GamesCom 2011

08.21.11

Bioware already had more than enough going on at GamesCom this past week, showing its highly anticipated Mass Effect 3 to an eager onslaught of gamers and gaming media.  But Dr. Ray Muzyka, Bioware's CEO, had more sequels to talk about besides the sci-fi saga.  He hinted that the next game on the Dragon Age series, which is reportedly underway, will actually take some elements from the best-selling Origins and combine them with parts from Dragon Age II, creating a new experience that fans of both games will thoroughly enjoy.

08.21.11

Battlefield 3 is definitely a highly anticipated game.  The GamesCom crew recently voted it as the Best In Show, and fans lined up to get their hands on it and go to war with their fellow players.  However, not everyone is crazy about the game, as a modding site recently posted a story indicating that the game was frying PC's and not running up to full optimization.  Suuuuure...

08.20.11

Microsoft has messed around with its Xbox Live dashboard setting more than once, introducing "blades" for people to navigate through, adding new channels and, as of late, Kinect support.  But this holiday season, it'll introduce its most significant update to date, not only adding many of the services that were talked about during its E3 presentation, but also a new way to navigate, via a feature called "Twist Control".

08.20.11

A while back, Ubisoft teased an ambitious new project called I Am Alive, a tale of survival and adventure as you fight your way through a world torn apart by natural disaster.  The game was set to introduce a new bartering system, as well as interesting survival tactics in order to stay in one piece.  We hadn't heard anything about the game's production over the last few months, fearing that it would be shelved entirely in favor of existing projects.  But lo and behold, this week at GamesCom, a new teaser trailer indicated that the project was, in fact, alive.  And well.

08.20.11

Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater is considered one of the better games in the long-running action/stealth series, and an interesting spin-off from events that previously occured in Metal Gear Solid 2 -- taking place in another era entirely!  It will play a pivotal role in the upcoming Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, coming to Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 later this year.  To give us an idea how the conversion was going, Konami has released a new GamesCom video showing Snake Eater in action, in rousing high definition.

08.20.11

Tecmo's Ninja Gaiden 3 is moving right along in development for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, on course for a 2012 release.  This one looks just as brutal as ever, with Ryu Hayabusa carving up everyone in his path as he fights to save the world once more.  But there are a couple of key differences this time around.  How everyone adjusts to them depends on how deeply you get into the game.

08.19.11

No, not the kind of Predator from To Catch a Predator.  And definitely not the space Predator -- though he would make a cool wrestling character.  Nope, we're talking about Predator technology, a new addition to the engine of WWE 12, THQ's upcoming wrestling game.  Its inclusion will not only make its characters look more dynamic, but will emulate WWE programming, to the point that you may actually feel as if you're watching the real thing.

08.19.11

Seeing characters do guest appearances in cross-over games is becoming more of a common theme these days, and Sonic the Hedgehog and Mario are no strangers to that.  After years of fighting on their separate consoles, Sega and Nintendo settled their differences, working on joint projects that included both characters in the Olympic Games series, as well as Super Smash Bros. Brawl.  Now Sonic will once again be stopping by Mario's world, this time in one of his biggest titles to date.

08.19.11

There's no shortage of amazing footage coming out of GamesCom this week, between the new trailers for such games as Battlefield 3, Uncharted 3, Star Wars: The Old Republic and other upcoming games.  Not to be forgotten is Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed: Revelations, the final chapter in the current story arc involving Ezio Auditore da Firenze.  To leave gamers enticed and wanting more, the company has revealed nine minutes of new footage from the game's single player campaign, featuring both Ezio and the original Assassin's Creed hero, Altair, in action.

08.19.11

Ok, we admit it.  When Microsoft went and introduced Kinect Star Wars for the first time a couple of months ago at E3, it didn't quite move us.  And when we actually went to play it, we felt even more unmoved.  But some interesting new additions are starting to sway us over to the Dark Side -- namely being able to take control of a Rancor and letting all hell break loose.

08.17.11

Capcom has been turning quite a few heads at this year's GamesCom event, between two new revealed characters for Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Ninja Theory's intriguing take on Devil May Cry (merely named DMC), and a new Steel Battallion game.  But before you need to worry about finding space for a behemoth 40-button controller, similar to the one that worked with the first two Battallion games on Xbox, you can relax.  This one uses an interesting new control scheme that utilizes features from both a regular controller and the Kinect.  But is this a coalition that can truly make this game go places -- or merely an annoyance?

08.17.11

Sony is slowly but surely expanding their PlayStation Network to a variety of users, introducing movies, TV shows, streaming services like Netflix and Hulu Plus and great sports channels like MLB.TV and NHL GameCenter Live.  Today it took an even bigger step by announcing DirecTV's NFL Sunday Ticket as an available service this fall to all PSN users.  It's looking like a pretty sweet deal for football fans, but there are things that need to be taken under consideration.

08.17.11

Straight out of Gamescom, we have tons of news about the Silent Hill franchise that is sure to terrify you. And by tons, we mean news about two things. And by terrify, I mean excite. There's news about Silent Hill HD Collection coming to Xbox 360 and a description of what exactly Silent Hill: Book of Memories is. Here's a spoiler alert. One of these bits of news makes me unhappy.

08.17.11

If it ain't broke, don't fix it.  That's usually the rule most video game companies abide by, though there are always those who set out to try something different.  Later this year (in the European market for now, but they're bound to go worldwide), both Sony and Nintendo will attempt to gain new buyers for their PSP and Wii systems by repackaging them for budget-pricing purposes.  While some see this an ideal opportunity for extra cash flow, we can't help but think that lowering their functionality to a bare minimum is the answer.