Game Previews

Firefall Gameplay Preview »

Firefall's executive producer James Macauley gave our Morgan Webb a gameplay preview of the free-to-play shooter. They take a look at multiplayer, the massive open world cooperative campaign, classes and more.

Blades of Time

Konami's new action/adventure title Blades of Time may be flying under-the-radar, but that doesn't mean it isn't shaping up to be a solid game. Check out our preview from the Tokyo Game Show 2011.

"Besides the FPS elements, this all sounds like a pretty pedestrian 3D hack-n-slasher so far. But there were some interesting bits that Fujii was keen to emphasize. The first was Ayumi’s dash skill. Ayumi has unlimited use of a speedy dashing attack that she can use to close in the distance between herself and a foe, or use as a means to travel between one location to the next. We saw this demonstrated when strange, ethereal pillars appeared in the sky in our snow-covered trial stage. With a few button presses, Ayumi had locked onto the objects and was dashing between them, allowing her to reach an area tha was previously inaccessible. Fujii also highlighted another clever stage design that focused heavily on the dashing mechanic."

Read the rest of our Blades of Time Preview to find out what Konami has in store.

Asura's Wrath Eyes-On Preview

Capcom's Asura's Wrath is shaping up to be possibly the most over-the-top action game ever. We got the chance to get our hands on the demo at the Tokyo Game Show this week.

"Capcom is very quick to emphasize that Asura’s Wrath isn’t all quicktime events, but they are certainly in no shortage. We’d go as far as to say that roughly 50% of our playtime with this demo was QTE-related. We were happy when we finally got to control Asura directly, because hell, those brawls looked unspeakably awesome, but we mostly just watched them. Controlling them must be even cooler, right?

The problem is that some elements of the free combat are hard to judge. Is the long-range attack effective? We had no idea. Can we rush in close and unleash a beatdown fury? Whoops, we just got pounded and thrown back about 50 feet. But hey, our Burst meter is full now, that certainly must mean something. Activate it and… another QTE, oh boy."

Be sure to check out our Asura's Wrath Preview from the Tokyo Game Show

Capcom's Captivate Event Roundup: Street Fighter X Tekken, Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City, Asura's Wrath, Dragon's Dogma, And More

We've already shown you some first impressions on Capcom's ambitious Next-Gen Action/RPG Dragon's Dogma. Now get a more in depth look at some key features in the game - the pawn and character creation system.

"We continued along in our demo, looking for a Strider class pawn to balance out our warrior/mage party. After finding our new teammate – a somewhat heavy-set female – we made use of a teleport item to get to where we needed to go. You can set these teleport items across the world and make use of them to easily zip from one locale to the next, which, the staff noted, would be extremely important. It would have taken 15 minutes in realtime to get from town to our destination on foot, which would have been several hours of in-game time – but with clever item placement, we got to where we needed to go in a jiffy."

Be sure to check out our full Dragon's Dogma Preview Pawn and the Character Creation systems.

Borderlands 2 is like that coy girl you had a crush on during high school. You kept wanting to know about her, but frustratingly you'd only learn that "She really loves Hanson" from her friends at lunch. Which got you nowhere. Wait, what am I talking about? Oh yeah, Borderlands 2. Well, we got to check out the game in Germany, and we learned quite a few things. One of which, you'll be happy to learn, is that Gearbox wants this to be "a true sequel" and not just a content dump.

"Gearbox's Steve Gibson explained that it's great when people want more of a game, but often developers just pack a bunch of new levels together, put a 2 on the box, and call it a sequel. To him, that feels more like a glorified expansion, and internally they refer to games like that as "content dumps." Gearbox didn't want B2 to be any sort of a dump, so they've spent a lot of time making sure it feels like a sequel. They're calling it a "true 2.0," which means they've revamped everything in the game from the UI, to the co-op, to the gun system. They've been working on it since 2009, and it's a "truly ambitious sequel."

Check out the rest of our experience in my hands-off Borderlands 2 preview (literally, they played it five feet in front of me!) from gamescom, and start the nearly eternal wait for the game to come out.



