Reviews

  • A couple of weeks ago, we got the opportunity to visit Milestone and spend some quality time with the latest entry in Capcom’s survival horror series – Resident Evil. The build we played was the same one that was presented at this year’s Tokyo Game Show. The demo featured two short levels and also gave us the first glimpse into the newly introduced co-op mode. As you may know, one of the biggest changes in Resident Evil 5 is the inclusion of co-op. For the first time in the Resident Evil series (Outbreak doesn’t count), you can play through the campaign co-operatively. The second character introduced is Sheva. The campaign can be played either online, split-screen or via system link. In case you don’t have anyone to play with, the game will take control of the second character. The friendly AI that controls Sheva does a wonderful job; she’ll constantly heal you, provide you with different items (ammo included) and most importantly, she can hold her own when surrounded by enemies. [singlepic=388,450,253,center]

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  • As a fan of racing games, I am offended by Need for Speed: Undercover. Having seen games such as Burnout Paradise, Grid, and Pure this year, a substandard effort such as this barely deserves a second thought. However, Undercover is the latest installment in the most recognised racing game franchise, and by that virtue itself, it is a game that demands every gamer’s attention. So while every new Need for Speed game is worth your attention, is this one worth your time? Short answer – No. Undercover is a technical mess, but we’ll come to that later. With this game, Black Box have attempted to make the player feel like the star of an action movie, complete with live-action cutscenes with supposedly Hollywood-level production values and “professional” actors, including the star of the game – Maggie Q. She’s even on the cover; and here I was thinking I’m the star. [singlepic=197,450,253,center]

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  • Despite the success of the PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2, Sony never really had a shooter that they could call their own. Killzone was supposed to fill that void but it could never live up to its potential. It was PlayStation 3 launch title Resistance: Fall of Man that gave Sony its first big in-house ‘Triple A’ shooter. Resistance was set in an alternate 1950’s timeline where World War II never happened and humanity faced a far greater threat against a force known as the Chimera. Resistance was a solid launch title that went on to sell 3 million copies worldwide. Two years later, developers Insomniac are back with their latest and much more ambitious offering – Resistance 2. Featuring a single player campaign spanning across the United States, an eight-player co-operative campaign with its own separate story and a 60-player online multiplayer, Resistance 2 is all set to deliver the definitive shooter experience for PS3 owners this holiday season. [singlepic=376,450,253,center]

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  • It’s finally here – the much anticipated New Xbox Experience (NXE). For the remaining few who were too lazy to sign up for the preview programme, a message at 3:30 pm on Wednesday informed that an Xbox LIVE update was available. So is this something which will make you happy? What are the nice features? Read on to find more: After a short update, the console restarted and the first thing that you see is the new ‘Working’ icon, and a message that the new update was being download. The download is about 120 mb and took 12 minutes. A new flashy video introduces you to the exciting world of the Xbox. It reminded me of Spore a bit, where game colonies seem to spring all over the world and the camera zooms out to display the green X. [singlepic=367,center]

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  • Mirror’s Edge is set in a rather sterile-looking nanny state sometime in the near future, where crime is minimal, but so are its citizens’ social and civil rights. Those that speak against the government are cast to the edge of society; their social liberties taken away, their phones tapped, and always under the watchful eye of the totalitarian authorities. These outcasts are therefore forced to rely on more primitive forms of communication to stay under the radar. That is where Faith, the game’s lead character, comes in. Faith is a courier, or a runner as they are referred to in the game, whose parents were persecuted for rebelling against the government and whose sister is framed for murdering a mayoral candidate, a crime for which Faith too is under suspicion. [singlepic=140,450,276,center] While in most games a premise like this would set the tone for vengeful gunfights and exaggerated boss battles, in Mirror’s Edge, the story is where similarities with every other game end. Running is what Faith does best, and a lot of the game involves her evading the authorities rather than confronting them. In fact, you very often have an option to do either, and the beauty of the…

