Gaming has never been better. Consoles, PCs, mobile devices and the Web all offer unique and innovative gaming experiences. Here, our geekiest gamers review the latest releases, talk trends and — once in a while — even go analog. We are the Button Mashers.
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.
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?
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.
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.
At what point does addressing fan concerns compromise artistic integrity?
That’s the underlying debate born today out of BioWare co-founder Ray Muzyka’s announcement via an open letter to fans that Mass Effect 3′s ending will receive changes.
In the wake of fan outcry regarding the core of the game’s conclusion (which I won’t spoil here), Muzyka said the Edmonton-based studio is “hard at work on a number of game content initiatives that will help answer the questions, providing more clarity for those seeking further closure to their journey.”
thatgamecompany follows up flOw & Flower with their most emotionally-charged masterpiece yet
by Matt Dykstra
I’m sad that in modern gaming it’s still so rare for games to provide a genuinely cathartic experience.
Sandwiched between formulaic first-person shooters and machismo action-adventure titles, we gamers have a penchant to skip over downloadable endeavors in favour of triple-A, blockbuster releases with monstrous advertising campaigns that demand our attention at every turn.
But then there’s developers like those at thatgamecompany, who time and time again push the boundaries of game design with risky choices to offer truly unique experiences. Who would have thought a game about a flower pedal drifting in the wind over an open field would have been so immersive?
I’m happy to say they’ve done it again. The PlayStation Network exclusive Journey isn’t just a delightfully well-crafted game, it’s a shining example of how washing away modern game design cliches can result in one of the most beautifully realized experiences ever created. Ever.
Mark Meer, star and voice of the male Commander Shepard, dishes on Mass Effect 3
Tonight, in cities across North America, millions of gamers will line up to conclude their mission to save the galaxy from the impending Reaper invasion.
Mark Meer, voice of the male Commander Shepard and star of Mass Effect, poses for a photo at BioWare's Edmonton studio. DAVID BLOOM/Edmonton Sun
The story of Mass Effect has emerged over the last seven years to become modern videogaming’s definitive science fiction masterpiece. To show their appreciation for fans in their hometown, BioWare Edmonton is hosting a helluva midnight launch party at the EB Games store in Southgate Centre Mall.
In attendance will be the tremendously talented Mark Meer, star and voice of Commander Shepard if you went with the dude option, to sign copies of the game and greet local fans. I caught up with Meer at BioWare’s Edmonton HQ to ask how he feels now that the series is winding down.
Bad choice of words.
“I wouldn’t say they wound the trilogy down,” Meer explained, leaning back in a computer chair inside the studio’s on-site recording booth, “I’d say they ramped it up significantly. It’s gonna be something to see, I think players are going to be impressed.”
Mass Effect Executive Producer Casey Hudson and Lead Writer Mac Walters chat about crafting the finale to gaming’s most ambitious science fiction role-playing game series
Gamers are counting down to March 6. It’s not that Mass Effect 3 is one of the most anticipated games this year, I mean it is, but the anticipation of Mass Effect 3 stems from a promise BioWare made back in 2005.
With Mass Effect, BioWare was anxious to break the RPG mold by designing a non-linear narrative for players that would allow them to craft their own Commander Shepard and shape his or her own identity within a galactic conflict brewing in deep space. As Shepard, gamers realized the threat of the Reapers and, over the course of Mass Effect 2, began to unravel their mysteries.
In Mass Effect 3, the Reapers have arrived on Earth with destructive force and it’s survival at any cost. Catching up with Executive Producer Casey Hudson and lead writer Mac Walters on Valentine’s Day, I was anxious to learn if the team at BioWare Edmonton achieved the vision they set out for almost seven years ago.
If the Mayans ever predicted a 2012 apocalypse, they were probably referring to the world as seen through the eyes of Leon S. Kennedy and Chris Redfield, protagonists of Capcom’s Resident Evil 6.
Launching for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on Nov. 20, 2012, with a PC version to follow, Capcom is promising RE6 will be the series’ “most ambitious, immersive and feature rich title of the series to date and promises to be the dramatic horror experience of the year.”
Gaming has never been better. Consoles, PCs, mobile devices and the web all offer unique and innovative gaming experiences. Here, our geekiest gamers review the latest releases, talk trends and - once in a while - even go analog.