The fine folks at Bethesda have just released a new trailer for their next big project, the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The trailer shows off some gameplay and brings some story elements into light. Perhaps most important of all; a release date. November 11th 2011 to be exact. Not soon enough for most fans, but thankfully it’s due out this year (let’s hope it doesn’t get delayed).
The Elder Scrolls series has always maintained it’s reputation for establishing graphical benchmarks in the RPG genre. Skyrim will be no different. It utilizes a completely overhauled engine known as the Creation Engine to bring it’s world to life. The world itself and the denizens that occupy it will be finely detailed and unique.
Bethesda also promises that the combat mechanics will be much more varied than what was seen in Oblivion. No longer will all the classes fight similarly with stats being the only thing that tells them apart. Different classes will now fight and handle differently from one another. An assassin will be much quicker and favor a more silent approach. A warrior will clash swords with a sense of heft and expertise. This may sound pretty obvious, but Oblivion’s classes all fought and controlled the same. Skyrim will encourage players to play through as different races and classes not only to add replayability, but to broaden the experiences Bethesda hopes to bring to the player.
The story of Skyrim takes place roughly 200 years after the events of Oblivion. The continent has fallen into turmoil as civil war erupts. A god by the name of Alduin has taken the form of dragon and is on the warpath to destroy the entire world. It’s up to the player to fulfill his/her destiny as a Dragonborn and free the continent of Skyrim from the clutches of an evil demigod dragon. Quite the mouthful eh? What else is to be expected from an Elder Scrolls game?
The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim is set to be released on November 11th 2011 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC. Check out the breathtaking new trailer below.
Dice and EA’s answer to the Call of Duty series is being released THIS year. Fall 2011 will see the release of the long awaited Battlefield 3. Dice isn’t dancing around the franchise’s namesake; this is NOT a continuation of Bad Company or some obscure Battlefield game made for consoles. Full-blown sequel, Battlefield 3, Fall 2011.
The new trailer only shows a few glimpses of the gameplay, but it’s enough for any gamer to get excited. Upgrades to the series’ Frostbite engine is immediately apparent so it’s needless to say it looks damn good. Dice has already confirmed a robust campaign as well as a cooperative component. How co-op works remains to be seen. Of course there’s the venerable multiplayer that players hold in such high regard.
Battlefield 3 is set to release on the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC Fall 2011.
While Cloud Strife may have stolen legendary status by default; Zack Fair set the precedent that allowed him to do so. The man behind the icon, Zack Fair is one of RPG’s under recognized characters.
The role he played in the original FF7 was marginal however; important. His untold exploits led to the rise of the iconic Cloud Strife. Zack’s tribulations ultimately imbued Cloud with a sense of purpose WAY before the events of FF7 and these events were explained in Crisis Core. Much like the character Zack himself, Crisis Core’s journey was cherished, important, and above all; bittersweet.
For many hardcore FF7 fans, Aerith wasn’t the only one worth shedding a tear for. Cloud merely embodied Zack’s legacy and was the precursor to the cataclysmic events of FF7.
“Hey Cloud… what are you gonna do when you get back to Midgar?“ ~ Zack Fair
What do developers do when their game has been off the grid for so long that people think it’s been canceled? Get some attention with a shocking trailer, of course! Techland has recently released a chilling trailer for their new open-world zombie game Dead Island. The trailer is unsettling as much as it is moving.
While no actual gameplay was shown, the trailer (as well as the developer) did reveal that there will be a heavy emphasis on melee combat. It’s a vastly different take when compared to Valve’s zombie blasta-thon; Left 4 Dead. Instead of arming players to the teeth with automatics and magical ammo drops, Dead Island will have players scrounging for AND customizing improvised weapons that will deteriorate over time.
The developer’s website http://deadisland.deepsilver.com/deadisland.php details Dead Island as a cooperative first-person action/RPG. How it all comes together remains to be seen. As of now, there is no release date besides a very broad 2011 window. Hopefully some gameplay and a solid release date will surface soon (*ahem* E3).
Check out the trailer below.
Netherrealm Studios has released a new character trailer featuring Noob Saibot for the upcoming Mortal Kombat. It appears again that the mysterious shadow ninja is up to his old tricks of deception and ass-kickery. What was once series creators Ed Boon and John Tobias’ self-referential character, is now more of a certified badass and less of an inside joke. Noob Saibot has come unto his own and made a name for himself in previous MK titles (let’s ignore MK vs DC Universe).
The new trailer shows off a bit of the Noob’s move sets and it looks nothing short of merciless and brutal. Teleportation and having his shadow do the dirty work is part of his game plan. Check out Noob Saibot’s trailer below.
The Mortal Kombat reboot is set to release on April 19th 2011.
If you haven’t seen the video game headlines lately, Activision has been making some pretty strong cuts all around. In an apparent attempt to trim down the excess fat of the company, game franchises and now even entire companies are being cut from the mega-publisher. Here is what has happened so far.
Activision announces it will “disband Activision Publishing’s Guitar Hero business unit”
When I first saw this news article, two immediate thoughts came into my head. The first? WHAT!? The Second? It was going to happen eventually. We’ve all seen the news: the music game industry is declining fast. The novelty that was playing plastic instruments and feeling like a rock star has worn off significantly. With so many music games out there, the market was overwhelmed with cheap plastic and a bundle of game discs. It was shocking to see that the once almighty Guitar Hero franchise was ending its days, but now that I look at it, I shouldn’t be surprised at all. Over twenty games in a 5 year period, with the majority falling in the later years. The market simply couldn’t handle this. The DJ Hero series, which is part of the Guitar Hero franchise, has been put on hold.
