‘Mass Effect 3 plunges you into an all-out galactic war to take Earth back from a nearly unstoppable foe – and how you fight that war is entirely up to you.‘
Around 7 years ago I remember talking to a friend in the industry about the possibility of a Knights of the Old Republic 3 from Bioware; continuing the fantastic franchise and making up for the terrible ending of KotOR 2. ‘Not going to happen,’ he said. ‘They’re working on their own sci-fi IP instead.‘ We talked for a while about what a stupid idea this was. Why start something completely new when you have such a fantastic established universe to play with? In 2007, we learned why. Continue reading →
Movie Tie-In games have developed a terrible reputation over the years for a variety of reasons. Firstly, while a movie’s storyline is meant to keep the audience interested for only a couple of hours, an 8 hour game is considered to be very short. This means that a whole slew of unrelated storylines and time-wasting exercises are shoehorned into the final product, leaving it feeling disjointed and unrelated to the source material.
One of the other big reasons behind Tie-In Games’ bad reputation is the time constraints put on developers. The amount of time to make a movie is nowhere near comparable to the time needed to build a game from the ground up, but the developers of these games often have even less time than the filmmakers to develop their product. This is the primary reason for the many buggy unimaginative games that litter store shelves the world over. Thankfully, a number of publishers are slowly waking up to these facts and realising that making a sloppy game and slapping a movie title on it is no longer a surefire recipe for success.
Every rule has its exceptions though, and there have been a number of Tie-In games over the years that have broken the mould to give audiences a fun and engaging experience. Here is a list of my Top 10 favourite Movie Tie-In Games. This list is entirely subjective, so feel free to put forward your own favourites in the comments section. Continue reading →
‘Security systems have failed and the creatures of the park roam free. Now, a rogue corporation will stop at nothing to acquire the dinosaur embryos stolen and lost by Dennis Nedry. Experience a brand new adventure set during the events of the first Jurassic Park movie and see new areas and dinosaurs in this landmark adventure 65 million years in the making!‘
The Jurassic Park movies are a mixed bag. The original movie captured the imagination of an entire generation (and still holds up today), but the sequels were an excellent demonstration of diminishing returns. They were still fun, but some of the magic had gone. When I heard that Telltale Games (of Sam and Max fame) were taking a shot at making a game set around the original film, I was cautiously optimistic. Movie tie-in games have a pretty poor track record, but Telltale weren’t setting out to make your typical action game, it could go either way.
‘Fortune hunter Nathan Drake is catapulted headlong into an adventure that takes him on a daring trek into the heart of the Arabian Desert in a search for the fabled “Atlantis of the Sands.” This journey pits him and his mentor Victor Sullivan against the occult treachery of a shadowy clandestine organization and its ruthless leader. When the terrible secrets of this lost city are unearthed, Drake’s quest descends into a desperate bid for survival that strains the limits of his endurance and forces him to confront his deepest fears.‘
Nathan Drake has become one of the unofficial mascots for the Playstation 3, with good reason. The Uncharted games have been some of the best examples of how great cinematic games can be with the right team behind them. While the first Uncharted game was well received, it was Uncharted 2: Among Thieves that catapulted the franchise into the spotlight, quickly becoming a favourite among critics and players alike. Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception certainly had a lot to live up to, but surely the developers at Naughty Dog were up to it?
‘Age of Conan: Unchained is an award-winning and critically acclaimed massively multiplayer online game set in the sexy, savage and brutal world of Conan the Barbarian.’
The Free to Play model seems to be gaining a lot of momentum in the MMO market lately; while it was once only seen in the Asian market, more and more big name games are switching to the model with a great deal of success. Games like Dungeons and Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online have shown that with the right balance of free and pay content it’s possible to make more money than with subscriptions alone.
Age of Conan is a relatively recent member of the F2P club, and I thought Continue reading →
‘At a time when scientific advancements are turning athletes, soldiers and spies into super enhanced beings, someone is working very hard to ensure mankind’s evolution follows a particular path.‘
If any game of 2011 had big shoes to fill, it was Deus Ex: Human Revolution. With the first Deus Ex holding a high (if not the top) place on many gamer’s top ten lists and a sequel (Invisible War) that is remembered for being such a disappointment, it was anyone’s guess as to whether Ion Storm’s new game would reinvigorate the franchise, or kill it for good.
‘Fight hordes of dangerous creatures in a mystical fantasy world.’
With the hotly anticipated Diablo 3 coming out in the near future (hopefully), I’ve been filling a lot of my gaming time with other dungeon crawlers to tide me over. Among these is the recently released Dungeon Siege III, the latest entry in a series that I know very little about.
‘Arcade action powered by YOUR music! Experience your music collection like never before with this intense arcade shooter. How will your music play?’
How many times have I told myself not to go nuts during a Steam sale? I always manage to grab a bunch of games that I look at once and immediately uninstall, but for all of those disappointments, there are the diamonds in the rough. Beat Hazard Ultra is one such gem.
‘Ten years after the events of Chaos Rising and the fall of the Blood Raven’s Chapter Master to Chaos, Sub-Sector Aurelia remains in a state of constant warfare. The pirate Freebooter Orks have arrived to take advantage of this and loot the sector, the vile forces of Chaos continue to spread their blasphemy, the Eldar of Craftworld Alaitoc work to recover key artifacts from their past, and the feral Tyranids remaining from the failed Hive fleet invasion have suddenly reestablished contact with the Hive Mind.’
The Warhammer 40K universe has always been a great deal of fun. The sheer silliness of the whole thing is very endearing, and you can’t help but get attached to the horrible races that inhabit this crazy reality. Relic has always done really well with their Dawn of War games, but Dawn of War 2 seems to be following the same path as the original with each expansion being less fun than the last one.
‘SpaceChem is an obscenely addictive, design-based puzzle game about building machines and fighting monsters in the name of science!‘
Puzzle games have a fine line to walk. Often they’re so frustrating that you’re more annoyed with yourself rather than pleased when you actually solve the puzzle, but just as often your hand is held so much that you don’t really feel like you’ve accomplished anything in solving the puzzle. SpaceChem is a fantastic puzzler that manages to walk on the harder side of the line, but not frustratingly so.