With the Vita on a seemingly unstoppable display of going from strength to strength, it was almost unsurprising to see a complex title like Little Big Planet appear so at home so soon on the new handheld.
During our hands-on time, we were able to try out a few levels that showed off how the Vita’s extra features would be uniquely utilised during gameplay. We were also invited to a developer demonstration of the create mode too, and we’re now convinced it has the potential to be much more user-friendly than the PS3 versions.
Continue reading Little Big Planet Vita (Hands-On Preview)
The first game was a surprise hit from the Vigil Games team. Despite being an original creation, the world felt so lived in and like it had a deep past with plenty of scope for further stories, making for a world we’re eager to dive back into.
For the sequel, you play as a different Horseman of the apocalypse, Death. Rather than joining your bother War, immediately after the events of the first game, which would have been a great starting point given the tantalising conclusion, your adventure will run alongside that of your brother’s. This parallel story may throw up the odd familiar face, but we’re told to expect plenty of new locations, which is definitely better than going through all the old ones with everyone telling you that you’ve just missed your brother.
Continue reading Darksiders II (Preview)
After a brief panic of thinking I’d spent a full year queuing for games at Gamescom I stirred myself awake to remember an early Olympics title would of course be released the Christmas before the event itself. Especially after the previous games on the Wii sold by the tonne. It’s still heart breaking to see Sonic standing next to archrival Mario with no signs of murderous intentions though.
Our hands-on session with some of our German cousins was in the form of a multiplayer party with laughs and smiles hiding the pride of wanting to win at all costs. Wiimotes at the ready then.
Continue reading Mario & Sonic at the London 2012 Olympic Games (Hands-on Preview)
Now I’m not saying looks are everything, but after slumming it through the grey roughness of the original Metro 2033 game, it’s amazing to see the difference in Metro: Last Light. This game looks gorgeous. Yes, it still has a bit of a grey fetish, but like Killzone, it’s made pretty work of some of the colour palettes old-timers. And the game’s still only at pre-alpha code level, so it could get even better.
Those of you that played through the original game will find that the story of Last Light follows on from the (SPOLIER) ‘bad’ ending where you did launch the missiles to destroy the Dark Ones. So it would seem that your initial fight will be against human enemies, we’re sure there’ll be a few mutants along the way too. We’ve already seen those winged gargoyle-like arseholes (they pissed me off a lot last time) flying about in one of the trailers. Towards the end of the presentation, we also saw some large troll/gorilla-like creatures that featured some astonishingly slick animation and textured rocky skin that almost distracts from them trying to rip Artyom’s face off.
Continue reading Metro: Last Light (Preview)
One of the biggest challenges facing the PS Vita handheld is its ability to work with first-person shooters. The addition of a second analogue stick -and they are proper sticks now instead of nubs- is an important leap forwards from the original PSP and from our hand-on experience it’s a challenge the device and developers are already relishing.
Nihilistic are bringing the Resistance series to the handheld market for the first time in FPS form, after the third-person adventures of Retribution. The improvements are instantly noticeable, making the console’s 2012 arrival seem very far away for everyone outside of Japan.
Continue reading Resistance: Burning Skies (Vita Hands-on Preview)
If anyone could make another great game for the PlayStation Move, it would be the team behind its best game so far. Rather than knock out Sports Champions 2, Zindagi Games have opted for a fun action title. You might recognise parts of the game from the early tech demos for the PlayStation Move back at E3 2009. It’s good to see that demo become a full game, we’re just surprised it took this long.
Medieval Moves is a first-person action adventure game with movement around the game world taking place automatically and the action kicking off between stops. This leaves your hands free to concentrate on using your weapons and other cool gadgets to get through the medieval settings against an army of skeleton warriors and other ghoulish foes.
Continue reading Medieval Moves: Deadmund’s Quest (Hands-On Preview)
Just looking at the Suda 51 name and Juliet Starling’s outfit, you know this is going to be another bat-shit crazy game from the Japanese auteur and Grasshopper Manufacture. What I didn’t expect to see at the developer walkthrough with Producer Scott Warr at Warner Bros Interactive’s Gamescom HQ was some of the most engaging action of the week.
You are high-school cheerleader Juliet Starling who forgoes further extra-curricular activities in favour of a spot of
vampire zombie slaying and it looks like they’ve chosen her 18th birthday (cutting it close, Suda-san) to come and find her at school. We’re not asking why zombies are there; let’s face it, if no film in history can give us a decent explanation, why should we expect any more from Suda 51’s pigtails-and-chainsaw vision? Juliet attends San Romero High, an on-the-nose reference reference to the classic zombie director, who still manages to get his dues despite his last few films being absolute shite.
