Games

The-Wolf-Among-Us

The Wolf Among Us Episode 1

Graphic Novel meets Cinematic Adventure Game

Following the success of the Walking Dead adventure game series, Telltale Games has really upped the anti in terms of  compelling storytelling in the adventure game genre. Their newest release “The Wolf Among Us”, fuses beautifully crafted, graphic novel inspired, cell shaded animations with a choice driven murder mystery. The inspiration for the story came from the Vertigo comic book series “Fables“, which takes characters of fabled fiction and places them in a contemporary world. You play as protagonist Bigsby Wolf; The unpopular “big bad wolf” and chain smoking sheriff of Fabletown. Bigsby finds himself at the forefront of a complex mystery involving the murder of the kings daughter Faith, a now deceased prostitute. As Bigsby travels further down the rabbit hole, the curtains around this fabled world become darker and darker, revealing more about the corruption in Fabletown and its shady occupants.  The gameplay in the Wolf Among Us is almost identical to that of The Walking Dead, but with a few additional directional nuances that can only come from experience and creativity with the games development. The casual nature of this game makes it appealing for anyone interested in a good story, while the conversation pieces and quick time action events, keep you engaged and on your toes. Mature audiences can appreciate the presence of adult themes, while also experiencing a creative spin on fables we’ve all enjoyed as kids. Being a huge fan of comic books, adventure games and Vertigo’s work particularly, this is an exciting venture that i cannot wait to see unfold in the future. Telltale games has crafted a brilliantly unique formula and style of adventure game that delivers mature, cinematic stories, of which we can only hope to see more of.

Episode 1 is currently available on Steam, Playstation 3, Vita, OSx, and IOS. You can pick up the 5 episode season pass of The Wolf Among Us on Xbox live arcade  for $14.99, which seems to be the best value right now.

Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number trailer revealed

hotline miami 2 wrong number trailer

We all loved Devolver Games psychological massacre Hotline Miami, and fans everywhere have been dying for more ever since it’s release. Yesterday this teaser trailer was dropped on youtube for the sequel, and final installment called “Hotline Miami 2 Wrong Number”. A lot of people were wondering how it is even possible to make a sequel to the first Hotline Miami but  truth be told, fans everywhere are very excited for this. The first game introduced us to a fast paced action maelstrom of pixelated violence and nostalgic challenge. This of course, was refreshing and something we had not seen in sometime. Aside from being a game that is so addicting in its challenge, Hotline Miami’s theme takes us into a deeper level. Questions are asked of the nameless main character about the enjoyment of hurting others and owning up to this responsibility. No one ever really thinks of the actions one takes when playing a game like this, so it was interesting to see that level of depth. This ultimately brought HLM into the indie hall of fame. The second HLM begs to be bigger than the first and i think the masterminds at work behind this one will not disappoint.

This excerpt from the youtube channel goes over a little bit about the story line of Hotline Miami 2 and what gamers can expect from the final installment.

“A brutal conclusion to the gruesome saga, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number follows the escalating level of violence through multiple factions born from the events of the original game and driven by uncertain motivations. Step into the murderous mind of several distinct characters – each with their own motivations and methods of execution — as story lines intersect and reality slips away into a haze of neon and carnage. Blistering combat, an unmistakable visual style, and a powerfully intense soundtrack will once again push you to the limit and questioning your own thirst for blood. Coming to PC, Mac, and Linux in 2013. Maybe.”

You can read more about the release of Hotline Miami 2 at these other gaming sites:

Xbox One Revealed!

For what seemed like an eternity, the long anticipated console has finally arrived! After 8 long years Microsoft’s skilled engineering team has finally completed its next generation system. The console has some very interesting features but honestly after all this time, i cant help but feel slightly let down. With all the great features Microsoft has added to the console, they have added well planned limitations to corner the gaming market.