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  • MotorStorm, while a commendable first effort on a new platform, was far from the killer app Sony hoped it would be. The lack of an offline multiplayer option, repetitive track environments, unstable frame rates and small niggles like long load times ensured that it fell short of being the PS3’s first must-buy racing game. But being one of the better games in a shockingly scarce PS3 launch line-up ensured that the game sold well, paving the way for an inevitable sequel. A lot has changed since the first game. The game’s developer, Evolution, was acquired by Sony, bringing hope that technical know-how from other first-party studios would help them overcome the flaws from the first game. And as with any sequel, the aim was to better the first game in every aspect. [singlepic=348,450,253,center] With that in mind, MotorStorm Pacific Rift now moves away from the deserts and canyons to a tropical island filled with beautiful yet treacherous terrain ideally suited to MotorStorm’s aggressive, in-your-face approach to off-road racing. A major complaint from the first game was the monotonous nature of the tracks, and Evolution seem to have taken that criticism to heart when creating Pacific Rift.

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  • Sony’s much hyped futuristic shooter, Killzone 2 made its first Indian playable debut at the recently concluded Mumbai leg of Playstation Experience. Having been part of the ongoing closed beta, I was eager to try out the single player level and I’m glad to say that I walked away pretty impressed with what Guerilla Games have cooked up so far. Let’s clear a few things straight away; Killzone 2 is not going to change the way you play first-person shooters. It’s not a revolutionary game some people expected it to be; far from it. In fact, it’s as generic as current-gen shooters go, be it the bald space marines, the dual weapon system, regenerating health and so on. But there is something about the game that sets it apart; there’s something about Killzone 2 that’ll make you say “WOW”. [singlepic=342,450,253,center]

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  • Review: Dead Space

    Dead Space is a brand new IP from EA’s Redwood Shores studio, and a stunning new entry into survival horror genre, a genre that has over the past few years become stale with repetitive scare tactics and more action-oriented gameplay. Dead Space doesn’t bring anything spectacularly new to the table like some of the hallmark survival horror games did a few years ago, but it still manages to give you that refreshing experience you’d generally expect from a new IP. [singlepic=320,450,253,center] Dead Space obviously gets its inspiration from a bunch of sci-fi horror movies like Aliens, The Thing, Night of the Dead and Event Horizon. The premise here is simple; you play maintenance engineer Isaac Clarke (the name should strike a chord amongst science fiction readers), sent on a simple mission to repair communications on a space mining ship called the USG Ishimura upon receiving an emergency call. Once you board the ship though, it quickly becomes apparent that fixing communications is the least of your problems. You’re almost immediately separated from your crew and left to fend for yourself against Necromorphs, former crew of the Ishimura, turned into vicious zombie-like creatures and ready to tear you limb from limb…

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  • When you have the opportunity to review one of the most anticipated video games of the year, especially one that is a sequel to one of the highest rated games of this generation and a personal favourite, its pretty hard to stay objective. But the job demands objectivity, so this reviewer will do his best. For the sake of the sorry lot of you who haven’t played Gears of War yet, I won’t reveal plot details, but suffice to say that in Gears of War 2 the story picks up where the first game left off. You play Marcus Fenix, member of Delta Squad, an elite section of the human armed forces of the planet Sera, tasked with taking the fight to the heart of vicious, beastly Locusts, who have decimated the human population on Sera and have driven mankind to the brink of extinction. Once again, the player is taken on a rollercoaster ride through the destroyed landscapes of the surface of Sera, vast caverns beneath the surface and strongholds of the Locust. [singlepic=281,450,253,center]

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  • Review: Pure

    Pure is a game that doesn’t take itself seriously and neither should those who play it. It’s not very challenging and the game modes are limited, but it is unadulterated fun through and through.