Battlefield 3

G4's own Kevin "Sarge" Kelly has a serious love of War, so he was the perfect guy to send to GamesCom, the German game show, to check out the latest build of Battlefield 3. He wrote down his impressions in order to save you a trip across the ocean and a nine-hour wait.

Here's a bit of his preview, and you don't have to wait in line at all!

"We spawned onto the enormous 64 player Caspian Border map, with all of us splitting into one of two 32 player teams. As with any multiplayer match of Battlefield, everyone immediately scrambles for the airborne vehicles, and the hotly contested jet usually lasted about .025 milliseconds on the landing strip before someone jumped in it and zoomed into the skies above. While this map is extremely large, it still seems as though it's not entirely jet-friendly. ZOOM, turn around, ZOOM turn around. ZOOM, turn around, and so on. As much as I wanted to get into a jet to try this out, I gritted my teeth and climbed into a tank, which actually turned out to be a good decision."

Read the rest of our Battlefield 3 preview from GamesCom.

All Zombies Must Die! Hands-On Preview »

You've got to respect a title that says everything you need to know about a game, and it would be hard to argue that All Zombies Must Die! didn't do just that. But just how shall we go about murdering the undead hordes? Morgan Webb had the same question, and what do you know game's Lead Designer Dave Dow had the answer.

Halo Anniversary Preview

Our crack team of literate gaming nerds are on the ground at PAX Prime 2011, seeing the sights, meeting the people and, most importantly, playing the games. Last night it was Halo Fest. This morning, we have Eric Eckstein, Nikole Zivalich, Jake Gaskill and Leah Jackson's impressions of Halo: Anniversary's Team Slayer and Firefight modes:

Here's a sample:

"Team Slayer is where the magic happens in Halo. Halo: CE Anniversary will have the option to play an updated version of a classic map and a version that has been tweaked to better handle new perks. Basically, 343 read my mind, knew I always go for jetpack, and redid a bunch of classic maps with more ledges, caves, and anywhere else I could boost up and hide. Camping is legitimate strategy. And using your jetpack to get to those camp spots is just smart. This is why I win wars, people."

Check out the rest of our Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary preview.

Lord of the Rings War in the North

I understand the RPG community is going nuts at the prospect of Skyrim coming out this fall, but I urge you to consider Lord of the Rings: War in the North as well. Tolkien hasn't been served all that well by video games, but this one might prove to be the exception with its fellowship-like focus on co-op.

Here's a bit of Sinan Kubba's GamesCom preview:

"I'll admit that War in the North wasn't really on my radar before GamesCom. From what I saw in Cologne, though, the game has that Lord of the Rings filmic spectacle mixed in with RPG elements and some hefty, co-operative combat, and is looking good at this stage. The fantasy RPG is enjoying a heck of a renaissance with the likes of Amalur and Skyrim coming out in the coming months. Snowblind will likely have their work cut out to make the game stand out amongst the likes of those, so just how good War in the North's trump card, the co-op, proves to be could be the key to its success."

Check out the rest of our Lord of the Rings: War in the North preview.

SSX: Deadly Descents Screens

Upcoming snowboarding game SSX features some amazing technical innovation along with it's fresh-powder, "duuuuude" vibe. Sinan Kubba was on the floor at GamesCom 2011 to put the game through its paces, and here's a taste of his preview:

"The technology going into the upcoming revamp of the flamboyant snowboarding franchise SSX is absolutely insane. The new game is using NASA satellite data in a program that EA Burnaby call Mountain Man to visualize around 150 real-life snowboarding ranges, including ones in Africa, the Rockies, and Alaska. If that’s not enough, the interface to select which range you want to ride down isn’t your typical menu-scrolling affair as that would not be enough for the developers. Instead, you navigate a globe powered by Google Earth. If that’s not abuse of privilege, then I don’t know what is."

Check out the rest of our SSX preview right here.

