In the '80s, if you had three friends over who all wanted to play Atari with you, there was really only one game you would reach for.
Warlords was the go-to game for multiplayer combat, and it was also the source for many frustrated arm punches and the first cases of thrown paddle controllers among buddies who lost the round. And while it has already received a 3D update (on Xbox Live Arcade in 2008), Atari is taking yet another crack at rehashing this classic title.
Have they found the right balance between old-school gameplay and new-school play mechanics?
Criterion’s decision to remake the original PS2 Need for Speed: Most Wanted is a gamble that’s paid off exceptionally well. Arcade racing hasn’t been this much fun since Burnout 3 released in 2004.
The heart of Most Wanted is Fairhaven, an open world whose locations are entirely available to you from the get-go. Environments span inner-city metropolises, demolition sites, parklands, sewers, woodlands and mountains. What NFS’s world has it over its contemporaries is that it has been expertly crafted to take advantage of the game’s mechanics, namely drifting, jumping, and weaving ridiculously fast through traffic. Part of this crafting is the architecture intricately woven into the city streets, allowing you to fly that cherished Lamborghini 130 metres over the top of a ten storey building before redirecting your dream machine away from the line of telegraph poles being ripped out of the ground like a category six hurricane. The city really is an arcade racers playground, tempting you to taste its delicious insides with promises of adrenalin and excitement. Excitement within Fairhaven’s boundaries continues into the multiplayer realm as you inhabit the exact same city where you can take on friends and randoms in both races and challenges.
Max Payne hasn’t been in a video game in since 2003. He did star in a feature film in 2009. His legacy is rough, full of hard knocks and Rockstar had kept everything tucked away until 2012 with the release of Max Payne 3. The big question is for fans of the series, should they buy it?
For the past decade, I’ve tried to love the Halo franchise. Yet every time I begin to feel infatuated with the crown jewel of Xbox gaming, something about the series turns me off. Whether it be the lack of iron sights on most weapons, or boring enemy archetypes that require the same annoying, dull tactics to defeat, there is always something driving a wedge between us.
It’s been quite some time since I’ve found myself this conflicted writing up a review. I’ve never been known as a fence sitter and have even been called “two speeds” by many of my peers. I usually love a game or hate it and rarely hover in the middle, but there are always exceptions to the rule. Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation brims with immense potential seemingly achieved at a cursory glance, but delving beneath the surface reveals its less than polished underbelly.
It feels like Rift launched longer ago than March last year. With a steady stream of "free" (with your subscription) updates in the last 20 months, Trion Worlds has done an exemplary job keeping their debut MMO fresh for fans.
Storm Legion marks the first full expansion for the game, the first time Trion's asking for more than your $14.99 a month to dig into shiny new content. What are they offering to justify the $40 extra for existing players, or the $50 for newcomers?
Jetpacks with rigid wings. Gloves that can adhere to any surface and support your body weight. Advertisements that feature your face when you walk by. The campaign in Call of Duty: Black Ops II has some interesting ideas about the future of technology, but what about the future of this massively popular shooter series? On the one hand, Black Ops II introduces new mission types and dramatic decision points that liven up the campaign, as well as a league play option that represents a fundamental shift in the franchise's hallowed multiplayer mode. On the other hand, the campaign hits the same satisfying rhythms, the multiplayer captures the same frenetic intensity, and the cooperative zombies mode delivers the same stale undead-massacring action. Caught between striving for the future and remaining rooted in the past, Black Ops II finds solid footing, providing another great ride on the Call of Duty rollercoaster.
Ditching the SmackDown vs. Raw title, last year's WWE '12 gave the wrestling series a major overhaul with a fresh look, a new engine, and streamlined controls. While the much-needed reboot may have revitalized faith in the franchise, it still had some lingering problems that held it back from true greatness. WWE '13 isn't quite as revolutionary as its predecessor, but thanks to a superior campaign mode and tighter gameplay, it's drastically more enjoyable.
Code of Princess has a renowned lineage to live up to. It has been promoted as being from several of the staffers behind the Sega Saturn (and, more recently, XBLA) beat-'em-up classic Guardian Heroes, so fans had high expectations. Code of Princess doesn't quite hit the notes necessary to become a similarly loved genre classic, but it's still a solid brawler with a distinct personality to it.
The next time your grandfather tries to shame you with all that talk about how he once had to trudge through 10 miles of snow just to get home from school, you could try countering him with the tale of poor little Kurt from Pid. For Kurt, heading home entails abandoning the safety of Earth, taking a spaceship that trades off passengers as often as a city bus, and at last making his way across a troubled planet just to reach the next bus stop. If that weren't bad enough, he also has to navigate a series of platforming levels, complete with ghosts that might as well be refugees from Super Mario Bros. and enemies that can end his trek forever with a single hit. Kurt's moving and beautiful adventure warrants attention, but it's regrettable that its best parts lie buried under gameplay that punishes for the sake of punishment.