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  • As Insomniac prepares Resistance 2 for its big November launch, we get a chance to play the recently released public beta, which consists of both the co-operative and competitive modes. Resistance 2 is the ambitious sequel to PlayStation 3’s launch title Resistance: Fall of Man with features like 60-player online multiplayer and 8-player co-op campaign, among other things. Veterans of the first game will immediately notice that Insomniac have slowed down the pace of the game. Gone are the days when Resistance was known as a twitch shooter. Instead, Resistance 2 is much slower with a bigger impetus on close quarters shooting, while still maintaining the scale the first game was known for. Other changes made are the balancing of some of the weapons. The Bullseye from the first game feels more powerful, whereas the Army Carbine and the Auger are definitely underpowered. [singlepic=235,400,222,center] Insomniac have also introduced a few new gameplay elements, one of them being the new berserker system, where players gain special power ups once their meter fills up. These power ups can be anything ranging from weapons inflicting double damage to players themselves taking only a fraction of the damage from incoming bullets. The other big…

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  • Review: FIFA 09

    For fans of football games, the mantra has always been – FIFA for presentation and licenses, PES for gameplay. Now, with FIFA upping the ante with more fluid gameplay, it is getting uncomfortably close to matching Konami’s cult hit in that department, and with all other aspects stacked in its favour, it comes out ahead as an overall package.

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  • Warhead is a game that concentrates the action FPS genre into a single, intense serving that will get your adrenaline flowing and make you wonder why more game aren't this much fun.

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  • Click here for Part 1 of IndianVideoGamer’ hands-on impressions LittleBigPlanet is not an easy game to describe, and if you’ve been following its progress since it was first revealed almost 18 months ago, you’ll probably know why. Yes, in a nutshell, it’s a 2.5d side-scrolling platformer, but that’s like calling GTA a car stealing game. There is so much to do in LBP simply because this game can be anything you want it to be. It can be a simple ‘avoid the bottomless pit’ Mario-type platformer, or a downhill skating game, or a car racing game, or a shooter where you lob explosives at each other, or an uphill race to rescue your sack-princess. The possibilities are only limited by the imagination of the player. This is probably why, when it comes to LBP, there are two very distinct opinions amongst gamers. There’s one group that thinks LBP is Sony’s killer app for the PS3, the next big thing to hit gaming and a poster child for the concept of user generated content. Then there’s the other group who say they ‘just don’t get all the hype’, ask why it is priced at full $60 and if it’s a PSN…

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  • There’s something instantly endearing about LittleBigPlanet; you don’t have to play the game to notice it. It comes across in every screenshot and video. From the quirky music and the eccentric level design to the humourous antics of Sackboy, Media Molecule seem to have got it all spot-on. And Sony have recognised the limitless potential of the game; they’ve even come out and said that it’s their biggest title of the year. Who can forget the epic sales presentation from this year’s E3? It indeed has the makings of one of the year’s most outstanding titles. But while it looks great and sounds fun, does it play well? Me and a couple of others from IndianVideoGamer spent a good 7 hours with the game, and here’s what I think. [singlepic=215,400,484,center] Sackrilicious As you start the game, you are greeted by the awesome Stephen Fry, who is the narrator in LittleBigPlanet. You will be hearing from him a lot throughout the course of the game, especially when you first delve into the create mode. The first order of business is an introduction to the star of LittleBigPlanet – Sackboy. Now, in most platforming games, there’s not much you can do with…

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  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed is one of the most eagerly anticipated Star Wars titles of this decade. The game has been released on all major and minor platforms, right from mobile phones, to handhelds like the PSP and NDS, to old and new home consoles like the PS2, X360, PS3 and Wii. This review deals with the iPhone version, which is a surprisingly good version of the game. The game is available for US$ 9.99 from the iTunes Applications Store (this is also available in India). The purchase and installation process is as painless and streamlined as buying music or videos from the iTunes Store and I had the game installed an running on my iPhone within 20 minutes of buying it (the download took a bit of time considering the comparatively abysmal internet speeds in India). The story in the iPhone version of the game is a heavily abridged version of the one that plays out in the console versions, so its more or less incomplete and you won’t derive much understanding, satisfaction or closure from it. The protagonist is a secret apprentice of Darth Vader, who is trained in the dark side of the Force and is…

