Sunday, July 13, 2008

Unreal Tournament III

Similar to the previous entries of the series, the game is primarily an online multiplayer title offering several game modes, including large-scale Warfare, Capture-the-Flag, and Deathmatch. It will also include an extensive offline single-player game with an in-depth story, advancing from the simple tournament ladder to such concepts as team members with their own individual personalities. The following game modes are included:


Team Deathmatch

Capture the flag

Duel: A one versus one gametype. It uses a queueing system, the winner stays, and the loser goes back to the end of the queue. A typical match last five minutes with an unlimited amount of rounds.

Warfare (formerly known as Conquest): An amalgamation of Onslaught and Assault. While basic game rules are equal to those of Onslaught, Warfare adds unlinked nodes which can always be captured (supplying the capturing team with vehicles and a spawnpoint) and countdown nodes (which, after being captured and defended for a certain period of time, create a vehicle or trigger an event helpful to the capturing team) as well as the orb, which can be used to instantly capture and defend nodes.

Vehicle Capture the Flag: Capture the Flag, with vehicles as part of the map; this exists as a separate game type to Capture the Flag, above.

Modes not returning from the previous Unreal Tournament games include Invasion, Mutant, Onslaught, Bombing Run, Last Man Standing, Domination, Double Domination, and Assault; Assault was removed from the game during production. Due to the game's customizable nature these game modes could be recreated by users of the game. Although the game designers claimed that the new Warfare mode would allow maps to be created that play like classic Assault or Onslaught, the reality is that only Onslaught maps can be created, as there is no simple way to implement the timed rounds and Attacker/Defender teams that were the major features of classic Assault.

The vehicles have been split into two factions, the Axon vehicles (made by the Axon corporation) and Necris vehicles. The Axon vehicles are the same from UT2004, but several have significant gameplay changes. In addition, every player is equipped with a personal hoverboard, which is a skateboard-like device that allows players to traverse large maps and get towed when they grapple onto other teammates' vehicles. However, the hoverboard is very vulnerable to attack and any kind of hit will knock the player off the board and disable him or her for several seconds. Additionally, the player cannot use any weapons while on the board.

Axon Vehicles
The returning Axon vehicles include those featured in the Editor's Choice Edition of Unreal Tournament 2004 and are relatively more traditional. Included are the Manta - a fast hovercraft which is more maneuverable in UT3, the Raptor (air superiority dogfighter), Scorpion (light assault buggy, now equipped with mortars, blades that unfold in the front, and now has a speed-boost option which can be used to kamikaze itself into another target), Hellbender (armored jeep, the driver now operates the air mine gun reducing the crew to 2), Cicada (a two person air support vehicle), Hellfire SPMA (remote bombardment cannon with a significant improvement in handling), Paladin (infantry support tank that uses an energy shield), Goliath (battle tank), and Leviathan (heavy weapons platform).

Necris vehicles
The Necris (undead humans who are the opposition in the tournaments) have a rival set of vehicles. There are six Necris vehicles, and although they are not parallel to Axon's vehicles, they are intended to make a good balance against them.
The Necris Viper is most similar to the Manta, a quick strike ground skimmer armed with single-bouncing energy pellets and a kamikaze function. The Nemesis is essentially a mobile energy turret with adaptable snake-like treads, and the DarkWalker is a heavy offensive vehicle, featuring a twin blast beam on a tripod walker (similar to the tripods from H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds). The Fury is the basic air vehicle of the Necris, with jelly-like propulsion, the Nightshade is a cloaking stealth vehicle with deployables, and the Scavenger is an orb-like vehicle with a complex attack mode that shoots energy beams while the orb itself is moving towards the target.


There are 12 different weapons in the game:

The AVRIL: The AVRIL is an anti vehicle rocket launcher that supports dumfiring and homing capabilities.

The ENFORCER: The main weapon of most infantry soldiers in UT 3. It is a machine pistol that allows for duel wielding and burst fire.

The Link Gun: The link gun can be used as an offensive and defensive weapon. It can heal your vehices using a carrier beam and also aid a comrade who has a link gun by giving him more power to do more damage. In offensive mode it is a deadly plasma rifle and can fire the carrier beam at an enemy foot soldier, turning him into lifeless skeleton.

