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Game Previews

Halo 4

The Halo franchise has a long history with map packs - some good, some bad - but ongoing and ever present. These map packs have been important in keeping players engaged with the franchise between new entries in the series. Yes, sometimes they’ve felt like filler, but fortunately for players, the Majestic Map Pack does not. In fact, it feels like some of the most “pure” multiplayer Halo mapmaking in years.

The pack comprises three extremely small maps: Monolith, Skyline, and Landfall, making for great small teams or free-for-all matches.

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Game/Toy Hybrid, Disney INFINITY, Coming in June

Who would win in a race between Dash from The Incredibles and Cars' Lightning McQueen? Who is stronger, Mr. Incredible or Mike Wazowski from Monsters, Inc.? Disney Interactive gives you the chance to find out as they've announced Disney INFINITY, a new game that allows you to take control of Disney characters old and new and explore open worlds from Disney and Pixar classics. Using actual character figures of Disney's popular line-up, players can combine the many worlds of Disney across all major consoles, mobile devices and online. Think Activision's Skylanders, only with the vast history of Disney characters and properties.

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Hands On Tomb Raider Multiplayer Preview AKA LOST Deathmatch Mode

When we think of Tomb Raider, "multiplayer" isn't traditionally the first word that jumps to the front of our psyche, so we were curious to see how the recently announced multiplayer component plays out in the game's universe. Joe Khoury, Producer at Eidos Montreal, shared with us how they wanted to really bring in pieces from great multiplayer experiences and customize them to work within the Tomb Raider universe, while still creating something unique. They've definitely brought an experience that feels familiar to play, but it's also fresh and genuinely fun to experience.

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Crysis 3 Coming Spring 2013, Hunter Edition Revealed

 

Having recently played Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 and Far Cry 3 in the same week, it wasn’t long before I started craving that FPS middle ground between ultra narrow linearity and a story-driven sense of direction. The “wide linear” design of Crysis 2 hit that sweet spot, and after a brief but satisfying hands-on session with Crysis 3, I’m pleased to say that I’m wholly optimistic about Crytek’s 2013 sequel.

The traditional FPS controls (and having reviewed Crysis 2 only last year) made getting into Crysis 3 nearly instantaneous. Nor did I need much orientation with the added bow and arrow, which is toggled with the d-pad. Its tactical advantages complement an already fortified Prophet, the game’s protagonist, particularly when it comes to stealth. You'll  find enough tools and environmental options that you can’t help but be proactive, and it’s a joy to mix things up during a firefight, confusing the enemy by dropping in and out of stealth and keeping steadily fortified with the armor.

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Company of Heroes 2

For as long as the RTS genre has been around, it's reassuring that talented developers working in it are still finding ways to stand out at all, let alone with all-too-familiar settings like World War II. Such is the case with Company of Heroes. It's been six years since the original game, and studio Relic Entertainment thinks it has had enough time with their new Essence Engine 3.0 to put it to work on a sequel that properly moves the series forward.

Company of Heroes 2 tackles a far more ambitious World War II timeline than the original game’s D-Day to Operation Market Garden schedule, here opening up the entire Eastern Front from 1941 to 1945, and all from the Russian perspective. No game could truly depict the WWII Eastern Front without the harshness of a Russian winter, and Relic makes it happen through their Essence Engine, by which snow is more than just a flat white texture with crunchy footstep sound effects layered over. Here in Company of Heroes 2, winter has a depth that demands tactical consideration, with snow that melts under the heat of grenades and flamethrowers, ice that soldiers can slip and slide on, bodies of water that can freeze over as bridges, and enemy ambushes that will seek to blow up these bridges.

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 Fuse

When looking at Insomniac Games’ portfolio, Fuse almost feels like the most natural thing for the studio to come up with in 2013. Announced first as Overstrike at E3 2011, the game’s original feel was as if Insomniac were bringing its shooter experience to the third person with the slick, cartoony tone of Ratchet and Clank along with that series’ emphasis on gadgetry. Since a name change to Fuse, its been given more grit and a serious edge, familiar territory for the creator of the Resistance series.

