Friday, June 24, 2011

Ausgamers Skyrim interview with Todd Howard

Here's one of the best interviews I've seen regarding Skyrim. The interviewer asks question's  we actually want to know and seems like he's actually a gamer.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Full Review:L.A. Noire

Smooth jazz plays over the radio, you're chatting it up with your new partner while driving to a fresh crime scene, the nightlife seems as lively as ever but, the city has never been deadlier. You arrive to a bloodied body and your only initial thought is how someone could kill something so beautiful, though, this one is no more or less tragic than the last. An excited new beat cop was the first on scene and gives you the rundown then let's you on your way to investigate the gruesome murder.

This is just a small example of the incredible atmosphere Team Bondi and Rockstar have created with L.A Noire. Tension builds with every crime scene and characters are fleshed out between and during investigations. Rockstar and Team Bondi manage to deliver an unparalleled narrative tale, all while recreating the look and feel of 1940's L.A to a T. After a bit of research into the topic I found out just how in depth the studios got when bringing the city back to life, while I won't go into detail here, I highly suggest you check it out for yourself if you have any interest in game design.

There are a few graphical hiccups and some frame rate issues but, L.A. Noire, for the most part looks great. Buildings, cars and, people are all tailored in true 1940's style. The real graphical star though is not the games backdrop, it's the facial animation. L.A. Noire's groundbreaking MotionScan technology allows the studio to capture a given actor's entire performance down the the smallest facial expression and will likely be seen as a new bar for in game performances. It's also a core part of L.A. Noire's interrogation mechanic which serves as the main gameplay device throughout the entire game. Watching a character's face while he spouts off lines during an action sequence is something I'm sure doesn't happen often but here it's almost impossible to not notice that even outside of interrogation the new MotionScan technology is a game changer.

Sadly, outside of the investigation and interrogation L.A. Noire's gameplay falls a bit flat and tends to get a bit repetitive. You'll grow accustomed to chasing down fleeing suspects, which is fun at first, but most of these chases(see:Most) fail to feel unique and they soon become more tedious than anything. One thing that did surprise me though is the amount of verticality in a lot of the chases, sometimes you'll get more of a Price of Persia feel than Grand Theft Auto. The gun-play feels pretty standard, it's third person cover based al a GTA, but without the ability to lock on. Rockstar and Team Bondi do a decent job of setting up some interesting shoot-outs, especially in the shorter more action oriented street crimes. These serve as a small relief from the main story and do a pretty decent job of giving the action craving audience their fix.

Though L.A. Noire is an open-world game there's really not much to do outside of the investigations and street crimes. It's kind of disappointing that after painstakingly recreating the city Team Bondi and Rockstar didn't give players much reason to really explore the world. There are some hidden cars and the landmarks to discover but none of these really change the game at all. The city more serves as a means to get from point A to point B than it does a living breathing character which is a real let-down considering the scope of the city. It takes about 20 minutes to get from one end to the other, but again there's really no reason to. Really, under its surface L.A. Noire is a glorified point and click adventure that happens to be polished to the max.

I don't want to give the wrong impression, L.A. Noire is an incredible game and is really one of the first games to truly successfully blur the line between movies and games(besides Heavy Rain). If this is was Team Bondi and Rockstar's goal, which i'm guessing it was, they've unabashedly succeeded. More often than most games you'll identify with characters and truly get a feel for each characters personality. Any fan of movies will easily get caught up in the well written plot and find themselves wanting to know what the big picture is.

L.A. Noire Succeeds in delivering an intriguing twisted story of corruption, greed, and murder. It's fully fleshed out world, while baron of activity, is a testament to game design. The in-game performances are unparalleled and I'm sure we'll see this technology popping up more and more in the industry. While it does lack a little outside of the investigations and interrogations, these new gameplay innovations bring enough of a fresh feeling that you'll be sure to play this from it's beginning to it's culminating end. I'm excited to see what Team Bondi and Rockstar can do with this new franchise and look forward to future entries in the series.


Monday, June 20, 2011

Metro 2033

So I did myself an unknown favor and picked this gem up yesterday, it does have a few minor issues but all in all I can't recommend this game enough. It's creepy claustrophobic atmosphere and narrative(apparently based on a cult classic Russian novel) are amazingly done. This might take on Earth Defense Force 2017 for my #1 Sleeper Hit for the Xbox 360 title.

If you like immersive story driven shooters I strongly urge urge you to pick this up, plus it has a sequel in the works for 2012!!!

Sorry for the slacking posts, i've been incredibly........lazy(Ibet you thought I was gonna say busy!)


Here's the trailer for the new game. I personally can't wait.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

E3 Day two(yesterday) NINTENDO!!!!

