GAMING


In this page we will be providing all the latest news on games.We will be providing previews and reviews  of latest games.

Gears of War 3 - 360

Gears of War 3

Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios Developer: Epic Games Genre: First-Person Shooter Release Date: N Amer – 11/11/22 Platforms: Xbox 360

ESRB Rated: Mature Mature

With the Gears of War 3 beta coming in April, gamers can anticipate tons of content. Last night, Epic and Microsoft showed off plenty of that new content to journalists, including the plethora of fresh weapons, arenas and costumes for returning favorites. And this is just a beta! This game has more content than most retail releases do. Damn skippy, that’s impressive—but with the nature of the game, Gears of War 3 has a lot to live up to, and standards are very high.

Good and bad, at the end of the day this new title is the same Gears of War you know and love, but there seems to be much more finesse to the game overall. Many of the new weapons exemplify this spirit. The Sawed-off Shotgun, for example, is an incredibly short-range weapon designed to take out enemies that are prone to charging. The weapon suffers from a slow reload time, but has been included to help balance out the game for newcomers. Other weapons fit this sort of over-power, like the OneShot, a sniper rifle held at the hip, or the Digger Launcher, capable of sending out a burrowing grenade that will bounce off the ground and explode.

Other new additions include the Incendiary Grenade, which can be awesome to use. If you’ve got a human shield, you can stuff a grenade in the neck of the dude, throw him forward, and have the grenade detonate on impact. My favorite new addition is a Gears of War throwback, the Retro Lancer. Designed as an old-fashioned version of the famous chainsaw Lancer, the Retro Lancer has a bigger kick and a sharp bayonet on the front. Instead of charging the chainsaw to use in the attack, Gears can now just rush forward in a charging kill. It’s rather impressive to behold, and all of the execution style moves for these new weapons are bad-ass.

The series has seen some gameplay modifications, as well. Controls are now slightly different from Gears of War 2, and those flashy executions give better experience points. Small changes like this really indicate a shift in Gears by making sure every small detail counts.

Even this beta is important to the retail release. Epic is planning on including plenty of unlockables, such as playing as Anya or the Thrashball Cole Train. There are even new Locusts to unlock. Even better are the unlockables, exclusive to the beta, that can only be played in the retail build once a series of requirements are met. For example, the golden Retro Lancer is the first of such unlockables. The final number is undetermined, but when players play around 90 matches, they’ll unlock the golden Retro Lancer to use in the beta, and they’ll have to kill around 100 enemies to keep it in the retail game. Apparently, this is not the final unlockable; players who have the Epic Edition of Bulletstorm with gain a flaming Lancer.

Six new stages were demonstrated, but only four will be released in the beta. The four that will stay will be voted upon by fans on the Gears of War Facebook page this week, with the official stages announced early next. Trenches is a larger stage in a ruined desert town, with lots of hiding points to exploit. A stage based upon a Thrashball arena looks particularly special, especially for someone playing as Cole Train decked out in his thrashball gear. There are additional stages based upon the green ruins of a church called Mercy, a shopping mall level named Checkout, small seaside towns, and more. At this point, it’s certain that the Gears multiplayer will offer the most variety of any game in the franchise.

On a purely visual standpoint, the games graphics match the superior quality of every other Gears title. However, it seems like Epic has used their time with Bulletstorm well because not only is the game beautiful, it’s also very colorful. Who would have expected Gears of War 3 to look this vibrant?

As someone who has never been the biggest fan of Gears of War, consider me impressed. It’s obvious that Gears 3 is built with fans in mind: Everything from the characters, the beta, the weapons, the stages, and the unlockables are made to please. When studios so often move in bad directions, it’s nice to see a company keep in the right.

SOURCE:xbox.gamezone.com

Two Worlds II - 360/PS3/PC

Two Worlds II

Publisher: SouthPeak Interactive Developer: Reality Pump Genre: Action-Adventure, Role-playing Release Date: N Amer – 01/11/25 Platforms: PC PlayStation 3 Xbox 360

ESRB Rated: Mature Mature

by Tom Dann, January 25, 2011

Is it possible to talk about an open-world fantasy RPG without mentioning The Elder Scrolls series, particularly Oblivion? Ideally, Oblivion wouldn’t come up once in this review, but one of the primary goals of Two Worlds II is to brazenly dethrone Oblivion as the king of the genre, and as such the comparisons are openly invited. Two Worlds II simply isn’t as good as Oblivion. Despite a slightly different combat style and a third-person perspective, it’s virtually the same game but less polished; not very impressive considering Oblivion is nearly five years old.

