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Game Previews


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Ni No Kuni

Leah "Corgi" Jackson spent some quality time last week at Gamescom 2012 with Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch. She found the Japanese PS3 game to be an intriguing mix of Pokemon and the animated epics of Hiyao Miyazaki. 

Here's a little bit of our Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch preview.

Right away the graphics in Ni No Kuni make it feel as though you're actually playing through a true Studio Ghibli movie; something that will delight fans of Hiyao Miyazaki and his famous Japanese animation studio. Every single detail from the bright colors in the environments to the character and monster designs scream Ghibli, and they all fit together wonderfully.

Read the rest of our Ni No Kuni: Wrath of the White Witch preview.

XCOM Enemy Unknown

G4's stalwart game previewer Miguel Concepcion has his boots on the ground at Gamescom 2012, and hasw brought back a preview of upcoming RTS XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The game is meant to appeal to fans of the original XCOM series, as well as bring new converts to the XCOM fold.

Here's a little bit of our XCOM: Enemy Unknown preview:

Firaxis could have easily focused on just recreating the classic XCOM gameplay, satisfying the majority of the fans of the original title. Yet the studio also devoted time and resources to load Enemy Unknown's story mode with a ton of cinematics. From Shining Force to the upcoming MechWarrior Tactics, many strategy games feature most of their dramatic moments in brief dramatic cutaways of the battle. With Enemy Unknown, it's easy to notice that Firaxis took a lot of care in crafting its cinematics, even when characters are not in attack phases.

Read the rest of our XCOM: Enemy Unknown preview.

 


Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation

Jake "Tri-Corner" Gaskill like old timey music, cataloging exotic birds and Assassin's Creed 3. Instead of a review of the Louvin Brothers' Satan is Real or a discussion of his once-in-a-lifetime sighting of Micronesian king fisher, Jake has written a a preview of Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation.

The game is handheld, but you might forget that fact if you're not careful. From Jake's Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation preview:

Paddling through the dense bayou swamp, soaking up the atmosphere as we moved into position to attack our targets, it was easy to forget that I was playing a handheld AC game. A few seconds after returning to shore, I had a chance to test out the game’s counter system, thanks to a rather large alligator hanging out on the river bank. Just as the beast lunged at me, I managed to hit counter, causing Aveline to unleash a precision death blow to the gator’s noggin (Trophy suggestion: “Chomp vs. Chop”).

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

 




Borderlands 2 "Enemies" Gameplay Preview »


 

Borderlands 2 introduces more guns than you can shake a rocket at, but let’s not forget about the wide variety of enemies that you’ll be blasting your way through just to get to all that delicious loot. Crazy psychos, vicious skags, and a couple of well-armed surprises await you when you step foot on the dusty Pandora plains once again.

Handsome Jack is not going to make it easy for you to survive this time around. Expect old faces with a couple of new tricks as well as some new creatures that have only your death on their little minds.

To find out what you’ll be facing down, we checked in with Jasper Foreman, the lead A.I. programmer for Borderlands 2, to give us the lowdown on those looking to collect the bounty on our heads. Be sure to check out the above video for all sorts of gameplay goodness.

Did you blink? I bet you did. Instead of scrubbing through the footage one frame at a time to bask in the warm glow of Borderlands 2, why don’t you just hit the jump to find out more about the fun things looking to kill you this Fall.

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Dead Space 3 Preview: Frozen Space-Terror Is Better With Friends

When you take a beloved franchise like Dead Space and throw a third game at it, you have to expect fans to measure it against the first two. In the case of Dead Space 3, those are some mighty big (and scary!) shoes to fill.

The great Miguel Concepcion got his hands on Dead Space 3 and did the comparison. Here's a taste of his Dead Space 3 preview:

"Those who have consumed every bit of Dead Space content beyond the first two games will enjoy the sense of history that the first act of Dead Space 3 presents. We find Isaac investigating a ship graveyard known as The Lost Flotilla, a large group of vessels that have been stranded for 250 years. It’s no doubt an intriguing setting and could potentially be a fine segue before Isaac eventually touches down on the frozen planet known as Tau Volantis."