The Rocket Launcher: The rocket launcher is a very dangerous weapon that if not used correctly it can kill the user and the target with much ease. Adding to the danger of single shots, it also supports the ability to fire three rockets at once.

The Translocator: A teleporter device that allows you to shoot off a disc and whenever you need to, teleport back to said disc.

The Flak Cannon: My personal favorite, the flak cannon has the ability to lob a grenade-like ball that will explode on contact and send high velocity shrapnel flying off in all directions. The flak cannon can also detonate the grenade in its barrel sending the shrapnel flying out like a shotgun.

The Bio-Rifle: The bio-rifle has the ability to shoot out many small globs of toxins or it can lob one large bomb of toxic gas at your enemy.

The Redeemer: Probably the most devastating weapon you have in your arsenal. This portable launch site has the ability to fire a devastating missle that packs the punch of a small nuclear missle. On the down side, the missle moves very slowly giving your enemies enough time to vacate the area if they spot it.

The Shock Rifle: The rifle has the ability to shoot out electricity in one single shot or it can shoot of a massive ball of it which has enough charge to blast your enemies back away from you.

The Sniper Rifle: What more can be said?

The Stinger: Shards of crystal + Mini-gun= total rape. The stinger is what would of been produced if a chain gun and a Needler from Halo 3 mated. Not only can it shoot hundreds of tiny shards of crystal, but it can also fire one big one that doesn major damage.

The Impact Hammer: The impact can just tell by its name that it can do some damage. When used, it has the ability to rip apart any enemy sending their blood and body parts flying everywhere. Don't use it for to long though or it might kill you!
Sources: Wikipedia,, and my personal experience

Monday, March 31, 2008

Alone in the Dark

Set during 2008, the story continues with Edward Carnby, the main protagonist from the original game, looking for answers to strange supernatural and bizarre occurrences while battling his way through the opposition in New York City's Central Park.
The game story centers around myths, allegations, and suspicions of clandestine activity in tunnels found below the park. Upon current speculation, a secret society may have an at least minor degree of involvement with the activities of the game's plot. This shadowy society, or organization, is hinted at in the synopsis found in the official game website, and is said to have protected startling secrets from the public, like possible sinister activities in the park, for years. At the time of the game story, it is assumed that this society's effort to keep its secrets from leaking to the public has failed, where the synopsis states, "...the truth can no longer be contained."
When browsing the official website, there are sections of the site dedicated solely to the mysteries of Central Park. Subjects of investigation include possibly mutated trees, unusual aviary migration behavior in the park, astounding insect invasion problems, as well as the park's value in real-estate; which is stated in the website to be in excess of $528,783,552,000, a finding produced in 2007. In addition, the park's value is compared to the national defense budget, with the park being 26% higher in value than the defense budget in 2007. Also, to further support rumored reports of tunnels found below the park, it is said that the atom bomb was invented by instigation of the Manhattan Project (Curiously enough, Central Park is located in Manhattan). Conclusively, at the time of writing, there is a historical reference to a treaty between The Dutch and The English in 1667, in which The Dutch gained the island of Run (island) in exchange for the Manhattan Islands. Ironically enough, Run suffers from poverty, whilst Manhattan remains one of the most valuable islands in the world.
Alone in the Dark will develop ties between these mysterious aspects of the park, while dealing with supernatural elements as well.

The game is constructed around a unique episodic format. Each episode will conclude with a cliffhanger ending and, once the player leaves the game, a teaser of the next episode will appear. Every episode will also have video summaries which retell the player about the previous episode when a saved game is loaded, allowing them to quickly remember what objectives they have to complete.
The game has been hailed by the producers and developers to be open-ended and expansive. One such feature is the hot-wiring mini game. In one dire moment, the character may need to commandeer a car by hot-wiring. This will initiate a mini game, where Edward will rip the wires out of the car and try to start the engine. He could either succeed and be able to drive the car, or blare the car horn loudly, alerting enemies to his presence.
The player is also allowed to choose how they want to play the game. For example, instead of using a flashlight in dark areas, items can be lit with fire to traverse through the dark.