After creating your character (male only, sorry girls, and guys who like to play as girls), the story begins with your character in prison (comparisons to Oblivion begin in earnest). Your sister has a Demon within her, and Gandohar, dark lord of the realm, is sapping this power while using your life energy to keep your sister alive through the process. Without notice, you’re sprung from prison by a small band of Orcs on a quest to defeat Gandohar and liberate the world. Not entirely original, though there are some neat twists and turns along the way.

Unlike Oblivion, the world doesn’t scale to your skill level. The storyline becomes fractured as you’re forced to take large breaks to level up your character to keep up with the enemies, making the optional side-quests wholly mandatory. The quest system is built on a very standard model. You can carry multiple quests at a time and complete them in the order of your choosing, while small quest-lines link together to form small stories and inject life into the world. Veteran RPG players will be pleased to know that there is a classic ‘clear monsters out of some poor soul’s basement’ quest near the beginning of the game. Unfortunately, many quests promise far more than they deliver. There is very little in the way of intrigue and variety. There’s the odd stealth quest, but they quickly become more annoying than anything.

The world of Antaloor is a well-realized place. Cities are filled with citizens and guards, and the frequently stunning landscapes contain plenty of wildlife. What is lacking is a sense that life would go on without you. NPC characters don’t feel like they have lives of their own. The problem is that the programming is not transparent. We can see the world and the characters that populate it, and we can see the processes whereby we interact with the world and cause effects. It’s a problem that all RPGs face, but most do a better job of covering it up, allowing you to feel more immersed in the world as a result. Two Worlds II is so rigid in its use of RPG traditions, every process so visible, that I was never able to suspend my disbelief.

The combat is repetitive and typically requires little more than spamming your primary attack, possibly sprinkled with an occasional block or counter-attack if you really need it, and perhaps a special skill now and then. It’s not the worst combat system around, but it lacks the responsive controls and strategic combos of modern action games. And, since enemies don’t automatically level with you, some of the earliest fights are the toughest; not the best way to welcome players to your game. Magic is fun, especially with the ability to combine cards to create your own spells, but magic doesn’t feel particularly powerful. At least using magic you’ll get to experience some of the game’s best graphical effects.

Two Worlds II can be visually inspiring with beautiful landscapes and some very good textures, but the poor and clunky animations effectively ruin the whole package. It really is an old game spiced up with some new colors. Even the interface is thoroughly archaic, with bulky icons, boring menus, unresponsive cursors, and no bulk-purchasing at vendors. At least the voice-acting isn’t terrible this time around, or rather, not consistently terrible. Dialogue is usually mediocre and tolerable, but when it dips, the results are appalling.

Two Worlds II is an interesting beast. As a lower budget, quirkier version of Oblivion, the game does hold its own, and were it left at that its flaws would be much more understandable, possibly even virtuous in a strange way. Everyone loves the underdog, and people love it when enthusiasm outshines quality. Unfortunately, in aiming to dethrone Oblivion, Reality Pump have shot themselves in the foot. Every little quirk in the game becomes a major flaw highlighting the fact that it just isn’t as good as Bethesda’s effort. By turns engrossing and frustrating, the game will appeal much more to those willing to look beyond the obvious flaws and those who enjoy B-movies because of their charm. For everyone else, Two Worlds II will comfortably fill the RPG gap until Dragon Age II, providing plenty of hours of saving damsels, assisting smiths and slaying interesting beasts.

SOURCE:www.gamezone.com

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Test Drive Unlimited 2 by Eden Games
Version reviewed: Test Drive Unlimited 2 Good:
+ Wide open world
+ Simulates more than racing 

Bad:
– Ugly characters
– Non intuitive driving system
– Multiplayer issues

System requirements: 

Windows XP SP2, Vista SP2, Windows 7
Intel Core 2 Duo 2.2 GHz or AMD Athlon X2 4400+
2 GB RAM
Nvidia GeForce 8800 or ATI Radeon HD 3870
DirectX 9.0c compatible
14 GB hard drive space
10 button controller such as Xbox 360 or Logitech Dual-Action
Internet Broadband Connection
Microsoft .NET 3.5

 


Enlarge picture

Ibiza can be beautiful, especially late in the afternoon, when shadows lengthen and night sneaks in, almost begging the player to slow down a bit and take in the sight, maybe step out of the car with the misses and take a few pictures that will later wind up on Facebook and draw a lot of gasping comments.

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That’s the image, the illusion that Test Drive Unlimited 2, the game from Atari and Eden Games, aims to deliver to gamers, complete with some very fast cars and some very luxurious homes, but unfortunately, the game fails to actually deliver these kinds of experience and ends up delivering thoroughly mediocre mechanics in all areas, except when it comes to character simulation, which tends towards the awful.