Read the rest of our Dead Space 3 preview.

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Mass Effect 3 Earth DLC Revealed - New Maps, More Upgrades, and Platinum Difficulty

They say you can’t go home again, unless you happen to be playing Mass Effect 3 DLC Earth. The new DLC takes you to back to terra ferma to make your last stand against the oncoming forces. You’ll find three new areas located around the planet that needs your protection and plenty of firepower.

Fortunately for this trek back to Earth, you’ll have some new squad members as well as a few amazing powers to take on the new difficulty rating, Platinum.

"While the engineer's new Supply Pylon that gives ammunition to friendlies with a circular radius looked sexy, slinking in the shadows is more my speed, so I selected a female Shadow Infiltrator, and took her through the paces."

To find out more about our hands-on time with the new classes available in the Mass Effect 3 DLC, or see if we survived the new Platinum difficulty setting, make sure that you check out our Mass Effect 3 Earth DLC preview.

Halo 4

With 343 Industries taking over one of the largest franchises around, we were eager to get our hands on Halo 4 at this year’s Comic-Con 2012. Given a chance to finally get our fingers around Spec Ops mode and the virtual reality training, War Games, we couldn't help noticing some of the differences with 343's take on the new Master Chief. 

There’s a bit of heft behind his actions as he dashes away in his armor, and although it’s been a while since we’ve seen our friend in action, Master Chief has picked up a couple of tricks along the way.

“Physically, your spartan can now sprint by clicking on the left thumbstick, which is a nice addition as previously you had to slot in the Sprint armor ability to boost your ground speed. Melee attacks also have a lot more oomph to them, and you can launch people quite some distance if you time your strikes right.”

To find out more about the changes to the Chief, make sure that you check out our full Halo 4 Hands-On Preview from Comic-Con 2012.


New Super Mario Bros. 2 3DS Game Set For Summer 2012

We finally get our greedy little hands on the 3DS game that will have you chasing after that gold stuff, New Super Mario Bros. 2. As a direct sequel, expect to find much of the same great platforming and style that made the first one so popular. But of course, the team over at Nintendo added a couple of new twists to the formula to keep you on your toes.

One of the new aspects that we got to try out was the Coin Rush mode:

“You can access Coin Rush levels after you’ve completed them on regular difficulty, and these levels just throws countless coins from every conceivable place. Coins pour down pipes. They follow jumping turtles. You can use gold flowers to turn blocks into coins. You can get a mask that makes Mario leave a trail of gold coins behind him. Coin Rush gives you one life to play three levels, and collect as many coins as possible.”

To find out more about our time with the plumber, check out the rest of our Hands-On Preview of New Super Mario Bros. 2.




Borderlands 2

Comic-Con 2012 gave us a chance to get an extended hands-on preview of Borderlands 2. And we have to admit, Sanctuary never looked so good.

In our trek through Borderlands 2, we ran into some old faces as well as one of the new characters in the game, Tiny Tina. This pint-sized explosive expert may just have one of the dirtiest mouths as well as enough energy to run a whole planet. Let’s get down to what you really want to know about Borderlands 2 - how does it play?

"So much of what makes me optimistic about Borderlands 2 is how it simply builds upon and improves on all the aspects that made the first game so memorable, but that doesn't mean there wouldn't be room for a practical overhaul in a specific feature. In Borderlands 2's case, it’s all about the new abilities in the skill tree..."

To find out more about our run-through of Sanctuary, check out our Comic-Con 2012 Hands-On Preview.




The first DLC pack for Max Payne 3, entitled Local Justice, hits Xbox Live and PlayStation Network tomorrow, bringing with it three new multiplayer maps, a new weapon, new item, and a new multiplayer faction (more on those in a second). Now, as anyone with any online shooter experience will tell you, running into a map blind is the best way to get yourself killed in a hurry. Luckily for you, the folks at Rockstar Games have gone ahead and broken down the new maps--Imperial Palace, 55th Battalion HQ, and Departure Lounge--to highlight some of their key features and ensure you know exactly what sort of ballistic mayhem you’ll be walking into in the DLC.