A tech demo was released on February 16, 2008 showing the inventory system and how items and environmental objects can be manipulated, as well as how items may be used together. For example, adhesive tape can be used to attach a glow stick to a wall, creating a source of light. Another example is the player using a knife to puncture a blood pack, then throwing the blood pack creating a blood trail to lure enemies from one spot to another. A second tech demo was released on February 26, 2008 showing the realistic use of fire with various objects in the game. It also shows how objects are affected when shot. The player is seen shooting a table and subsequently one of the tables legs break off, and shatters. The player then picks this up, and lights it in a fire for a spontaneous torch.

Mercenaries 2: World in Flames

Features new to Mercenaries 2 include completely destructible environments, co-operative mode, a fire effects engine that allows the player to ignite things such as oil or foliage, improved artificial intelligence for non-player characters and the ability to swim. The game will be powered by the Havok 4.5 physics engine.
Many new vehicles have also been added such as tanks, military vehicles , helicopters and boats. Hijacking now consists of a small minigame, ranking in difficulty relative to the vehicle being hijacked. Another innovation is the ability to switch from driver to gunner on demand. One other new addition to this iteration of Mercenaries is the ability to build a Private Military Company and recruit mercenaries into it. There are two confirmed mercenaries that can be recruited: Eva Navarro who will act as a mechanic once recruited and Ewan who is a helicopter pilot who can pick up valuable objects you may encounter, and can also extract you if necessary.
The game will feature terrain ranging from urban environments such as Caracas, to the Amazon rainforest. It will also include the cities and regions of Maracaibo, Cumaná, Mérida, Ciudad Guayana, Guanare, the Orinoco River, Lake Maracaibo, the Northern Andes, Isla de Margarita, and more.

The game features three confirmed playable characters, all from the original game: Jennifer Mui, Mattias Nilsson, and Chris Jacobs.

The story follows the player's hunt for Ramon Solano, a druglord who contracted the player's mercenary for a job. Following a militaristic coup, Solano becomes the dictator of Venezuela. He uses his position to seize control of the country's oil supply, resulting in an international incident and distress among OPEC. Alongside Solano's Rebel Forces, a large portion of the Venezuelan army fiercely support the dictator's cause. The other rebel forces, in opposition to Solano, have risen under the name of the PLAV--the People's Liberation Army of Venezuela. Soon, numerous other factions join the fight for control of Venezuela's oil. Among them: The massive Universal Petroleum Corporation and its private military; the Rastafarian Pirates (the equivalent of the Russian Mafia from the original Mercenaries game); China's PLA; and the AN (Allied Nations--a less controversial pun on the UN). These six forces will inevitably form the backbone of a war to determine the fate of the country's oil supply.
Betrayed, the player's mercenary will ally him/herself with any of the other factions to get even with Solano, and make some money along the way.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Saints Row 2

The plot will continue on from the first game with "a much darker and more sinister story that leads your character down a path of betrayal, revenge and redemption against the city that has left him for dead. A preview by Gamespot states that the game is centered around the rebuilding of the Saints Row gang fifteen years after the first game, with three new gangs now in power around the city of Stilwater. Right now only one gang has been confirmed named "Sons of Samedi" which is a Jamaican gang that wear green as their gang color.

The entire single player campaign will be playable in online and local play co-operative mode. New vehicles include boats, motorcycles, helicopters and planes . The player will be able to use limpet mines on cars, walls, and other surfaces as well. The player will also be able to throw objects in the environment, like stopsigns or furniture. There will also be changes to Stilwater, including expansion of the west side of the city. The game will include additional weather effects. Pedestrians will be much more responsive to both environmental stimuli (such as opening umbrellas at the sign of rain) to possibly crowding around someone that has just been shot, allowing the player to use the distraction to get away. Alternatively, the player can attempt to use other characters in the game as human shields. The game's personalized characterization is expanded to to include the creation of female characters as a result of the player character's fate in the first game. Additionally, the player can also choose the way the character walks, talks, taunts and hold/shoots a weapon. The player will also be able to expand and customize their "crib" through the game. The activity system introduced in the first game will remain, though it will be completely optional as a break from the main plot of the game.

