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Five ways Assassin’s Creed: Unity feels fresh

- June 17th, 2014

There’s been a new Assassin’s Creed game almost every year since 2007, yet Ubisoft’s biggest franchise still manages to impress. This year, it’s Assassin’s Creed Unity, and it’s being built from the ground up for next-gen systems.

While technically the seventh major game in the series and a successor to last year’s ocean-spanning pirate adventure, Assassin’s Creed IV: Blag Flag, Unity takes advantage of new technology and fresh ideas that could shakeup the familiar Assassin’s Creed formula. Here’s five things about Unity that I learned from Technical Director James Therien during a demonstration at E3 last week.

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‘Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’ best finished and forgotten

- February 28th, 2013

‘Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance’ (HO)

Raiden sure has come a long way since 2001’s Metal Gear Solid 2. Back then, our cyborg ninja protagonist was an amateur spy, loathed by the Metal Gear audience simply for being a far cry from series’ mainstay Solid Snake.

Fast-forward to 2008’s Metal Gear Solid 4 and it’s obvious that series mastermind Hideo Kojima and his team at Kojima Productions knew the character needed a serious influx of cool. So Raiden was reintroduced as a cyborg samurai, equipped with body armour and a deadly high-speed frequency blade capable of cutting through anything.

Knowing they had a game but unsure how to approach Raiden’s slice-and-dice nature while developing Metal Gear Rising, Kojima asked the Japanese action game experts at Platinum Games (of cult favourites Bayonetta and Vanquish) to step in and take the reins. After four years in development, we have the first MGS spinoff: Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance.

Setting aside the weird, made-up subtitle, Kojima and Platinum have made a somewhat uneven game that settles for style over substance at every turn.

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What we know about PS4′s new camera

- February 21st, 2013

During yesterday’s Future of PlayStation media conference in New York City, Sony officially announced the PlayStation 4 with a flurry of game and feature announcements that the Japanese electronics giant hopes will make PS4 the next-gen system of choice among gamers.

Amidst an avalanche of stunning gameplay footage and some new ideas, Sony also showed off the PS4′s new controller: The DualShock 4.

While touting the controller’s new shape, front touch pad and share button, little attention was paid to the system’s second confirmed peripheral: The PlayStation 4 camera. What is it?

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LEGO Lord of the Rings Review

- December 18th, 2012

While Peter Jackson’s return to Middle Earth with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey brought home some serious gold at the box office this weekend, I’ve been entrenched in a completely different, more interactive adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved lore with Lego Lord of the Rings.

Sure, this game is closer to Jackson’s work than Tolkien’s but as developer Traveller’s Tales Lego video game series was built on the blocks of successful film and pop culture franchises like Star Wars and Harry Potter, Jackson’s Academy-Award winning adaptation of Tolkien’s books is definitely deserving of the Lego treatment.

Thankfully, Lego LOTR isn’t a pile of broken blocks. This Balrog-sized adventure continues to honour the series’ clever-but-never-complicated platforming and puzzles with a new wealth of collectibles worth seeking out in every corner of Middle Earth.


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Edmonton developers resurrect PC classic Baldur’s Gate

- August 19th, 2012

While the golden era of fantasy role-playing computer games might be long gone, for Trent Oster and his team at Overhaul Games, it’s certainly not forgotten.

Working undercover in a small studio tucked behind a tattoo parlour on Whyte Avenue, the ex-BioWare game director and his talented team of game designers are resurrecting a notable classic: Baldur’s Gate.

The 1998 Dungeons & Dragon’s-based PC game was one of the last bastions of true strategy role playing games, says Oster, and it’s Overhaul’s pleasure to be able to give the undeniably dated game a modern makeover.


Scott Brooks, Beamdog's chief technology officer, works on the iPad version of Baldur's Gate: Enhanced Edition on his computer at Overhaul Games office on Whyte Avenue in Edmonton.

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