Brink (Splash Damage/Bethesda) Xbox 360 (also for PS3/PC)
Everything about Brink feels like a missed opportunity. I wanted to like it because I'm a sucker for objective-based shooters, and I was jonesing for something new. Instead, it feels too much like other shooters, not to mention the fact that it recycles its own few new ideas ad nauseum.
Sabotaging a gas pump and watching from inside a dumpster as a criminal walks up to it, takes a phone call, lights a cigarette and then explodes is one of Hitman: Absolution's (out today for PC, PS3, Xbox 360) simplest pleasures. Last week I talked to the game's director,18-year industry veteran Tore Blystad, about his latest project.
Criterion Games wants wanted their latest open-world crashathon racer Need for Speed: Most Wanted (out today for PC, PS3, Vita, Xbox 360) to be a more film-like experience. So they hired BAFTA Award nominee Vanesa Lorena Tate to take on audio lead responsibilities. She’s been composing since she was four years old and has worked on such films as Hellboy 2: The Golden Army and two Harry Potter flicks: The Order of the Phoenix and The Deathly Hallows part 2 in addition to Criterion’s last Need for Speed, 2010’s Hot Pursuit.
As great a game as the first Borderlands was, it didn't offer much in the way of story. Developer Gearbox Software realized this and brought in Anthony Burch (best known for the often inappropriately hilarious web series, "Hey Ash, Whatcha Playin'?") to write Borderlands 2. Burch was also a member of the video game press corp whose equally sharp analysis and humor made him a must-read in his time at Destructoid and other places around the Web.
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.