I give you the Xbox One Revealed:

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Overview:

The Xbox one is expected to be an entertainment powerhouse. The console will feature seamless Kinect support and integration and apparently runs three operating systems simultaneously. So, if you are watching a moving on Netflix but immediately want to jump into playing a game, it is as easy as swiping your hand. I imagine this to be something like a constantly running dashboard which you can toggle between at will. Or if anyone out there has seen the film “Minority Report”, you know what im referring to. As far as system specs, the Xbox One comes stocked with 8GB of RAM, an 8-Core CPU, a 500GB hard drive, a Blu-ray drive, HDMI in and out ports, USB 3.0, 802.11n wireless, and more. I also believe it requires the Kinect, which has a powerful voice sensor so you can command your xbox to take actions for you without a controller. This will likely function for the dashboard use and for all the motion capture games which are soon to follow. The drawback to this is that the Kinect is always on, watching and listening to you all the time. Kind of creepy if you ask me! As far as the games themselves unfortunately their’s no backwards compatibility (sad face). This has been a reoccurring theme with every new console that comes out as we move towards a more cloud based, straight-digital gaming world, and should really be no surprise to anyone. In my opinion this may deter many consumers from purchasing within the first few years. Not only are their still a ton of games that many of us haven’t played on the Xbox360 but because the average 40 something parent, won’t be as comfortable having their credit card information on a cloud somewhere, on a system that their 16 year old plays daily. With all the hacking that has been going on lately, i can see why. In any case, this is clearly a tactic to remove places like game stop from the consumer purchasing equation. One of the other major questions is – “How do i lend a game to a friend or play used games?”. The answer is, you can – but you must pay a lending fee to Microsoft to do this and while it’s in the ownership of your friend, you will have absolutely no access to the game. You will likely be transferring the product key to them (digitally) and at that point i guess it is up to you to discuss the trade back offline.

This is a big event in the gaming industry, as it seems that gaming is taking a step backwards to step forward. The next-gen console war is soon to raise questions about what features consumers really want, what they can afford and how they interact with their entertainment media in the living room. These new systems will surely be costly, from a hardware perspective – but what is Microsofts end goal? The backwards compatibility issue is sure to be at the heart of their plan looking forward, so as to corner the market, kill used games, put game stop out of business, and take away a lot of the purchasing power that gamers have. The Xbox one is changing the rules of how to consume this content, much like the music industry has done with itunes. Let’s just hope bureaucracy doesn’t get in the way of fun. Only time will tell which console will win, but one thing is certain if you want to play –  your going to have to pay.

 

Aliens Colonial Marines: What went wrong!?

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Aliens Colonial Marines Game Synopsis:

If there is one thing that infuriates me more than anything, it’s a harsh let down (frown). It’s that point where your expectations are so high that your imagination takes over, fantasizing over a perfect ending to something you’ve wanted for so long. Like in 500 days of summer. When your expectations do not meet your reality, the walls come crashing down and you either move on, or your extremely disappointed. Well my friends, the latter couldn’t be more true with Aliens: Colonial Marines. Being someone who grew up loving the Aliens films and universe, i was really excited for this game’s release. Aliens has a large place in my childhood and played a big role in my love for sci-fi and horror. Like most fans, I thought that because gearbox was creating Aliens, that it would be on par or even close to that of the Borderlands series. But no, not only is it nothing like Borderlands, it’s not even a half way decent shooter. Stiff gun play and movement limit the free flow of action, combined with an uneventful story that doesn’t capture the Aliens aesthetic, really hold this one back.

There is a ton going wrong with this game but well keep it to two main components that should have been hammered out way before release.

Artificial intelligence:

The AI between aliens, your fellow marines, and even other enemies is all over the place. Aliens make inauthentic movements, are extremely predictable, and are generally really easy to kill. Your teammates, aside from occasionally helping you in a battle, take an infinite amount of damage and never die. This is unfortunate, because it makes the game a lot less challenging and makes you feel like you can still overcome any fire fight because your teammates will clean house for you. They often get in the way when your trying to run down hallways and have some of the worst dialogue I’ve ever heard. It would have been better if you were completely alone, with only your communicator as a guide until you team up with friends for cooperative play. This would have maintained the “isolated tension” aesthetic of aliens while still offering those who want to bug hunt with friends the option. Ultimately, Your fellow marines have little to no character development and are mainly just tour guides on your trip through a graphically dated version of the Aliens universe.