Test Drive Unlimited 2 can charm the player at one moment, only to then let him down completely at the next turn and this lack of consistency is what makes a possibly great open-world racer just a mediocre game.

Gameplay

Everyone knows racing. It involves getting into cars, getting quicker, more powerful and more iconic as the game progresses, touching down on a track and being quicker than everybody else if this is an actual race or attain a certain standard if it’s a drift race or an against-the-clock effort. The basic formula is, in a way, impossible to change so that means developers like Polyphony Digital or Criterion or Eden for Test Drive Unlimited 2 need to add something else to the pure racing to make their video game interesting.

The hook is supposed to be the fact that TDU 2 simulates a lot more than racing, asking the player to become a member of a social elite which is just as focused on cars as they are on looks, rearranging furniture in their houses and looking at their collection of cars. The player, as always, starts off low on the ladder and needs to work hard and win races to have the cool things that others do.

TDU 2 allows gamers to jump from event to event, racing the clock or others in order to win level advancement and money, which can then be spent on cars, upgrades and other objects. The game also has the signature free roaming from the first game, allowing to explore an at times superb island of Ibiza and even taking the player back to Oahu.

Review image Review image
Danger close Sign damage

The big problem I found in Test Drive Unlimited 2 is that the systems don’t get together to well and my experience quickly evolved from being mildly annoyed with the driving engine to being somewhat interested in the competitive events, and then becoming one of those players who is happy to only wander around the seemingly endless roads, doing a bit of drifting, scaring some other drivers and bumping into the backs of trucks to see the rather weird effects of the collision system.

The game also is tough on newcomers, forcing them through six license tests that are intensely frustrating and make the driving model feel worse than it actually is in competitive events or in free roam.

And Test Drive Unlimited 2 also commits the sin of making the gamer abandon the car in order to become a sort of floating Sim puppet which interacts in extremely shallow ways with those ahead of him on the racing and social ladders while planning to take their place.

Now that I think of it, Eden might actually be trying to comment on the state of today’s bored high-income class and the challenges they face with bringing actual excitement into their lives. If so, then well done, developers.

And a last word of caution: whatever you do with your car, do not go to a car wash, and if you do, skip the cinematic as quickly as possible.

Graphics and audio

There are two sides to the Test Drive Unlimited 3 graphics quality and both of them are disappointing. The first time I looked at the cars offered in the game, my thoughts instantly drifted to how the low-quality cars looked in last year’s Gran Turismo 5. The textures are too shinny, even when the vehicles are caked with dirt from off road, and there are some maddening details, like seeing very ugly textured exhaust pop out from the car just before a race starts even if I am not pushing down the acceleration.

After a while the cars begin to look less offensive, although they never reach the detail of the PlayStation 3 exclusive and are also behind those seen in the latest Need for Speed, but by then most gamers are likely to have met and been scared of the out-of-the-car graphics.

However, the main offenders here are the people who look like they have been taken wholesale from an always-beautiful edition of The Sims 2.5. There’s one male character that I was unfortunate enough to choose as my Avatar, that seemed like the sort of serial killer you see in B movies, trying to blend in among normal people and failing miserably.

The female characters manage to be even worse, with all of them apparently bred in an attempt for looks, but they fail to be attractive because of poor textures, uninspired facial movements and lack of anything that could indicate a real personality.

Where TDU 2 shines is in the open-world space, where you can drive for miles and miles while just enjoying the places you are flying by, the sunsets that bathe everything in orange, the darkness of the night and the smashes that tend to happen when other people get too close to your racer. The island itself manages to look impressive but the immersion is broken as soon as the player enters a location or takes a good look at his car.

It’s surprising how good the music is in Test Drive Unlimited 2. Those who are annoyed by the constant roar of the car engine and would like a more adequate backdrop while exploring Ibiza can choose their favorite tunes and the quality of the game experience is instantly increased a few notches. There’s both variety and quality there, but the adds can quickly become annoying, which is one aspect where TDU 2 is as close as possible to the real-life experience of listening to the radio while standing for hours behind the wheel.

Multiplayer

A lot of Test Drive Unlimited 2 is build around the community, and that’s one of the games’ biggest strengths, the ability to get a number of friends interested, get them into a racing club and then make the game a social experience in more ways that the Autolog from Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit or the limited modes from Gran Turismo 5 allow.

Review image Review image
At the show Orange rocket

Immediately after launch, TDU 2 has been experiencing some stability issues with the multiplayer modes and clubs have been disabled for some time, with the development team saying that they are working hard to both make of them available again and to add more features. At the moment, the PC version of the game has limited multiplayer available and the situation is worse on consoles.