So, yesterday was HUGE. Nintendo revealed the Wii U. Nintendo's first step into the HD arena is supported with an impressive list of first party titles as well as a long list of third party devs who are already developing titles for the Wii U. Graphically it's instantly apparent that Nintendo will finally be on the level with the Xbox 360 and Ps3(though for some reason their demo reel was a cut of PC/Wii U/PS3/360 footage), though it doesn't look like they'll be pushing any boundaries.

Video Via Ign

The new controller houses a 6.2 inch touch screen while the rest of the body of the controller looks like an amalgamation of the bottom of a 3DS and a Wiimote. The video above shows that you can be playing the same exact game on your T.V. and on the screen on your controller. I'm not fully sure how this is going to work yet but I can imagine it being pretty great having your own personal screen  in any game that has 4-player co-op/split-screen such as Smash Bros. or New Super Mario.

A partially playable tech demo for a HD Zelda title also made an appearance showing the versatility of the touch screen as an items/map menu. This demo in particular had me and I'm sure a bunch of Nintendo fanboys drooling. Any gamer that legitimately has seen link through the ages has waited quite a long time to see the Hyrulian Hero rendered in HD and even this small glimpse gets me interested to see what Nintendo has in store for the franchise beyond Skyward Sword. 

Video via Ign

One of Nintendo's promises with the Wii U was that we were gonna see more third party developers and hardcore games for older gamers. So far we have a few titles thrown into the ring in development for the systems launch: Darksiders 2, Assasins Creed, Ghost Recon, and an exclusive Ninja Gaiden title as well as Tekken on a Nintendo console for the first time ever. I'm glad to see Nintendo finally got the message that while we love their first party titles we really craved third party support. 

Nintendo's focus on the Wii is slightly askew this year taking a back seat to the Wii U but we did get to see a trailer for a New Kirby game as well as a new trailer for Skyward sword(my inner fanboy freaked the hell out when i saw how epic it looked). While the Kirby game did look like it had it's share of puffy cute platforming it's hard to out do the latest Skyward Sword trailer. Graphically, it's easy to say this is the best looking Wii title to date and it certainly looks as epic as Zelda should be. I can't wait to get my hands on it. 

Nintendo had a huge amount of new stuff to show us this year and it definitely has me excited. Let's hope the Wii U lives up to it's promise.

Monday, June 6, 2011

E3: Battlefield 3

Here's some great footage of battlefield 3. I really don't understand how people can be excited for the same year -in year-out game play from COD when this has been put on the table. Everything about it looks absolutely amazing.

New Skyrim Gameplay Footage!!!

This video showcases some of the key features in the upcoming epic adventure. We finally get to see some live action footage. Dual wielding, Dragon shouts and more!!!!


New Skyrim Gameplay Footage!!!

This video showcases some of the key features in the upcoming epic adventure. We finally get to see some live action footage. Dual wielding, Dragon shouts and more!!!!

E3 Microsoft Update Day 1

It's officially my favorite time of year, E3! Even in the little time E3 has been going on today we've gotten some great announcements.

Halo 4 looks to continue the fight in 2012. You'll apparently be back playing as the chief(somehow). I'm interested how well Microsoft and 343 studios will handle the franchise without Bungie for the first time.

Microsoft announced a ton of Kinect related titles including: Dance Central 2, a Disney themed adventure, as well as a kinect compatible version of Minecraft, and some others. The most important of these was Kinect Fun Labs, this is a trial of some of the major features Microsoft had promised us with the launch of the Kinect such as: Facial Recognition, Object scanning, and more.

Microsoft also announced that Youtube is coming to Xbox 360, which I think was a long time coming. UFC fights will also now be available via Xbox Live.

Keep checking back as I'll be updating regularly all week.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


E3 is tomorrow!!! I can't wait to see all the new stuff from the big 3. All the new games!!! Skyrim info!!! Nintendo's console reveal!!! AHHHHH MY BRAIN!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rage Gameplay Trailer

This new Rage trailer shows that it's much more than just a Fallout/Borderlands clone. The different types of ammo and weapons just in this sequence seems pretty robust and the world seems pretty realized. Even months from it's release Rage looks relatively polished and ready to go.

Bethesda's involvement ensures us solid open world gameplay and with Id's long standing history with First-Person Shooters the gunplay should be(and looks to be) better than ever. E3 is just around the corner and I'm interested to see how much more of Rage Id will show us.

With First-person gameplay like this, franchises like Modern Warefare and Battlefield are going to have to step up their game a little. While Rage certainly is catering to a bit of a different audience I know I personally will be easily making the decision to play this over at least Modern Warefare 3(I have a soft spot for the Battlefield titles).

I can't wait to see more from Rage.

Video Via Kotaku