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Graphics:

Death animations are stiff and unrealistic. Shooting aliens up close doesn’t yield any kind of enjoyment factor or cool looking enemy death’s. Killing enemies with explosives result in red polygonal chunks, rather than smoothed over blood and gore. (Dead space does a much better job of accomplishing this). During game play you may experience flashbacks to playing Unreal Tournament, you’ll then realize that it’s 2013 (and want to kill yourself). In one area, your forced to walk through an alien infested sewer with water dripping from low ceilings. As falling water meets raw sewage you’ll notice that the water animations are completely pixelated. The game glitches often, if your teammates are too close to you, you can see through their bodies. One time i was actually able to walk through a door without opening it (….without GOD mode on). If your playing on a console, sometimes you’ll notice what looks like a refresh scan move from the top to bottom of the screen. Even some of the worst games I’ve ever played didn’t have this glitch.

Overall:

Aliens Colonial Marines has many more negatives than positives. Running around blasting xenomorphs with your pulse rifle has never been so boring. All that really happens here is you run around with your fellow marines, talk for a while about something uninteresting and kill some Aliens, then rinse and repeat. Colonial Marines doesn’t offer the depth, atmosphere, and story that you look for in an Aliens game. The developers poor attention to detail is what really makes this game suffer, and what will ultimately make it forgettable. Im going to go out on a limb and say that this is probably worse than the Aliens Vs Predator game that came out in 2009. The Aliens franchise does have a somewhat sordid past when it comes to video game renditions, but this game was supposed to be “the one”, our NEO for the Aliens fans, but most of us can’t help but feel a little bit betrayed by this seemingly unfinished release. Though the game looks like aliens, it just isn’t doesn’t live up to the franchises potential or it’s $60 price point. At best this is a red box rental, or a used purchase, once it drops to $15 in a month.

Deus Ex Human Revolution Director Announced: Scott Derrickson

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After the release and popular reception of Deus Ex: Human Revolution, many of us said to ourselves “So when’s the movie coming out?” This question might actually be answered! Word has it that director Scott Derrickson who is responsible for such films as (Sinister and The Exorcism of Emily Rose) will be directing the screen adaptation of  the Square Enix game – Deus Ex: Human Revolution. He will be writing the script alongside C. Robert Cargill which should be an interesting team as they worked on Sinister together. The film will hopefully focus on the moral and ethical argument of Trans-humanism, which encourages mechanical augmentation of the human body to transcend human physical and mental limitations.  This debate is the largest part of Deus Ex: HR and opens the player’s mind to the (very possible) reality of this societal situation.

Debate

Those of the pro – trans-humanism debates tend to believe that through advanced technology human beings will not have to suffer the perils of the human condition (sickness, death, limb loss, memory loss, organ failure), that with technology we can become immortal and limitless. The opposing trans-humanism debate tends to  believe that use of this advanced technology will bring a greater social strata of super powerful humans who can enslave those without augments. These people also tend to believe that human beings have not yet reached their full potential in our current physical form and that the human body is pure and is not be to tampered with. Deus Ex shows us how corporations will inevitably exploit this technology, making it readily available to anyone and inserting it into our culture, where it will alienate the masses and make many feel socially inept without it.

Story

DE:HR introduces us to Adam Jensen, an ex swat team member, now working as head of security for Detroit’s largest bio-tech company, Sarif Industries. Sarif Industries facility is attacked by terrorists, who destroy most of their research and development while killing most of their employees. Adam is shot in the head and on the verge of death. To save his life, David Sarif forces him to undergoes surgeries with revolutionary cybernetic augmentations, (which make him a crazy cyborg bad ass). Upon his return after the attack, he finds himself immersed in the politics of the augmentation movement and a much larger conspiracy. Adam then begins his journey for truth, to hunt down his attackers and bring them to justice. As the game progresses, you find out a lot more about the importance of Adam Jensen and how he is a pawn in a much larger chess game then he could have ever imagined.

As far as the movie goes, i couldn’t be more excited but i hope that they retain the dark, noir-ish overtones (blade runner), and overarching message the game sends, instead of just making it a blockbuster ACTION MOVIE with no depth. Deus Ex is first person RPG at heart, where the story is the foundation of a chaotic and strategic shooter. I don’t usually expect too much from video game movies but this one could actually translate very well on-screen. Cyber-punk fans rejoice!

Check out this purity first anti-augmentation advertisement:

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Retro City Rampage Now Available on PSN and Steam!

