The Assassin’s Creed franchise has adopted an annual-release model the last few years, presenting gamers with a new opportunity every fall to jump across the rooftops of their favorite densely-researched historical cityscapes. But last year’s Assassin’s Creed 3 seemed to mark a turning point for the franchise. We don’t know much about the next entry, but Ubisoft just released an evocative bit of key art which reveals two things: 1. The name of the game, and 2. A very rough idea of the setting. Take a look: READ FULL STORY
Tag: Videogames (71-80 of 526)
Lara Croft had approximately 0.6 seconds as the adventurous, crypt-crawling Indiana Jane she was intended to be before she was immediately burdened with absurd physical proportions and tasked with propping up the half-formed sexual fantasies of millions of teenage boys. It’s a fact that mars her achievement as one of the first popular female protagonists in gaming—after all, Mario never had to look like Fabio — and shows that just because you’re polygonal, doesn’t mean you’re three-dimensional. But developer Crystal Dynamics is hoping to change all that with Tomb Raider, their upcoming reboot that hits stores March 5 and serves as a gritty origin story-slash-fresh start for Croft.
The actress who reimagined this iconic character was Camilla Luddington, known for playing Kate Middleton in the royal courtship Lifetime movie William & Kate and more recently for playing Dr. Jo Wilson on Grey’s Anatomy. Not only did the English actress voice Croft, but she also provided her movements, recording most of the game’s action and cut-scenes with elaborate motion capture. We spoke with Luddington about inhabiting the (now somewhat more realistic) body of gaming’s premier action-hero archeologist. (Sorry, Nathan Drake.)
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“I hate tombs,” Lara Croft sighs as she enters a musty crypt in Tomb Raider, Crystal Dynamics’ bold reboot of the long-running series. The franchise had grown a bit musty in recent iterations, bogged down in clumsy shooting and silly supernatural elements like an evil Lara doppelgänger, and distancing itself from the core experience of, you know, raiding tombs. Despite a string of solid if unspectacular efforts, Lara’s star had faded considerably, and Uncharted’s Nathan Drake largely supplanted her as gaming’s top adventurer, in gameplay and graphics –until now. This new Lara has taken a page from Drake’s exploits and is officially reclaiming her throne.
In this new origin story, Lara is not a girl, not yet a woman when she is shipwrecked on a mysterious island. Separated from her crew and visibly scared, she is forced to grow up quickly when a murderous cult kidnaps her friends. Armed with a bow and arrow, she channels The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen in sheer grit and determination, gaining new weapons and abilities that open up the world as the game progresses in a nod to gaming’s first lady, Metroid’s Samus Aran.
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Like World of Warcraft – only with way more capes, cowls, and codpieces — Marvel Heroes is a massively multi-player online game. Unlike WoW and most titles currently defining the genre, however, it seems to be more focused on letting fans brawl with iconic comic book baddies than it is having them grind through levels or chat up townsfolk. Featuring a story penned by famed Marvel scribe Brian Michael Bendis, the action-driven, free-to-play entry is also aiming to deliver an authentic tale on par with anything that’s appeared on the paneled page. Of course, you won’t find any narrative depth in the following trailer because, well, it’s all about showcasing its spandex-clad stars crime-fighting skills. I’ve yet to get my hands on Marvel Heroes, but based on what I’ve seen so far, it looks like it could shake up the tired genre like a Hulk Smash to the head.
Check out the new trailer below:
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When it came time to announce their next-generation Playstation console, Sony did not hesitate. The introduction of the Playstation 4 occurred at a media-packed event in New York, which featured appearances by some of the greatest, most popular, and most self-important videogame creators in the world. They showed off a slate of games that ran the gamut from “exciting” and “visually stimulating” to “confusing” and “wait, so Killzone is still happening?”