Continue reading Lollipop Chainsaw (Preview)
If you don’t have a Nintendo Wii, then you may have ignored their Goldeneye remake. Hell, you might have a Wii, but the prospect of taking it out of the box to mangle your childhood memories with bastardised controls just doesn’t seem like a good idea. Well now the N64 classic, a game that many regard as the best movie tie-in ever and one of the finest multiplayer games in existence, is getting the HD treatment it deserves. Fuck knows why emotional potato man Daniel Craig is in it though.
Goldeneye: Reloaded isn’t an entirely faithful HD reworking, it’s more of a ‘reimagining’, which if you remember Tim Burton describing his remake of Planet of the Apes the same way a few years ago, isn’t always a great thing. In fairness though the game scored well on the Wii and it’s bound to be better than the last Bond title we saw on the HD consoles, Blood Stone.
Continue reading Goldeneye: Reloaded (Hands-On Preview)
2011 can just end already. First, it was Bioshock Infinite making the wait pure agony, now I can add Joe Danger: The Movie to my most wanted list. Hello Games are well on their way to creating another classic. Seeing as I gave the first game 9/10, I was damn keen to play the sequel at Gamescom 2011. And I did. Every time I passed the stand. By the time I officially met up with Sean Murray and Grant Duncan of Hello Games I thought I had it all worked out. Then they showed me some of the tougher but doubly awesome levels. Now I really hate 2011.
Before I carry on with the platitudes, I’ll quickly re-cap the first game for newcomers: a mainly 2D motorcycle stunt platformer that encouraged linking tricks while getting to the finish line as fast as possible. Gold stars could be won for each event by collecting all the icons, landing on all landing pads and comboing 100% of the level. The controls were simple as you could jump high and perform multiple flips in the air and land doing endos and wheelies to chain stunts; you could even adjust your trajectory in mid-air forwards and backwards.
Continue reading Joe Danger: The Movie (Hands-on Preview)
From Avalanche Studios, the minds behind the Just Cause series, we have the new twin-stick vehicle shooter, Renegade Ops. A downloadable title, that’s less than a month away and looks like one of the hottest downloadable titles at Gamescom 2011.
The twin-stick shooter controls for these armoured vehicles are comfortingly familiar -left for driving, right for aiming and shooting- and allow you to enjoy the simplistic gameplay immediately. An extra boost of speed and braking is handled with the face buttons. A secondary weapon is assigned to R1, while L1 initiates a special ability like EMP strikes to stun enemies, extra armour, helicopter backup or a flare to mark a target for an airstrike, with their use limited while they recharge over time.
Continue reading Renegade Ops (Hands-on Preview)
Since Saints Row 2 surprised us all by being a hell of a lot better than the original and for many, a more enjoyable game than GTAIV, we’ve been waiting to see how the next game would handle the pressure. Well, just remember it was a bit bonkers before and it’s not prepared to put its pants back on quite yet.
With just one hour to play the new game, we couldn’t believe how quickly it went. The first part of the demo is a bank heist with your Saints Row buddies, and all of you are disguised in oversized Johnny Gat heads, including Gat himself. It would appear that the Saints might have chosen the wrong bank to knock over though. As soon as they let their guards downs, all the bank tellers pull out some serious military grade hardware and open fire.
Continue reading Saints Row The Third (Hands-on Preview)
A Sony console just wouldn’t be right without a WipEout game and the new PlayStation Vita handheld is more than capable of doing the series justice for its tenth title. In our developer session at Gamescom 2011, we were lucky enough to enjoy a presentation from Sony’s Studio Liverpool team and then get a play for ourselves.
Set just 37 years from now, at the “dawn of the sport,” four years before the original PS1 game set in 2052. It’s the first season of the sport, just after anti-gravity was invented. At this rate, it’s highly doubtful we’ll see technology leap forwards as much in the next 37 years, seeing as we’ll all be forced to plod along in hybrids at misery MPH. That’s why we’ll always love games like this as do Studio Liverpool who are keen to emphasise the importance of the time setting of the game compared to the other games in the series:
Continue reading WipEout 2048 (Vita Hands-on Preview)
Gaming reviews, previews and features by Brendan Griffiths