The highly anticipated 8-bit power-house known only as Retro City Rampage was released earlier this month (October 8th), on Playstation Network and Steam. Xbox live arcade will be releasing the game sometime in late November. This game is a tribute to the classic NES fun we all had back in the 80’s and 90’s. The game takes you through about 50 different missions, with 30 different vehicles to hijack, and 20 different weapons to assure a chaotic/nostalgic experience. Retro City Rampage combines 8 bit styles with today’s game mechanics, while also injecting fast paced action and an open world experience into the mix. This is every classic gamer’s wet dream rolled into one crazy arcade style action game. RCR visits many classic levels from famous 8-bit titles like Teenage mutant ninja turtles, The legend of zelda, Super mario bros’, Contra, and Bionic commando. The gameplay of RCR is aggressive as hell, forcing the player to frantically fight waves upon waves of enemies in a pseudo Grand Theft Auto (1997 – PC) fashion. Fans of 8-bit can’t wait to get lost in the chip tune chaos that is this game, and it’s finally here!

Check out the trailer!

New Dead Space Motion Graphic Novel

The Dead Space official website has released a graphic novel short of a potential new character in the Dead Space universe. This may give us some hints into potential story lines and characters of the highly anticipated Dead Space 3.

Check out the short here!

Metroid Poster Prints

Here’s a little artsy homage to one of my all time favorite video game series': METROID. Our heroine Samus still knows how to kick space pirate ass in style! Included are the sites where you can purchase these great pieces of nostalgia.

metroid splatter poster etsy.com screen print poster

metroid poster joseph harrold poster etsy.com screen prints

Dead Space 3 Rumors?!

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Will Issac Clarkes nightmare ever end?

Many rumors have been circulating on the net recently of a potential sequal to the survival horror nightmare dead space 2. Apparently publishers working with EA have always kicked around the idea of a dead space 3 and making a trilogy but nothing official has ever been announced. A video does exist on the net showing a tester playing some kind of Dead Space game, and the video also features a dead space 3 banner. South African retailer BT GAMES also features a pre-order for dead space 3. Is this real or a mistake?

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Fans would love to sink their claws into a final dead space horror story but when will we get the details? only time will tell and i for one cannot wait…until then check out the video and see for yourself!

Shadowrun Returns!

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I just caught wind of the gamer funded classic cyber punk rpg: Shadowrun Returns. This 2012 project is a modern cyberpunk remake of the original game with a new spin and a ton more content. This project has also relied entirely on the funding of fans and supporters of the game and genre. Shadowrun is a dystopian cyber punk pen and paper rpg (also on the SNES and SEGA GENESIS) where you and your friends play the roles of shadowrunners: hired scabs who do the dirty work of the ever competitive and monopolizing corporations that strive to control your world. Fusing magical fantasy and high tech, Shadowrun allows the players to assume the physical forms of humans, orks, trolls, elves, or dwarves but in a darker neo-noir futuristic environment. Shadowrun allows you to be basically whoever you want. Weather you envision yourself as a brutish Orc bouncer, or a highly intelligent hacker stealing information for credits, Shadowrun has everything for fans of sci-fi. I originally got my taste of the Shadowrun universe back when renting video games in a store was still popular. The games noir storyline, sinister-city vibe, futuristic world and characters drew me in like a moth to flame, and i was obsessed. Apparently they have been working tirelessly to meet a deadline project kickstart date of April 29th 2012, setting up goals and planning to create a genuinely enjoyable, modern (yet true to the original games style) experience.

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I am very excited to see the progression of this fantastic way to get behind a project and gladly we are starting to see a lot more of this happening lately. Fans of certain creative property becoming not only benefactors/consumers but also stakeholders in the projects they would like to see created. This gives the consumer a real sense of influence in the product they would like made, because without the funding of larger video game companies, it would be rare to see a great project like this see fruition. I can only hope in the future we see more grass roots creative projects backed by fans because then we will actually get the games WE want made, instead of getting another generic first person shooter that sucks chewbacca’s dick.

You can donate directly on the site and each donation you give comes along with a certain reward level attached to it. Long story short the creators of shadowrun want to make the shadowrun game they’ve always wanted to make (and that the fans wants!), and with your help, they can.

highly excited for this, check out the trailer!

You can also check out their blog here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1613260297/shadowrun-returns

DONATE NOW!