Current-Gen Screens of REmake
So what if there’s a bunch of Black Friday deals next week on the new consoles? Who gives a damn that “next-gen” dominates every gaming news junket headline? “Discount” ain’t “free.” You already paid hundreds of bucks to get on the last gen when it was next-gen.
Resident Evil’s got your back, man. You don’t need no fancy next-gen console to enjoy a thirteen-year-old horror game. It’ll be on Xbox 360 and PS3…
But you know what? You’re hardcore, man. You don’t even need those new fangled pieces of yellow lighting’, red ringing junk. You still have your Gamecube and the two tiny discs Shinji Mikami spread this re-classic over like sweet, survival horror jam. It was a better time. A time when we wisely put handles on our consoles like nerdy little lunch boxes.
Where’s your response to that, Next-Gen?!
Resident Evil’s Sublime Remake is Being Revived for Current and Next-Gen
In 2002, the Nintendo Gamecube of all systems saw a resurrected and reconfigured version of one the greatest titles that helped define the survival horror genre.
Rather than stray away from the core values of the ‘96 classic, this new Resident Evil improved upon them — the game was made grislier, the atmosphere was darker, and the difficulty was even harder than the original. If you wanted to experience the S.T.A.R.S. team’s first disastrous mission, REmake (the name fans coined) quickly became the preferred vessel to do so. Despite this, it didn’t sell worth a shit stuck on Nintendo’s purple purse.
Now, Capcom has revived the underrated classic for the HD generation. Set for release in early 2015 as a digital download, this ragged chunk of RE history will be made available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. The game’s visuals — from our hapless heroes to the dilapidated Spencer Estate — have been bolstered by an upgraded resolution and 3D models. The game even runs at 1080p on next-gen systems.
The creaking wood floors, the skin-crawling soundtrack, and the bone-crunching noise that comes along with making Jill Sandwiches are all retouched in 5.1 Surround Sound. The game can be played in the original 4:3 aspect ratio or enjoyed in a brand new widescreen mode (flat-screens were less common in 2002, if you recall).
The series famous tank controls return as a default, and you can bet your ass I’ll struggle through them like a champion, but if you bewilderingly dislike fighting the controller you’ll be glad to know a new “Push To Go” control scheme is being implemented. You can toggle between both during gameplay in case you youngin’s want to see how hard us old men had it back in the day.
Escape Dead Island Announced; A Tropical Adventure Game Spiced Up with Madness and the Undead
Publisher Deep SIlver is not about to let the zombie infested gravy train that is Dead Island ride away into the sunset without taking a bite…out of…zombie gravy… All right, I don’t have a degree in metaphors. Screw it.
What I’m saying is Deep Silver is making a shitload of Dead Islands. From dipping into the MOBA genre with Dead Island: Epidemic to barreling at next-gen with Dead Island 2, it’s a lttle eye-widening to hear that a third release is imminent, heading for PC, PS3, and Xbox 360 this Fall. With this horde of the digital dead shuffling after our wallets, it’s a fortunate thing for Deep Silver that Escape Dead Island looks so promising.
Forgoing the Action-RPG setup of the original Dead Island (which was heavier on the action than the RPG), Escape is actually a third-person adventure game where you have to mix up stealth maneuvering and advantages in the environment to bust some undead skull.
More mindful of story in this single-player narrative, you’ll control Cliff Calo, an investigator sent this doomed chain of islands to figure out why the locals are bitier than usual. Cliff’s noticeable shortcoming as an intrepid photojournalist would have to be his loose grip on reality. Throughout the game, you’ll hallucinate outlandish sights that even reshape the environment – or outright kill you, thus pushing you through a “time loop” to before you went all Hunter S. Thompson.
The result makes Escape Dead Island seem like a combination of Far Cry 3’s dream sequences with a Darksiders-ish adventure game where your surroundings play into gameplay much more than just scenery. Sure, they might be flogging the zombie horse cranking out these Dead Island titles. But they at least show the same imagination and promise Escape does, I say ride that undead gravy train of horse flogging.