Going hand in hand with the disbanding, Activision has also shut down Red Octane, the original developers of Guitar Hero, and have severely cut the staff of Neversoft.
Next on the list: Activision cuts the True Crime franchise.
This is the open world crime game developed by United Front Games. The newest installment, True Crime: Hong Kong was due later this year. The reasoning behind this cut? “It just wasn’t going to be good enough” – Activision Publishing CEO Eric Hirshberg.
Continuing on with the game franchises, The Tony Hawk series has been put on hold.
Honestly, I’m not even going to complain about this one; they had it coming and those games just plain sucked.
Lastly, as of now, Activision is shutting down Bizarre Creations.
This one hit me the hardest and inspired me to write this article. I am a huge fan of Bizarre Creations and hate to see that Activision is ending their run. For those who don’t know, Bizarre Creations is behind the madly addictive XBLA game Geometry Wars and the racing game Blur, which I actually found insanely fun. The saddest part to this story is that Activision only just recently bought Bizarre Creations back in 2007. It really does suck to lose them.
Now I may have missed another cut or hold that Activision has released, but this is what I have compiled as of now. And I get the feeling this list is going to grow even larger.
When Marvel vs Capcom 2 was released in 2000, it brought with it a massive 56 character roster and solidified itself as one of the most over-the-top fighters in arcades everywhere. Newbies and pros alike were pulling off seizure-inducing hyper combos left and right. It was the magic of the “Versus” series, novices AND veterans were able to sink their teeth into the combo system and really discover everything the game has to offer. The collection of fighters themselves managed to lure in folks who weren’t normally inclined to play fighting games. Why are Marvel favorites such as Captain America & Cyclops going toe-to-toe with fighting icon Ryu and a little Japanese school girl? Whatever. It was damn cool and damn good.
Fast forward about a decade later, Marvel vs Capcom 3 still maintains the core mechanics that made MvC2 so legendary. The fighting roster may not be as gargantuan as it’s predecessor, but it still possesses a very well-rounded and balanced cast. No more bs palette swap, no more clone characters (I’m looking at you Adamantium and Bone Claw Wolverine), and no more sprites dating back to the Alpha series. All 36 characters in the roster (and two via download) are deadly and unique snowflakes.
Although some veterans may be disappointed that the Street Fighter train is somewhat of a caboose this time around. However, this allows other Capcom characters an opportunity to get down and dirty. Nathan Spencer makes his debut with his infamous bionic arm and Dante is a great and appropriate addition to the series. Marvel’s side sees the return of long standing favorites like Iron Man and Spider-Man as well as a slew of new additions like Phoenix and Taskmaster.
The controls are a bit simplified for MvC3. There’s essentially three attack buttons; light, medium, and heavy. There’s also a button specifically to set up air combos and shoulder buttons are dedicated to tagging in your other fighters. But make no mistake; the depth is still existent. Advancing guards and snapbacks are essential to giving yourself breathing space. Air combos are devastating as they ever were but, they’re reversible this time around. No longer does a player have to wait for their beaten carcass to hit the ground to return a volley of their own.
A “Simple” mode lets newbies bust out combos and specials at the push of a single button. This may sound like a “Get Out of Jail Free” card, but controlling your character directly will always edge out in the end. What’s there to say about the controls? They’re ultra-precise and well ingrained into your head after a few matches. It’s a manner of utilizing your character, controlling space, and knowing when to dab into their expansive move sets. Don’t expect anything less from Capcom.
Marvel vs Capcom 3 has various modes of play, but honestly it has nothing that sets it apart from other fighting titles. The Arcade mode scurries you through several matches against the computer and ultimately ending with a 3-on-1 fight with Galactus. After defeating Galactus you’ll be treated to a character specific ending that consist of a couple of stills and some text. Meh. It’s classic Capcom fighting game ending, but it doesn’t fly these days. Especially when SSF4 had fully animated endings. But this is just a small very nerdy gripe when the rest of the content is well worth a decade’s long wait.
Online multiplayer consists of Ranked Matches and unranked Player Matches. Players can also create a match and set their own parameters if they so desire. One of the biggest disappointments is the lack of a replay feature. Which is all the more trivial since Capcom implemented it very well into SSF4. A replay viewer/uploader can make the fighting community thrive. Watching other people’s comebacks and seeing how they play will only excite and extend the community’s interest in the game. Why Capcom decided to overlook this feature is beyond me.
Marvel vs Capcom 3 is in line with the Versus series’ fighting tradition. Capcom took the fighting genre off life-support with Street Fighter 4, stabilized it with SSF4, and now it’s sending it back to work with Marvel vs Capcom 3. Capcom has proven again that they can still make some of the best fighting games around. MvC3 is a title that fans of the fighting genre shouldn’t miss out on. Whether or not it will stand up to MvC2’s 10 year pedigree remains to be seen. There’s only one way to find out. Time to take yourself for another ride.
+ Controls are precise; just pick up and play.
+ Fast and fluid fighting system dazzles as much as it excites
+ Fan service, fan service, fan service
+ Comic-book style presentation is vibrant and beautiful; makes the geek in us all smile
– Online feature set is a little lackluster
– No replay viewer/uploader
– No white gi Ken
– 10 more years until MvC4