Without a doubt, Alice: Madness Returns has the most beautiful and well-realized aesthetic of any game I’ve seen in ages. But, I’m begging you to never play it. Why? Because it’s heartbreaking that a world rife with so many imaginative possibilities ends up feeling so empty, so dull, and so soulless.
The dragons are back from the ocean's depths. Today marks the release of Guild Wars 2, the new massively multiplayer online role playing game (think World of Warcraft meets Star Wars: The Old Republic) from developer ArenaNet. S+V got a chance to chat with Guild Wars 2's audio director, James Ackley, who told us about the challenges and rewards of designing sound for an MMO.
Last week, we told you about all the work that went into the refreshed soundtrack for Tony Hawk Pro Skater HD.S+V also talked with Robomodo president Josh Tsui about the whole range of challenges involved in recreating a classic game for a modern era.
Surround sound headsets are for gamers what soundbars are for the average consumer: no-hassle, "good enough" alternatives to a full home-theater system. The hurdle all gaming headsets have to overcome is successfully tricking your brain into thinking it's hearing five to seven discrete channels around the "room." Some do this better than others, but simulating spatial separation with a few drivers located less than an inch from your ear is a tall order - too tall, I'd thought.
Then I took several pairs for extended test drives, and what I found surprised me.
Dirt 3 (Codemasters Racing Studio) Xbox 360 (also for PC, PS3)
It took a while for Dirt 3 to click for me. At first, I loved bombing around the beautifully rendered tracks with all of the driving assists turned on, racking up easy gold medals. Then I got bored because everything felt so automatic, and progressing didn't require any skill. So, I turned the aids off. That was a wake-up call; I'd never I worked so hard for a last-place finish before.
With the HD-capable Wii U, Nintendo has finally caught up with Sony and Microsoft. While the PS3 and Xbox 360 have had their share of faults, Sony and Microsoft have managed to address most of those over the past six and seven years of their respective console's lifespans.
So many awesome new video games have come out this fall, and there’s so little time. But perhaps the other members of your household don’t share your passion for stabbing corrupt politicians in the neck at three in the morning, or your neighbors don’t want to hear 140 MPH car crashes all evening long. But since you’ve been keeping up with all the newest titles, your wallet’s probably feeling a little light — so you can’t justify dropping $300 or more.
Hotline Miami (released today on Steam) is a dark and sordid 16-bit trip through 1989 South Florida and its seedy underbelly. It mixes a retro aesthetic with more violence than you're used to (think last year's cult hit Drive). It plays like earlier entries in the GTA series - but without the tedious driving between missions.
The Resistance series has never had it easy. The original title launched alongside the PS3 back in 2006, and remained largely overlooked in the furor surrounding Sony’s $600 asking price for their new console.
When I reviewed the Astro A40 MLG edition headset and wireless mixamp late last year, my complaints were minor. Since then, they've become my go-to cans; I even use them for transcribing interviews. It's overkill, I know. I've used them exclusively for the past eight months because I haven't heard another gaming headset that sounds anywhere near as good. That is until I spent quality time with Astro's new model, the A50.