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  • I had the opportunity to try my hand at the preview build of EA’s upcoming horror-thriller “Dead Space” at the EA Experience organised by EA India in Mumbai. To sum up my impressions of the game, I will give it a new name, “Gears of Doom 3”. The game plays itself out in an “over-the-shoulder” third person perspective, in the Gears of War mould. And that’s not the only thing the the game draws from Gears. The character movement is exactly like Gears, and I mean “exactly” right down to the tank-like movement speed, turning speed, aiming and firing system. What it doesn’t have is a cover system like Gears and the dash function is activated by a different button, but doesn’t have the same frenzied pace of running or camera angle. In fact, Isaac’s (the protagonist) running is more like a leisurely trot and on more than one occasion, I found it inadequate to escape from the quick moving enemies. Now on to the Doom 3 side of things. The setting for the game is a mining and research facility – Check Some mining expedition/experiment gone wrong unleashes monsters – Check Claustrophobic indoor environments with solid mood lighting –…

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  • By now the saga of Too Human is the stuff of legends. Ten years in the making, and originally destined for the PS One, the game finally found its home on the Xbox 360. Let’s just say that the first installment in the trilogy probably should have been released during the PS One era to have gotten our full appreciation. As it stands today, its fun but it’s a bit of a mess. Too Human’s story is a unique take on Norse mythology. The usual staple of Norse gods are present – Odin, Thor, Loki, etc., but gods in Too Human are essentially cybernetically-enhanced humans; in other words, a geek’s wet dream. The gods in Too Human are known as the Aesir (from Wikipedia : In Old Norse, æsir, is the term denoting the principal gods of the pantheon of Norse paganism. They include many of the major figures, such as Odin, Frigg, Thor, Baldr and Tyr. They are one of the two groups of gods, the other being the Vanir. In Norse mythology, the two are described as having waged war against one another in the Æsir-Vanir War‎, resulting in the unification of the two into a single tribe…

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  • It came as a surprise to many when Sony announced at this years E3 conference that a new Ratchet and Clank (R&C) game was coming to the PlayStation 3 and that it would be available via the PSN store. It was later revealed that the game an episodic title, set somewhere between the events of the 2007’s Tools of Destruction (ToD) and 2009’s upcoming Ratchet game, which is revealed in the end credits. While it may not live up to the high standards of the earlier games in the series, Ratchet and Clank: Quest for Booty is a fine game that should not be missed by any of the series’ fans. Quest for Booty picks up right after the events of ToD, with clank missing, abducted by the mysterious Zoni. Ratchet’s quest begins with him trying to find a mysterious pirate known as Darkwater, who is the only one who can lead him to the Zoni. The game begins with Ratchet and his female companion Talwyn invading some pirate ships, where he soon finds the secret about Captain Darkwater and his treasure. The story retains the usual humorous charm of the previous games, mainly due to some excellent writing and…

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  • Ever since the hilarious rumour that WipEout HD was delayed for health reasons, people who didn’t previously care about the game, suddenly started taking an interest in it. With this PR nightmare on their hands, you would think that Sony would do everything in its power to securely lock away any existing playable code of the game and keep it away from the media. But that seems farthest from the truth, and the fact that I was allowed to play the game at length during my recent visit to the Milestone office, probably means that the reason for the delay is less sensational than is being reported. But let’s for a moment assume that playing WipEout HD at 1080p and 60 frames per second with multi-flourescent-coloured objects blazing by at astonishing speeds does pose a health risk to those suffering from epilepsy (described in Wikipedia as a chronic neurological disorder that is characterised by recurrent unprovoked seizures due to abnormal, excessive or synchronous neuronal activity in the brain). If I was someone suffering from epilepsy, I would gladly risk an epileptic attack, just so I could feel the rush of playing WipEout HD; it’s that good!

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