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PS3 Features

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Doesn’t Killzone 3 Make Resistance 3 Futile?

A PS3 exclusive where aliens are invading our planet and humankind is on the brink of extinction from an enemy that has us outmatched and outgunned, okay… now the question is am I talking about Killzone or Resistance? That’s the problem with Sony publishing both of these games. To take a step back, after E3 it struck some people as a bit odd that Sony showed off Killzone 3 before a Resistance sequel. Mainly due to the fact that Resistance 2 came out before Killzone 2, so logic would dictate that Resistance 3 would release prior to Killzone 3. Especially with Resistance developer, Insomniac Games, development schedule of alternating between releasing a Ratchet and Resistance game every year.

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PlayStation Keeping it Simple at the Con

Ready… set… con! Right on cue, at 6pm PST, the doors to the convention hall opened and the crowds charged in, ready to immerse themselves in games, comics, television, movies, collectibles, and general sensory overload. Even preview night, open to those holding four-day passes, now feels just as packed as the rest of the festivities. 

The Playstation booth was a haven of relative calm–like a save point–moderately crowded, with just a select handful of games being demoed. There was actually room to get in and play a game or watch others play with minimal smashed toes and b.o. levels. 

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Dragon Age 2 at Comic-Con 2010

This writer first discovered Dragon Age: Origins by stumbling upon a preview demonstration at the Hilton hotel just outside Comic-Con last year. While Dragon Age 2 was announced recently, little about the game has been revealed, so the eight-foot dragon statue outside the Hilton during the 2010 Con was cause for excitement. 

Bioware was back, showcasing two much anticipated sequels, Dragon Age 2 and Dead Space 2. The atmosphere was filled with as much glitz and anticipation as at any other Comic-Con event. Lines stretched out the double doors of the preview rooms, and participants happily signed agreements not to take photos or record anything once inside. This year’s set-up was a bit more formal than last year’s. In 2009, players would wander in, go to stations and play at their own pace. A Bioware representative was on hand at each console to explain what a Grey Warden was, and give game play tips. This year, players were brought into the curtained-off as a group of 20 or so. Lead Developer Mike Laidlaw introduced Dragon Age 2, gave some background on the title, and then demoed it. 

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Kane and Lynch 2 Preview

The demo allows for roughly ten minutes of the single player campaign through the eyes of Lynch and a sample of the new multiplayer mode “Fragile Alliance.” The campaign opens with Kane and Lynch rolling over a Chinese restaurant counter dodging a barrage of machine gun fire. Bullets spray overhead as Lynch finds his bearings and stands up. It is difficult to tell the difference between in-game cinematic cut-scenes and actual gameplay. The entire game is rendered with a highly stylized lens that looks as if someone is following these guys with an old cell phone camera complete with hazy distortion and periodic discoloration. There is a huge difference between playing a game that looks like a movie versus watching a movie with game elements. Dog Days strikes a remarkable balance between the two with the camera effect which is surprisingly engaging. The shaky camera can be disabled, but this feature gives Dog Days its own unique feel and cutting it out reduces the game’s identity significantly. It feels like you are playing a cut-scene, but in a good way; that cinematic flair continues to maintain itself during the rest of the gameplay.

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Imagining Dragon Age 2

A little over a year after its predecessor, Dragon Age 2 will hit the shelves, quenching gamers’ thirst for blood and adventure. The fan community is bubbling over with thoughts on what the game may or may not entail, with confirmed details few and far between.

Dragon Age appealed both to the passion for slaying things with swords and the appreciation of a great story. The writers went to great lengths to develop a history for the lands of Thedas, and complex relationships amongst its peoples. Politics, religion, and war weave together to form a rich back story. It remains unclear exactly where and when the new game will be set. It is said to take place in a new part of the world and span a decade.

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Game Plus Confusion

Flipping through the titles in the Playstation Store, I couldn’t help notice some downloadable games with the word “FREE” written beneath them. Each of these titles had a tiny gold plus symbol hovering just above their right sides. I realized that these offers were only for Playstation Plus subscribers and found myself oddly drawn to useless content I had never wanted or cared about before. For fifty dollars I could secure a twelve month subscription. As an added incentive for early adopters, an additional three months would be tacked on for taking the plunge from the outset of the service. During a weak moment of greed and acute heat exhaustion, I had become a Playstation Plus member.

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Sony’s E3 Press Conference Impressions

Below are my quick notes for the Sony presser: 

– We start off Sony’s presser with a nice video package.
– And here comes Mr. Tretton!
– Killzone 3 looks great. Even not in 3D. Jet-packs seem very cool. Will be Move functional. Coming out Feb. 2011
– Gran Turismo 5, Crysis 2, Mortal Kombat, Gran Turismo 5, Shaun White Skateboarding, Tron, NBA 2K11, among others announced as being 3D compatible.

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Kratos: Crybaby

Vincent (our site’s editor) and I have often talked about the narrative qualities of videogames on Digital High, the site’s podcast. We lament the fact that 98% of the time, the game has your avatar in the middle of good vs. evil scenario, where he/she (and let’s not kid ourselves 95% of the time it’s a he; even the latest Mario got rid of the princess for another Toad as a playable character) is the lone force who can stop the bad guy from taking over the world. Yeah, this is wonderfully fun and feeds into the Joseph Campbell hero of a thousand faces which every generation absorbs and recreates. Come videogames, I’m of the sentiment that this is an entirely masturbatory experience that turns the aspects of videogames that could be positive (preparation for battles, team building, trust, all Art of War / Tony Robbins stuff) into wish fulfillment, which, because it rewards small effort with huge results, is wholly a negative outcome.

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