Gears of War 3

Miguel "Chainsaw" Concepcion got his lucky hands on Gears of War 3, and was able to play through the first act of the game, and when we were finally able to ply the controller away from him, he wrote an in-depth preview. Here's a taste:

Epic Games' third-person shooter series has come along way since the boxy, right angle-intensive designs of Act 1 from the first Gears Of War. In the initial portion of GoW3’s single-player campaign, which we recently had a chance to go hands-on with, monotonous graytones have given way to a wider eye-catching color palette and antiquated old world architecture is replaced with an Ark-like Raven’s Nest. It’s one of the biggest, most fleshed out naval vessels I’ve ever playthrough in a videogame. It does help that the Raven’s Nest consists of three ships and an Imulsion rig.

Check out the rest of our Gears of War 3 preview!



Jake Gaskill likes to kill. We're all terrified of him, honestly, so we try to channel his murderous instincts into video games. In this case: Bodycount from Codemasters. It's a shooter, and Jake, of course, focused on all the things you can blow up in the game, because he's destructive like that.

Witness Jake's loving, detailed, descriptions of glass shattering for a window into his tortured soul (and a look at one of the cool features of Bodycount):

"One of the most satisfying parts of this Target base level was the caliber of the environmental destruction on display, particularly the glass physics, an odd thing to praise I know. However, glass splinters and shatters with stunning realism, and blasting wall panels into shards with a wicked shotgun never ceased to amuse. Clearly, one of the game’s primary goals is to make you feel like you have had a significant impact over your surroundings by way of the weapons in your hand. Whether this highly specific goal can be buttressed and expanded upon throughout the course of the game isn’t clear at this point, but a lot of attention has certainly been paid to it, so hopefully it can pull it off."

Read the rest of our Bodycount preview.

Soul Calibur 5 Announced By Namco Bandai -- Get Ready To Fight In 2012

When re-vamping a much-beloved series like Soul Calibur, it's important to step things up, and Namco Bandai and Project Soul chose speed and response as the improved elements in upcoming fighter Soul Calibur 5. Even formerly slow fighters are peppier!

Our own Adam "Fast Hands" Rosenberg checked out the game; here's a taste of the preview:

"Project Soul's aim for this sequel was to deliver an experience that is 'lighter, faster and more responsive.' It seems like that sought-after goal is being realized based on what was shown, but only hands-on time will tell the full story.

Even in the hands-off demo, it ought to be apparent to longtime fans that things are moving a little faster. Of the four confirmed playable fighters revealed so far, two of them -- Siegfried and Mitsurugi -- return from previous games. The blonde-haired knight Siegfried in particular has always been on the slower side of Soul Calibur's roster, but even he zipped around the screen and swung his mighty sword with seemingly newfound pep."

Check out the rest of our Soul Calibur 5 preview.

TGS 2010: Ninja Gaiden 3 Announced, Concept Art Revealed

Ninja Gaiden 3 will see the return of the hooded assassin Ryu Hayabusa in the dark streets of London. In our latest preview of the game we got to test out the blood-filled hack and slash title and came away quite impressed.

"While the title sports a number of under-the-surface alterations, Ninja Gaiden 3 still feels like a Ninja Gaiden game at its limb-lopping, head-rolling core. The combat, complemented by a variety of flesh-flaying weapons, relies primarily on light and heavy attack combos, as well as the occasional barrage of throwing stars; the expertly animated action’s as fast paced as ever; and if that eight-legged menace is any indication, epic boss battles will still serve as the series’ breath-stealing center pieces."

If your thumbs aren't too sore from reading that snippet, be sure to check out the rest of our Ninja Gaiden 3 hands-on preview. Ninja Gaiden 3 is coming out for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Ghost Recon Online

While Nintendo hasn't been known for its appeal to the hardcore gaming world lately, the just-announced Wii U may change that trend, especially given the depth and control possibilities inherent in the device's controller-mounted touchscreen. Adam Rosenberg got a chance to check out Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Online on the Wii U at E3 2011, and brought back a preview. Here's a sample:

"Of the two gameplay demos Ubisoft showed off during a Nintendo roundtable at E3 2011 for the upcoming Wii U console, Ghost Recon Online was the most complete. That probably has something to do with the fact that it’s not exclusive to the platform, though fortunately, an impressive range of tablet-enhanced features will apparently make this version of the game the one to beat."

Read the rest of our Wii U Ghost Recon Online preview.


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