Players also need to be advised that the game has been reported as getting more crashes and weird physics behavior when two games go into an ad-hoc head-to-head race.

Conclusion

The car simulation market is pretty well stocked at the moment, with gamers on all platforms able to get the Need for Speed reboot that Criterion created, while platform fanatics can choose between Gran Turismo 5 for the PlayStation 3 and Forza Motorsport 3 for the Xbox 360. So, it made sense for Test Drive Unlimited 2 to try and differentiate itself as much as possible from other titles, adding the different progression ladders, the social element, the luxury angle and a somewhat alien driving system.

Moreover, Test Drive Unlimited 2 could have been a great experience if all of the above-mentioned elements managed to actually work together and draw the player into the game rather than just send him down a number of different advancement tracks, with neither of them actually feeling satisfactory. Let’s hope Test Drive Unlimited survives this unfortunate outing as a series and deliver a more focused experience in the future.

 

Major League Baseball 2K11 Review

A number of small changes make MLB 2K11 better on the field than its predecessor, although the majority of the new game is identical to the old game.

The Good

  • Some tweaks to batting and pitching make for more-realistic at-bats
  • Improved fielding with better animations and a new throwing meter
  • Dynamic player ratings let MLB Today fans stay current with the real bigs.

The Bad

  • Few significant changes from last year’s version of the game.

It’s often hard to tell the difference between one year’s MLB 2K and the next. Just about every aspect of this year’s 2K Sports take on the national pastime is the same as last year’s 2K Sports take on the national pastime. Some minor improvements on the field make for more realistic games, the player-ratings system has been upgraded, a new throwing meter is used when fielding, and some of the visuals have been fine-tuned. But other than that, this is just a baby step forward for the series.

 

With all that said, MLB 2K11 is still a very good baseball game. This new game rehashes everything that made last year’s edition perhaps the best in the history of the series. Modes of play have been carried over with few noteworthy changes. My Player mode still lets you create a pro and role-play him from AA to the majors, earning skill points through being able to take part in every at-bat, pitch, and fielding attempt. Little work has been done to improve depth, though. In-game challenges are pretty much the same. Skill advancement is the same. Even the generic career advice offered on the menu screen is the same. It’s now a little harder to make it to the bigs, due to added criteria like having to achieve ratings in a range of specific skill categories before getting a phone call. Just knocking the cover off the ball for a few weeks isn’t good enough anymore. Skill points are freely handed out for about everything you do in games, however, so even with these added hurdles, it isn’t all that arduous to make it to the show.

Franchise mode still lets you take over an entire team and try to get deep into October for years into the future. A few adjustments have been made, mainly to injury tracking; players can now come down with minor nagging problems that reduce their effectiveness. You now need to make more managerial decisions, deciding whether your starter at 85 percent is a better bet than his backup at full health. MLB Today mode lets you track the real pros and play games day by day as the season progresses from spring training through the World Series. Other standard options let you get into exhibitions, online matches and leagues, a home-run derby, training competitions, and so on. The overall feature package is identical to last year, so if you’re familiar with the series, you know exactly what to expect. About the only noteable upgrade is stable and almost lag-free online play (there is an almost imperceptible delay when batting on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, so you have to swing a split second earlier in comparison to taking cuts offline), which is a huge improvement over the matchmaking bugs that made it tough to find games a year ago.

 

 

A handful of minor refinements combine to make the diamond action more realistic in MLB 2K11. At-bats have been tweaked in subtle ways to provide more authentic pitcher-batter showdowns. It’s easier to read pitches this year in the batter’s box. AI pitchers are more authentic and can’t paint corners as robotically as they did last year. In other words, they throw more balls. As a result, you can work counts effectively, fight off tough pitches, and hang in there for walks. Running on the basepaths is also more accurate now. Last year, it was pretty much impossible to steal bases, or even move ahead on a hit and run without nailing a solid single or better. Now, it’s still tough, but it’s at least possible to swipe a bag every so often if you get a great jump. Pitching pretty much stays the course. Twirling and twisting the right stick to throw different pitches remains as accurate and innovative as ever. Pitchers respond a little more dramatically to pressure now, though, as the gamepad throbs and the cursor shakes with runners on. At times, this is a bit much, as when you see an experienced World Series winner like Josh Beckett practically having a nervous breakdown on the rubber after giving up a homer and a double in the first inning of a game in April.

SOURCE:GAMESPOT.COM, RATING :  7.5/10

 

 

 

 
 
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