The key ingredient that Insomniac is counting on is the substance that gives the game its title. An alien substance originally discovered by the U.S. government in the 1940’s, ‘fuse’ has been kept hidden from the public ever since. It seems to be some kind of all-purpose juice that powers up your characters and weapons, making for guns that can create black holes or turn targets into mercury. With a rogue organization named Raven having stolen its source, it’s up to you and your squad of operatives to retrieve it and clean up any messes this rather unstable substance might have made on the loose.

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Borderlands 2

Check out our Borderlands 2 "Captain Scarlett and her Pirate Booty" Preview.  The new DLC is a lenghty ride, full of space-pirates, new vehicles and of course guns, guns guns!

Here's a little bit of Adam Rosenberg's Borderlands 2 "Captain Scarlett and her Pirate Booty" Preview

"Apparently, there's a great treasure hidden away somewhere in Pandora's sandy wastes. A magical compass is able to point the way, only said compass has been broken into four pieces. Scarlett has one of those pieces and she wants you to recover the others. Her reasoning? You're not her, which means that if you fail in your mission, she'll live on. Of course, the potential reward of locating a long-lost hidden treasure is probably all the convincing you'll really need to take on the task."

Read the rest of our Captain Scarlett preview!

If you want to see more Scarlett, you've got to tune into X-Play tonight at 6:30/5:30c. We'll be featuring the exclusive premeire of the Captain Scarlett launch trailer.

Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation

Jake "Tricorne" Gaskill got his hands on the PC Vita version of Assassin's Creed 3, at Tokyo Game Show and brought back a preview. Here's a bit of his Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation preview to whet your appetite.

"Naturally, the build on display at TGS was in Japanese, so I have no idea what the point of this particular mission was, but seeing as I only have a few minutes anyway, story wasn’t at the top of my priorities list. After checking in with a nearby contact, a giant circle popped up on my radar, marking the location of the fort I was to infiltrate, peppered with red dots indicating all the guards in need of a right stabbing. Since I didn’t have time to fully pursue the mission, I focused mainly on testing out more of the traversal elements and some of the new momentum takedowns (because they are just too damn satisfying.)"

Read the rest of our Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation preview.

Assassin's Creed 3

We've written a ton of Assassin's Creed 3 previews over the last few months, but this is a big one. This is the one where we finally get a hands-on chance to play the game's one-player mode, walk around, kill people, and otherwise fill the shoes of the Assassin himself.

Miquel "Kill All Red Coats" Concepcion was particularly impressed with the rope dart weapon. Here's a little bit of his Assassin's Creed 3 hands-on preview:

"It is also in this chapter that Connor is introduced to the rope dart, which I'm confident will be an essential weapon for the rest of the game. Its long range advantages and ease of use remind me of the near-exploitative convenience of the taser from Syphon Filter. No, it doesn't make Connor invincible, but it does give him a notable advantage at the beginning of a fight against half a dozen Red Coats; and you're all but ensured victory if you're just taking on one enemy on patrol. The initial stun of a rope dart attack lasts long enough for you to charge and close the gap between you and your target for a swift kill. The rope dart excels in its versatility, where different actions with the analog sticks can let you either reel in an enemy toward you or so simply hang the foe for a time saving kill."

Read the rest of our Assassin's Creed 3 preview.


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forge

Gamers can be pretty sexist, but here at G4, when we need someone to check out something hardcore, we turn to the great Leah Jackson. Girl is 'core as it gets, people. At Pax, Leah checked out Forge, a pure-skill based MMO-and-shooter mashup that's right up her alley.

Read some of Leah's Forge preview below:

Forge was a hidden gem at PAX Prime 2012 that we’re really glad we saw. It’s always neat to see two game genres merge together to create something totally new, and that’s exactly what Forge is doing. We hope that they stay true to their zero grind philosophy and are excited to see what’s coming next. If you want to support the game, you can vote for Forge on Steam's Project Greenlight.

