Blog Archives

What it took to make BioShock Infinite

To herald the long-awaited launch of BioShock Infinite, Irrational Games tweeted the above picture. It’s always nice to get perspective on the effort that goes into making a AAA game, which is something that we gamers don’t always know too much about. Sadly, I haven’t yet managed to get my hands on the fruit of Irrational’s labours, but the initial response has been rather positive.

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Because urban planning can look like crap in HD, SimCity gets the Instagram treatment

Hipsters all up in my SimCity? Never thought I’d see the day. Still, this is pretty cool – Ocean Quigley, Creative Director at Maxis, recently took to his blog to show off the variety of filters you can implement in your SimCity game. The filters range from ‘Juicy’, seen above, to my personal favourite, ‘Black & Red’, which you can see after the break. Apart from looking pretty cool and allowing you to customize your SimCity experience just the way you want it, these filters also make SimCity more accessible to colourblind gamers, as Kotaku points out. And that’s worthy of applause in its own right.

If you’d rather not browse through (dapper Danny) Ocean Quigley’s – seriously, how awesome is that name? – blog, here are the links to the relevant posts:

Color Filters!

More filters

Even more filters

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No need to worry, Aliens: Colonial Marines brought enough testosterone for everyone

When the lead writer for a game hastily distances himself from a promotional trailer, it’s almost certain that it might not be in the game’s best interests. After watching the eloquently named ‘Kick Ass’ trailer, it’s also clear that whoever wrote that voiceover subscribes to the Samuel L. Jackson school of narrative (it’s the one that says ‘bad motherf*****’ on it). This may yet be intentional parody – for the game’s sake, I certainly hope so, because what we’ve seen so far looks pretty good indeed.

Starcraft II – Heart of the Swarm gets underway in an appropriately epic fashion

If there’s anybody out there who still doesn’t believe that Blizzard are the gods of cinematics, you might want to leave the room or something. We’ve got Hydralisks slicing through Marines, Ultralisks stomping on Siege Tanks and Kerrigan gloating over it all. Or was she? Who cares? Honestly, the only way this trailer could’ve been any better was if Mengsk had shown up, screaming ‘YOU SUNK MY BATTLESHIP!’ Wings of Liberty set the bar really high with one of my all-time favourite trailers, but Kerrigan and co. have just matched it.

I’ll hold my hand up and admit it – Heart of the Swarm wasn’t particularly high on my radar before today, but all that’s changed in 3 spectacular minutes. March 12th can’t come soon enough.

GTA V is coming your way in Spring 2013

From Take-Two’s official website comes the news that we’ve all been waiting for – GTA V will be kicking in your doors come Spring 2013. According to Wikipedia, that’s just about six months away! Better yet, it will be available for pre-order in less than a week, on November 5th! (Remember, remember!)

You know how, sometimes, when you get a piece of news that you’ve been eagerly awaiting for ages, you just kinda feel drained? Unable to summon up an adequate response? This would be one of those times.

 

Thankfully, however, here’s Australian newsman (and all-around class act) Karl Stefanovic to do it for me:

Not sure if Aliens: Colonial Marines or Left 4 Xenomorphs

Your mileage may vary, but my immediate response to the above trailer for Aliens: Colonial Marines was a heartfelt ‘D’oh!’. Why? Well, the trailer – which focuses on the upcoming release’s Escape multiplayer mode – bears more than a passing resemblance to the Survivors vs. Infected gameplay found in Left 4 Dead‘s Versus games. And once you make that connection, it’s a forehead-slapping-worthy moment when you realize just how well that type of gameplay would work in the Aliens universe. Heck, so many missions in the earlier games used to end like this anyway; the difference being that this time there’ll be other players dropping on you from the ceiling or bursting out of the walls. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a pretty good Saturday night. (They’re alright for fightin’, don’t you know?)

This must be how the guy who accidentally mixed peanut butter and jelly together for the first time felt. Or bacon and…well, anything, really.

Bioshock Infinite shows us the beast and worst of America

In-game footage, awesome action, bad-ass enemies, jaw-dropping scripted sequences, death-defying leaps, death-inflicting leaps, possible links to Rapture and a really catchy song – if there was a checklist that Irrational Games was working through when they made ‘Beast of America’, I’d say they must’ve damn near checked all those boxes.

Columbia sure looks lovely in between all the things that are trying to kill you. Bit of a Boardwalk Empire vibe near the beginning, which was quite nice.

So, the good news is that there’s a new Aliens: Colonial Marines trailer…

It’s called ‘Suspense’, and, as you can see for yourself, it’s pretty good. Good enough to take your mind off the fact that it’s been delayed until February 2013? Sega thinks so.

I have to say, the beginning of this trailer really gave me hope. To this day, Aliens vs Predator 2 holds a special place in my heart for the way it mercilessly shredded my nerves throughout the Marine campaign; and, if I’m honest, no game since has really matched up. This, though – if it can maintain the…well, suspense of those opening shots – it might just usher in a whole new series of sleepless nights.

Full press release after the break.

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Company of Heroes 2 Announced, Will Be Set In Soviet Russia

"It's more than a city...it's a symbol."

Earlier today, THQ took the wraps off Company of Heroes 2, a sequel to the much-loved 2006 original, scheduled to release in early 2013. Set amidst the frozen battlefields of World War II’s Eastern Front, players will be tasked with taking charge of the Red Army and repelling the legions of Nazi invaders. Sounds tough, but worry not – history relates that the Germans did come a cropper in Russia, partly because they failed to take into account what Ned Stark kept banging on about, and partly because of the Red Army’s aptitude for sheer bloody-mindedness. (Also, I’ve heard that, in Soviet Russia, cold catches y- come on! You knew that was coming.)

Company of Heroes, for me, was the game that made strategy gaming sexy again when it released – kind of like what Call of Duty 4 would do for shooters a year later – and, as a result, I am positively besides myself with excitement that it’s getting a sequel. I’m also glad to see Relic exploring the Eastern Front, as it’s hitherto been woefully under-represented in gaming. Relic’s also bringing an upgraded Essence Engine to the party, which should result in “increased graphical fidelity and new environmental destruction.”

If I’m honest, that’s not even really necessary – CoH was pretty darn close to perfect, by my reckoning. Just give me more of the same, THQ – don’t fix what isn’t broken – and we’ll both be laughing. You, all the way to the bank; and me, all the way to Berlin.

Full press release after the break.

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