The Sunday Video Pwn
Game trailers these days sometimes offer too much of what we don't care about. Live action sequences, pre-rendered cut-scenes and developer hype that doesn't help us at all get a real feel for the game we're looking at. That's not the case with this twelve minute trailer for Batman: Arkham City. It's over ten minutes of pure gameplay footage, starring Catwoman and Bats himself in a daring attack on ex-DA Harvey "Two-Face" Dent. If you want to experience the game clean then perhaps you may wan't to skip this one, but Rocksteady have garbled any dialogue that spoils the major plot-lines, so it's fairly safe to view.
We all love Minecraft for various reasons, but it wasn't until I watched some Minecraft machima this week that I realised that it's actually the perfect tool for animators. The sandbox means you can practically build any set you want (after you've slammed your pick-axe into enough rock), and whilst the blocky nature of the game means you'll hardly be producing the next Godfather, you can create a wonderfully stylised short. Take a look at Mans Best Friend, a tear-worthy little film about a miner and his dog exploring Notch's perfect world. Not recommended for those who are too macho to say 'Awwwww'.
We all have that one memory of a game that truly frightened us. For some it'll be an atmospheric moment from Silent Hill 2, for others it's being shocked by the sudden attack of a mutant in System Shock. Today I've gained a new one, and I wasn't even playing. It's actually from a video from back in 2009 that resurfaced on Reddit (thanks greyishpowerranger!), showing off an ARMA 2 battle featuring a mind-shattering 1,500 AI troopers. Set at night, you can barley see the armies, but in the dim light of explosions and tracer, the player stumbles through a harrowing virtual recreation of war. No scripted mission from any game - be it Medal of Honor, Call of Duty or Operation Flashpoint - has ever come close to simulating the overwhelming fear of being stuck in the middle of battle in the way this video does. You may want to turn your speakers down a bit for this one.
Should ARMA 2 be a little too old-hat for you though, we do of course have seven whole minutes from ARMA 3. Don't thank us all at once.
If scarily realistic military sim shooters are a bit outside your comfort zone, then perhaps The Baconing is more your kind of bag. The follow-up to Ron Gilbert's DeathSpank, it looks just as humorous as the previous offerings, although more emphasis on pork-based products. Its comedy value is, of course, positively restrained compared to that of Saints Row: The Third. In this commentary of the game's Steelport area, we're shown how to dive through car windows, punch people until they combust, cause as much destruction as possibly using a tank and burn things with a VTOL plane-mounted microwave laser. Best sandbox ever?
To finish up, relax and take a look at the world we can expect to live in come 2027. Sarif Industries is going to make life better, easier and orange-er. Thankfully we only have to wait mere months rather than sixteen years to see the world, when we all play Deus Ex: Human Revolution on August 23.