The presentation was, in some ways, a bold refutation of Nintendo’s Wii U — Sony made a point of stressing that it had involved third-party developers in the process of crafting the Playstation 4. But this gaming generation wasn’t kind to Sony. The Playstation 2 was a culture-impacting, boundary-bursting force of nature; the Playstation 3 was a high-powered machine with great games that had a hard time competing with the muscular Xbox 360 and the mass-appeal Wii. So, there came the inevitable moment in the Playstation 4 presentation when Sony made it clear that a key part of the PS4 pitch was its compatibility with the PS Vita, Sony’s low-selling mobile-games device. The intention is to allow you to play all PS4 games on your Vita — if you have a Vita, which you probably don’t — a compatibility system which basically makes the Vita into the Sony equivalent of the Wii U’s GamePad. READ FULL STORY
2005’s BioShock is widely considered one of the great masterpieces of the videogame medium. Next month, BioShock Infinite looks to one-up the original game, with its Jules-Verne-on-hallucinogens adventure tale about a city in the sky and the monsters that live there. A new lengthy trailer for the game just hit the internet, and it’s a stunner, with an extended look at the game’s world. The trailer also offers teasing hints about the relationship between Booker DeWitt (the player character) and Elizabeth (the mysterious woman Booker is trying to rescue.) “Are you afraid of God?” asks Elizabeth. “No,” responds Booker, “But I’m afraid of you.” Watch the trailer:
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Mortal Kombat: Legacy proved to be a decent-sized hit when the web series debuted on Machinema back in 2011. Now that the show is returning, the floodgates have officially been opened for every deep-cut character from the fighting-game videogame series. A new trailer just released for Mortal Kombat: Legacy II loudly trumpets the arrival of Liu Kang, the original nominal hero/most boring character in Mortal Kombat. (Important Information: Kang is played by Brian Tee, a.k.a. The Drift King in The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift.)
Also, Caspar Van Dien is now playing Johnny Cage, and the series apparently involves an appearance by Ermac. If you understood anything about that last sentence, you probably lived at the video arcade in the mid-90s. Watch the trailer: READ FULL STORY
It’s the kind of paradox that Mr. Spock finds fascinating — and the type of unmet challenge that Capt. James T. Kirk can’t resist: No franchise has a longer history with video game fans than Star Trek, but to today’s Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 audiences it’s a brand that might as well be lost in space.
That may change with the April 23 release of Star Trek: The Video Game (available for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 as well as a Microsoft Windows PC version), which seeks a new commercial frontier for a brand that is heavy on heritage but light on contemporary credibility. The project also represents a traditional Hollywood power boldly going where it has never gone before: Star Trek: The Video Game represents the first major console game ever financed and released by Paramount Pictures, a historic studio that had licensed properties out in the burgeoning marketplace.
“For us it represents a huge investment in Star Trek,” says Brian Miller, Paramount’s senior vice president of brand marketing and the executive producer of the game. “We’re all gamers and we wanted to make sure the game was a triple-A game, something Star Trek deserves and frankly may not have gotten for the last several decades.”
During a limited test session on the Paramount lot, the game (which was developed by Digital Extremes of Unreal and Bioshock fame) was dynamic and engaging and as aesthetically satisfying as the 2009 film that provides its foundation. That film, directed by J.J. Abrams, presented (for the first time on screen) a new ensemble in the classic roles introduced by the 1966-69 television series. That new crew — led by Chris Pine (Kirk), Zachary Quinto (Spock), Zoe Saldana (Lt. Nyota Uhura), Karl Urban (Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy), John Cho (Lt. Hikaru Sulu), Anton Yelchin (Ensign Pavel Chekov), and Simon Pegg (Chief Engineer Montgomery “Scotty” Scott) – all lend their voices to the game.
This crew ensemble is the first Trek crew to grow up in the full-swing video game era and they were engaged in a big way by the possibilities of the project. Some, such as the irrepressible Pegg, were eager to come to recording sessions with improv and extra energy. It had been watching Abrams and the cast at work on the 2009 film, in fact, that inspired Paramount to set a new course into the video game universe.
NEXT: A game as Trek canon?
It’s no secret that Nintendo is not in great shape. It’s not in bad shape. The Wii U ain’t the GameCube. But the Wii U also ain’t the Wii; sales of the new console are off-pace with the Wii’s launch, and Nintendo’s president recently apologized for the dearth of new titles. The beloved videogame company needs a hero. And so, Nintendo has taken the unusual step of declaring that 2013 will belong to one of its oldest characters. “Who is it?” you ask. “Mario? Link? Samus? Star Fox, but like, pretending that there hasn’t been a Star Fox game since the ’90s?” None of the above! Instead, Nintendo today announced the onset of “The Year of Luigi,” officially insisting that the year which marks the dawn of the eighth generation of videogames belongs to Mario’s tall, skinny, anxious, high-jumping, mansion-flipping younger brother.
Here’s the video of the announcement: READ FULL STORY
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