Max Payne 3 Justice Pack Maps and Content Preview

If you’ve finished the Max Payne 3 campaign, then you’ll recognize the three maps since they play host to some of the game’s most intense and frenetic shootouts. The first map is Imperial Palace (click to enlarge), which seems to boast plenty of close-quarters action, while also providing some choice spots for sniping at the eastern most part of the lower level. There is also a balcony near the middle of the map that can give you a vertical drop on foes below. Just looking at those ramps leading between levels has me turning around in my chair to see if there’s anyone waiting to put a slug in my back. I predict a LOT of deaths on those ramps. A lot.

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Soul Sacrifice

Check out our Soul Sacrifice preview from E3 2012. With all the excitement of the "big" games at E3, it would be easy to overlook some of the worthwhile PS Vita titles at the show. We didn't want that to happen, so Adam "The Riveter" Rosenberg checked out Soul Sacrifice.

Here's a taste of our Soul Sacrifice preview:

"Calling Soul Sacrifice, the upcoming PlayStation Vita title conceived by no less a superstar than Keiji Inafune, a riff on Monster Hunter is oversimplifying things a bit, but it's also not an entirely inaccurate comparison. The co-op-friendly third-person action game from Marvelous AQL and SCE Japan Studio is built around the concept of running through short missions where you fight a bunch of monsters and slowly, ever-so-slowly, fill up your arsenal with the hundreds of unlockable abilities."

Read the rest of our preview of Soul Sacrifice.

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Dragon Commander Preview from E3 2012: Dragons With Jet-Packs? I'm SOLD!

Check out our Dragon Commander preview. Don't feel bad if you haven't heard of it, this dragon-based RTS is an E3 2012 hidden gem, a little bit of a sleeper that we didn't want to fall below the game-press radar.

Here's Jason Wisnov's description of the game, from his Dragon Commander preview:

"The best way to describe the title is a mashup of a board game, RTS, and third-person action. The structure of the game is framed as the task of conquering somewhere around 35 of the world map's countries by defeating them in direct combat. However, politics play a role: countries will revolt or rally behind your actions in the story, which may include marrying a princess for civil stability, or choosing to elect a certain race's councilor to the throne room. Often performing these tasks grants special cards which can be played during battle to gain a tactical advantage."

Read the rest of our Dragon Commander preview.

Fieldrunners 2

Check out our preview of Fieldrunners 2 from E3 2012. We took some time out from our busy schedule of checking out AAA shooters to bring you an iOS game you should really be aware of.

This sequel keeps the gameplay we all loved from the original and throws a lot of "New" into the mix. Here's a taste of Rob Manuel's Field Runners 2 preview:

"Fieldrunners 2 takes the concept and expands on it in practically every way while still keeping the original tower defense mechanics. Players move along different areas and through four very distinct sections of the map, from grasslands to deserts and even to some darker areas. The good gents over at Subatomic Studios wanted to give players a sense of progression rather than the same slog as you face countless forces."

Read the rest of our Fieldrunners 2 preview.

Defiance

Check out our Defiance preview from E3 2012; in it, Jonathan "Nutz" Deesing jumps onto an ATV in a hostile, alien-strewn planet and starts mowing down bosses. It's a bug hunt, man.

Check out a taste of our Defiance preview:

"During my playthrough, I tore through once was the Bay Area in my ATV simply exploring. The game takes place in (of course) a post-invasion landscape with humans fighting off the alien hordes. The map I played on was large, but was cordoned off from the main area, which was enormous. I stopped at one point to compete in a mini game of shooting as many mobs as possible in a short amount of time. It helped that I was given a mini-gun. From there I headed to an area that seemed to be seeing quite a bit of action."

Read the rest of our Defiance preview.




Transformers: Fall of Cybertron is an action-packed, robotic, destruction-fest from High Moon Studios and Activision that promises to give a whole new meaning to transforming. Take a look at our E3 2012 video that features some insight into the story and gameplay mechanics courtesy of Game Director at High Moon Studios, Matt Tieger.
 

Official E3 Preview of Transformers: Fall of Cybertron »


 

For more info about Optimus and friends, explore our Transformers: Fall of Cybertron preview.

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