve as you fight them, new weapons, new finishing moves and lady Cog soldiers!  Perhaps this will change the whole uber masculinity feeling the game has been criticised for in the past.  Here’s hoping Cliffy-B and his merry men at Epic games can do female video characters some justice for a change and not just badasses with guns and tits, who will snap an enemy's neck with their thighs. Speaking of women, the Bezerker is back too… Another thing that was missing from the second game. Tread softly now…

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