Grand Theft Auto V: New Gameplay and Screens Winning Me Over
Yesterday Rockstar pried open the seal on their upcoming mega-blockbuster, GTAV.
Now, I’ll be honest with you since I like the cut of your jib: I’ve fallen out of love with this crime-centric, do-anything-you-want open worlder in recent years. I was there for GTA in its top-down days when vehicular manslaughter meant flattening tiny sprites. And I was right there in its golden age when Rockstar brought the concept to the three-dimensional plane and, soon after, worldwide infamy.
But this generation GTAIV – and its DLC extensions – failed to win me over. It could’ve been the open-world genre had become commonplace by then, with some direct rivals owning better ideas than Rockstar’s once untouchable franchise. It could’ve been the disconnect between me and the surly war veteran I controlled, Niko Bellic, as he begrudgingly (if not reluctantly) submerged himself in a life of petty crime.
But GTAV…The initial story trailers have all kept the status quo – violent, comical characters engaging in capers that satirize pop culture and society. Pretty standard fare for this series. But then there’s this goddamn gameplay trailer which has me sold on the game ten times over. The notion of switching between three separate characters on the fly is exciting on paper, but watching it implemented seamlessly into the flow of an action thick mission glued my eyes to the screen. For a “Do Anything” series, there’s always been a forced rigidity as soon as you picked up a mission. Effortless, real-time character swapping looks to body this complaint head-on.
My other perpetual bone to pick with these games, the combat, has also been banged out and shaped into a beastlier form, perhaps borrowing from the publisher’s experience on Max Payne 3 (kudos on the weapon wheel, Rockstar). Throw in a gigantic Los Santos with more depth and opportunities for interaction than this franchise has ever seen, mix that up with a slew of customization for your trio and the vehicles they acquire (see: steal), and layer it all with Rockstar’s now unmistakeably signature style. When September 17th rolls around, I doubt there’ll be any hesitation in the nerve bundles between my brain and wallet.
Microsoft Then and Now: Old Franchises Coming Back in New Ways
While the video game world anxiously awaits the banquet of announcements being served up at next week’s E3, Microsoft has slammed two appetizers on the table especially for impatient fans.
First up, Microsoft is trying to give you reasons not to box up your 360 and send it to trade-in pasture (Xbox One’s lack of backwards compatibility should’ve already convinced you not to but that’s another battle – and a losing one). Lionhead Studios is digging up their roots and giving their acclaimed RPG-adventure an HD overhaul for the Xbox 360 in Fable Anniversary. Not content on settling for an HD port, this re-addition is a full-on graphical remake that plays host to updated textures, Unreal backed lighting and rendering, a brand new UI, and all sorts of pretty 1080p uplifting.
Completionists will be pleased as hell to hear the Platinum Hits version’s Lost Chapters are included with Anniversary, as well as new achievements that play up the choice/consequence nature of the original title. Fable Anniversary places the classic back on store shelves Holiday 2013.
Halo – a moderately known sci-fi shooter that might’ve made a blip on your radar sometime in the past two console cycles – may be famous for its larger-than-life action but 343 Industries looks to shrink that signature epic experience and let you go mobile with Halo: Spartan Assault, a twin-stick shooter dropped in the gap between Halo 3 and 4’s events.
The story follows Spartan Sarah Palmer and chronicles the rise of the Spartan Ops program that sought to bolster the UNSC with Master Chief-a-likes. Though bite-sized, Spartan Assault’s 25 mission campaign shares the same DNA as its console brethren; you’ll man a multitude of vehicles, customize your loadout with weapons spanning the series’ history, and generally mop the battlefield floor with Covenant dregs. Some cross compatibility comes into play as blasting away in Spartan Assault earns you experience and unique emblems within Halo 4 so you can blast away with style there.
Unfortunately, this enticing little shoot em’ up is only bound for Windows 8 phones and tablets. If it proves successful, though, it’s very unlike Microsoft to avoid a mean stream of green, possibly paving a path for an XBLA version (we’ll keep our SMG’s crossed). Expect Halo: Spartan Assault out sometime in July.