Firefall is a free-to-play MMO shooter with an emphasis on dynamic events, skill-based combat and desperate defences against sometimes overwhelming enemy forces. All of which sounds promising, but Firefall also features a lack of variety, constant busywork and a set of interconnected systems that sit awkwardly against the moment-to-moment drudgery of the game. It has potential. The problem is that, in almost every instance, it fails to meet the ideal it's trying to sell.
Third Person Shooter
Want a new look at Fortnite, Epic's free-to-play co-op shooter? Wait, you did remember that Epic were making a free-to-play co-op shooter, right? Admittedly it was first announced a long time ago, but the game has recently re-emerged from its years-long silence with the renewed promise of an upcoming alpha.
Fresh footage of The Division was shown at the Microsoft E3 press conference at E3 2014 today. A squad of four players navigated the snowy streets of dilapidated New York, battling what appeared to be NPC enemies on the way to a huge safehouse. Flamethrowers and strobe grenades were involved.
Four people stand toe-to-toe in a desperate battle against the undead. No, it's not a new Left 4 Dead. Or a new Sniper Elite: Nazi Zombie Army. Or a new... okay, it'll be easier to tell you what it is. Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age is another newly announced game from Crytek.
It seems that all of this year's new games are being announced just slightly before E3, and while that might make for a disappointing show, it definitely makes for an exciting Wednesday afternoon. Battlecry is the newest of the new announcements, and is a free-to-play action game that looks like a cross between Team Fortress 2 and Chivalry: Medieval Warfare. It's set in a world designed by Half-Life 2's Viktor Antonov, in which gunpowder is banned and Cossacks and Royal Marines are at war.
There’s a reason Resident Evil 4 is such a standout in the series. It shed years of traditional features—tank controls, static camera angles, and awkward pacing—and replaced them with shooting mechanics that redefined the action-horror genre. The Resident Evils that came before it are still classics, especially Resident Evil 2, but it’d be so much more fun to play if Leon Kennedy had some of his Resident Evil 4 moves. One fan created a short demo of what that would look like, and it’s as good as you’d suspect.
A HD rendition of a classic game can introduce new audiences to missing links in gaming's evolutionary chain. Resident Evil 4 is one such link, a brave rethink of Resident Evil's original formula that retained the horror, the bosses, and Umbrella's carefully alphabetised viruses, but moved the series in a livelier, gorier direction. Resident Evil 4 HD finally has finally given us a worthy PC edition, as you'll discover in our review, but we wanted to talk a bit about why it's so good, and why it matters. Tim and Sam brought their thoughts to camera, as you'll see in the video below.
Resident Evil 4 is nine years old, and still the best action game I've ever played. It's still thrilling when I nail four Ganados with a single shotgun blast, still tense when I face down a relentless Iron Maiden before it impales me with deadly spikes. I'm on edge even when I know I'm safe, still creeped out by the foreboding pressure Resident Evil 4 constantly exerts through its thumping industrial soundtrack and grim environments.
I've played through Resident Evil 4 on Gamecube at least three times. Today, Capcom announced that it’s bringing the ultimate, high definition version the game to Steam on February 27 for $20, meaning I’ll definitely play through it again. It’s really that good.
The Just Cause 2 multiplayer mod was released earlier this week, adding multiplayer support to the tropical island of Panau. It instantly became our mod of the week, and we jumped in together at lunchtime to see if we could survive the chaos.
No-one survives the chaos, it turns out, but that's okay, because a barrage of ridiculous things are happening around you all the time. Here are but a few.
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified underwent a tumultuous, prolonged development, so it’s understandable that some of its pieces are polished but so few of them fit together. The resulting puzzle-piece jumble is best forgotten in favor of last year’s far-superior XCOM: Enemy Unknown or other recent third-person action games like Mass Effect 3 or Saints Row IV.
There's none of the potentially interesting strategic squad management in this brief look at The Bureau: XCOM Declassified. We're in launch trailer territory, where traditional values hold the day: values like tone, and story, and dapper men giving speeches about serious threats. Because, while a world in which the Cold War cooled early sounds pleasant, when the alternative is weird cube aliens invading '60s surburbia, it's probably not worth the trade.
A new video from The Bureau: XCOM Declassified puts a goofy spin on self-sacrifice and permadeath in the upcoming third-person shooter. It's obvious that when you're repelling an alien invasion—and with Cold-War era technology, no less—you may have to make some tough decisions. Bu no matter how unhinged you are as a squad leader, the new trailer gently reminds us, "you only live once."
The Bureau is a game about an alien invasion, and not a sort of chest of drawers, so it makes sense that this fresh load of gameplay footage would focus on killing aliens and ordering teammates about, rather than storing stuff in a convenient yet pricey piece of furniture. There are nine-and-a-bit minutes of killy, sprinty, 60sy action below, taken (courtesy of VG247) from the opening mission of the game.
Here's the new trailer for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, showing even more of its surprisingly tactical looking third-person combat. In it, you'll see some enemies and abilities familiar from Firaxis' XCOM: Enemy Unknonwn reboot, integrated into a cover and squad management system that's almost Mass Effect-like in the way it lets teammates combine their skills.
The ninth major update for free-to-play sci-fi shooter Warframe has just gone live. It brings a new addition to the robo-ninja roster with NOVA, which was created in part by The Design Council. They're a shadowy cabal of the game's community supporters, and were put in charge of deciding the Warframe's theme: anti-matter. At least if any universes implode, you'll know who to blame.
Watch, as the The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, the shooter that 2K Marin have been working on for the last few years morphs before your very eyes into a game that looks a lot more like XCOM: Enemy Unknown, albeit with a slick early '60s sheen. The combination of otherworldly antagonists and everyday bureaucratic fustiness is fertile ground, if the success of the X-Files tells us anything. But Scully didn't have a glove that could lift things up so Mulder could zap them, and Mulder rarely wore a hat. What was Chris Carter thinking?
Cult '90s television aside, Declassified is looking good, as Craig Owens discovered when he played it for our Bureau hands-on. See it in action in the latest trailer.
Reflecting JJ Abrams’ flashier, dumber Star Trek, the inevitable videogame spinoff is – you guessed it – a cover shooter. If you want to feel like the captain of your own starship, exploring the universe and seducing aliens, play Mass Effect. This is a game where you crouch behind bits of scenery and shoot giant lizards with lasers.
Here's a trailer for The Bureau: XCOM Declassified's 'Battle Focus' feature. From the footage included, it appears a more suitable name would be the "turn it into XCOM: Enemy Unknown" mode. It lets you intersperse your third person shooting with tactical planning, skill deployment, and that shield UI that tells you when you're in cover. It's probably the most like 'XCOM' the game ever looked.
Tom Clancy's The Division developers Massive are keeping their options open for future expansion beyond the announced Xbone and PS4 versions. They're currently "optimizing the experience for next gen consoles" they say on Twitter, but they're "not ruling out any platforms for the future."
The "online open-world action-RPG" enjoyed a very good showing at the Ubisoft press conference on Monday. It's a third person shooter set in a crumbling plague-infested New York city. Squad-based combat against NPCs morphed into a PvP battle towards the end of the video, which raises questions about the size of that online world. Latency still hamstrings precise shooting mechanics on servers above a certain scale. I wonder if games like The Division and Bungie's Destiny will be divided into more manageable 50-100 player servers, a la Day Z.