Halo Wars

Halo Wars is a real time strategy game that uses species and vehicles seen in previous Halo games as well as new units. The controls use the A-button primarily for selecting via 3 methods; tap to select one unit, double tap to select all units on screen or "paint brush" which selects all units that the "brush" is dragged over. Selecting a unit gives the player the option of commands and selecting certain buildings brings up a "circle menu", said to be the most important menu in the game taking up the whole screen which is used for creating units and buildings. The game's lead developer, Graeme Devine, has said that the emphasis is more on combat than economy; it is necessary for the player to "manage a battle instead of watching it", and while resources are still present they also have alternative forms such as time and the number of units present. Some campaign missions will take the focus off resources but skirmish and multiplayer matches still require management of an economy.

Halo Wars is set in 2531, prior to the events of Halo: Combat Evolved which is set in 2552. It follows the story of the UNSC's discovery of a Forerunner artifact and the first battles with the Covenant after the fall of the first planet, Harvest, to the Covenant. It will allow the player to control the crew and vehicles of a UNSC ship, CFV-88 Spirit of Fire, and receive instructions and commands from its AI Serina. When asked whether it would be possible to play as the Covenant, Ensemble's official response was "stay tuned", however other sources have said the Covenant would be available to play. In an interview on December 21, 2007 Devine explained that Ensemble was concentrating on differentiating the two factions in the single player campaign, but did not confirm or deny that the Covenant would be playable when prompted.

Source of infromation:

Army of Two

Army of Two is a co-op third-person shooter with a focus on cooperative and coordinated strategies. Players will join up with either the game's built-in "Partner Artificial Intelligence" (PAI) or other players "to fight through war, political turmoil and a conspiracy so vast it threatens the entire world." The game has been designed to necessitate teamwork as some missions may be close to impossible to complete without cooperation with the PAI. The story is about fictionalized Private Military Contractor partners, characterized as mercenaries.

The game allows a great deal of weapon customization. Some guns available for customization include: pistols, shotguns, submachine guns, rocket launchers, light machine guns, sniper rifles, grenade launchers and assault rifles. Such elements as stocks, under-slung grenade launchers, suppressors, grip handles, extra-large magazines and new barrels, can be swapped out to give the weapon a unique look. Other modifications include gold and chrome plating--also known as pimping in the game. Pimping weapons will raise your player's aggro meter drawing more attention to you. The player can also upgrade their armor to make it better and stronger but these can not be purchased and are unlocked as you progress through campaign mode. A firing range feature was proposed that would allow the player to test out their newly customized weapon, however it was removed as it did not meet the developers' standards

Some of the multiplayer moves include...

Step Jump: One person stands up against a wall and holds his hands out while the other person gets lifted up. The second person can then reach down and pull first person up.

Back to Back: Both players go back to back to cover each other's non-armored backsides.

Driving: The hovercraft needs one player to drive and the other to man the turret.

Kudos: Both players can do a range of emotes from slapping each other to playing air guitar. Also characters will communicate a lot and talk trash to one another. For example, one of the random emotes that Rios will occasionally say after being healed is "Where did you learn first aid, butcher school?" Players can also show anger to their partner by smacking them or head-butting them, Salem will occasionally say "You're fuckin' dead bro". All of these emotes are triggered by pressing the Right or Left triggers while standing near the other player.

Healing: When one player is injured, the other player must run over to him and either drag him to a safe area or heal him in that spot. The injured player also has a "bleed-out" bar, which limits how much time they have left before they die from their injuries. This bar decreases from 1. The difficulty played and 2. If enemies continue to shoot them.

Aggro Meter: Whichever player is firing the most will attract all enemies towards them. This allows the other player to become virtually invisible, and thus sneak up to enemy positions. If the aggrometer is full to one player they can initiate an "Overkill" mode, which the player with the most aggro goes into a fury doing X2,X3,X4 etc. shooting damage to the enemies, in this mode bullet time is initiated and the player cannot crouch, but doesn't have to reload either. The other player without aggro becomes transparent and moves faster, they are reccomended to use hand to hand combat while in this mode. Both players have 15 seconds before all aggro is drained and both players are equal.