Read the rest of Leah'sForge preview.

mechwarrior online

There's something undeniably awesome about battling mechs. It's not the most intellectual pursuit, but dawn, those missile-spewing robots can be satisfying.

Our own Leah Jackson strapped herself into the cockpit of a giant 'bot in MechWarrior Online, and brought back a MechWarrior Online preview. Here's a little bit of it.

"MechWarrior Online allows fans of the 30-year-old series to jump in to cockpit of real BattleMechs and duke it out for glory and gear. The free-to-play title was at PAX Prime 2012, and we had the opportunity to check out the gameplay as well as some of the features in MechWarrior Online's latest beta build, including the Mech Lab and Pilot Lab."

Check out the rest of our MechWarrior Online preview.

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Torchlight 2 Hands-On Preview

Torchlight 2 is the kind of dungeon crawler that lets you plan out every single move you make, pick the right spells, or just lets you destroy everything in sight. For all of those gamers out there you like the taste of steel, the Berserker class lets you take on the world with little more than a couple of swords and one bad attitude.

News: Torchlight 2 Comes Out On PC September 20

We got our hands on the game at PAX Prime 2012 along with one class that doesn’t know the meaning of the word “caution.”

All of the Berserker's abilities made the class seem like a rabid dog that could absolutely crush anything that came near her. Our Berserker's main ability was Eviscerate, which caused her to tear in to enemies and make them bleed for a few lingering seconds. Hersecondary attack, Wolfstrike, allowed our Berserker to lunge at multiple enemies and deal damage to them. I preferred Wolfstrike to Eviscerate, but that's not all our Berserker had to offer.

To find out what else the Berserker can dish out, make sure you check out our hands-on preview of Torchlight 2.


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Strike Suit Zero

We got to play Strike Suit Zero at Gamescom 2012, because we're cool like that. The space-combat title from Born Ready Games pays homage to classic flight simulators like Wing Commander and Homeworld, and gives the people what they want. Let's face it: Space-combat fans haven't exactly been served much by recent games. 

Check out a bit of Leah Jackson's Strike Suit Zero preview:

Strike Suit Zero takes place in outer space far in the future after Earth's colonized the galaxy. The story's still not quite there yet, but as far as I can tell, not everyone in the galaxy is happy about Earth's colonization. So much so that one alien race has sent a relic to Earth to try and destroy it. It'll be up to you to stop the Earth's destruction by suiting up and piloting different ships and taking out your enemies before they can get the relic to their destination, and your home.

Read the rest of our Strike Suit Zero preview.

Lego: The Lord of the Rings First-Look

G4's Leah "Action" Jackson got an early look at a demo of epic video game Lego Lord of the Rings. She was very, very impressed, both with its scope and its adherence to the movie trilogy.

Here's a taste of the Leah's Lego Lord Of The Rings Preview:

"While the idea of playing through the entire Lord of the Rings saga in LEGO form is enough to excite fans of both franchises, TT have definitely gone the extra mile to add in enough content to ensure that enthusiasts will be absolutely delighted with their latest effort. On top of the gorgeous, seamless world that's peppered with hidden areas from within the canon to explore, over 80 playable characters will be featured in the massive title. In addition to new features like questing and upgrading, LEGO: LOTR promises to be more than just a mere trinket, but perhaps the one LEGO game to rule them all."

Read out Lego Lord of the Rings preview.


Rayman Legends Hands-On: Adorable Platforming

G4's Leah "Gave Me Awesome Headphones" Jackson is back from Germany, and she's returned with a Rayman Legends preview. Ubisoft's cartoony platformer is clearly designed to delight, but does it suceed? In a word, yes.

Here's a little bit of Leah's Rayman Legends preview.

"From what we've seen so far of Rayman Legends, the game manages to retain the charm of the series while adding in a whole new layer of gameplay with Murphy. The levels are all beautiful, the platforming constantly has us on the edge of our seat, and when both players are in sync during the music levels, the result is something truly special."

Read the rest of our Rayman Legends preview.

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