Feign Death: If player one is about to die, he can fake his death. All the aggro will go to the second player. Then player one can get up and attack them from behind. (If walked past)

Co-op Snipe: Both players get into a sniping maneuver to double their power or take out two targets at the same time.

Weapon Swap: Players switch weapons with each other to diversify their arsenal.

Riot Shield: One of the players picks up a shield or a car door and both players hide behind it. While one player holds the shield, the other player has the ability to open fire at incoming enemies. The player that carries the shield also has the ability to hit enemies with the shield using melee attack.

Parachuting: In some missions Salem and Rios will be dropped from the skies via parachute. Then one soldier controls the parachute, while the other snipes targets on the ground

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Left 4 Dead

Left 4 Dead is a new four player co-op online and two player split screen game that puts you in the shoes of four survivors trying to escape a "28 Days Later" esque zombie apocalypse. Valve is producing this so you know it's going to rock on the Source engine. It will be realeased for the 360 and PC and comes with four scenarios with five maps each, but more should be available for download later in the year. This will be a FPS, and will not have any super weapons. The weapons in the game are stuff that you would find in a hunting goods store. Each scenarior will give you a good 45 to 75 minutes of gameplay each. This may not seem like a bunch but every time you play a map or scenario the zombies will come from a different location. The game is also controlled by an overall "Dungeon Master". This super AI will send hundreds of zombies at you if things are to easy, and it will also send less if your getting slaughtered. The point of this game is working together as a team. If you split off from the group, the zombies will go after you. They'll attack one person before they attatcked two or three. Also online while four people are controlling the humans, four other people are controlling the "Boss" zombies.

The Boomer
A hugely obese Infected that can projectile vomit at The Survivors, blinding them and attracting swarms of nearby Infected to them. When Boomers die they blow up, creating a large amount of damage and exorbitant amounts of gore and viscera, this also attracts NPC infected to the area in which the Boomer exploded. Boomers can also drop from tall buildings into/onto a group of survivors, and once they impact on the streets, they "pop" exploding in the aforementioned manner, this skill could serve as an effective method for ambushing the survivors.

The Hunter
An agile Infected who can climb walls and jump over rooftops. If the Hunter crouches for a certain period of time, a meter will fill and it can use it's most powerful attack (this was chosen instead of it becoming invisible once backed up to a wall or similar piece of cover, turning invisible, and then pouncing). It can then pounce on a survivor, pinning them down on the floor and slashing at them with its claws, rendering the victim powerless unless The Hunter is killed by a team-mate or knocked off its victim. It is extremely weak, and can only sustain minor gunfire before dying. The Hunter can also retreat, and slowly heal itself.

The Smoker
A zombie with a long, whip-like tongue that can drag Survivors away from their team-mates and use its tongue as an organic noose to strangle Survivors when it is perched on a rooftop. Similar to Half-Life's Barnacle, or Resident Evil's Licker. When in danger, it can leave a haze of black smoke, distorting the Survivors' vision.

The Tank
A huge, muscular zombie capable of throwing large items such as cars or blocks of concrete. Its slow movement is countered by high strength and toughness. To prevent the tank from camping away from the survivors for too long a frustration timer is set when the survivors are not in sight. When the timer runs out the tank becomes uncontrollable and begins stomping and thrashing giving away its position and becoming vulnerable to the survivors.

The Witch
The only mutant infected that will not be available to players. They are passive upon discovery by the players, but react with hostility to flashlight beams, physical contact, and gunfire in the vicinity. It will be able to kill a player in one hit, and has almost as much health as a Tank, making them the most dangerous of the infected. She has the resemblance of average infected, but can be heard crying to give the players a chance to avoid or attack her.

There are four playable human characters in the game, each with a different and unique appearance to make it easier to identify which character you are looking at when you aren't close enough to recognize the face. Each player is randomly assigned a character when they join the server and each character has the same abilities and may use the same weapons.

A Vietnam veteran with combat skills that have helped keep him alive, he is also the eldest of the band of survivors.

The tattoo-covered biker. He knew Bill before the outbreak of infection as well, which may mean they both went to Vietnam.

The teenage daughter of a wealthy family. Zoey's face is modeled from Alesia Glidewell, the person from which Chell from Valve's Portal was modeled.

An assistant manager at a local retail electronics chain store.