Game Previews

E3 2010: Fable III E3 Trailer »

Lionhead Studios head Peter Molyneux is famous for promising a bit more than he can deliver, but that’s hardly kept him from consistently delivering compelling, delightful and whimsical adventures packed with charm and style. Fable III is Molyneux’s latest attempt to revolutionize the action-adventure-RPG genre, and based on Andrew Pfister’s impressions, it sounds like Molyneux and company are well on their way to doing just that.

"The focus is on a new hero, sixteen years after the events of Fable II, and the theme -- much like the game itself -- is two-fold: revolution and rule. The first half of the game pits you as a revolutionary leader bent on overthrowing the current tyrannical king, Logan. Once that happens, you are then actually asked to rule Albion...governed by your internal desires and the promises you made as a revolutionary."

Find out more in our Fable III E3 2010 preview.

E3 2010: The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword E3 Trailer »

It's been a long time coming, but Nintendo finally gave Link lovers a proper look at the much anticipated The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword during their E3 press conference. Our own Kevin Kelly braved the maddening crowds to get some hands-on time with the game, and here's what he had to say:

"The controls aren't that complicated, but they do take some getting used to. Here are the basics: shake the nunchuck to pull out your shield and sword and hold them at the ready, and wave your MotionPlus enabled Wiimote around for 1:1 sword action (more on that in a second). Link can slash up, down, diagonally, and all that jazz, and you can even hold your sword triumphantly aloft."

Check out the entirety of our The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword preview from E3 2010.

Crackdown 2

Ruffian Games is going bigger and more explode-y in their upcoming sequel Crackdown 2. We spent some hands-on time with the game during E3, and while our eyes and minds were understandably overwhelmed by the mayhem that unfolded on screen, we managed to gather our thoughts enough for a little preview. Here's a taste:

"The E3 demo started in a relatively flat space packed with enemies, which meant what I had to do a bit of the shooty-shooty before getting to the delicious roof-jumping I consider the series' hallmark. The combat is just like before, with a helpful lock-on that lets you jump around like a maniac while ejecting lead into enemies."

For more, be sure to check out our Crackdown 2 E3 2010 preview.

E3 2010: Halo: Reach Firefight Gameplay Trailer »

Bungie has unveiled that the Horde-based Firefight mode introduced in Halo 3: ODST will be making its triumphant return in Halo: Reach. I had a chance to check out the new and improved Firefight during E3, and there is a lot that Halo fans are going to absolutely flip out about when they see what Bungie has brought to Firefight table this time around.


"For starters, every element of the Firefight match can be tweaked and toggled to your exact specification. Want to have a match where headshots are disabled, you only face grunts, enemies have a 250 percent damage multiplier and you can only jump half as high as normal? Toggle the right settings, and you’re done. The sheer number of options available to players is staggering, and because the options list is so robust, it basically gives the game infinite replayability."

Plenty more Halo-y goodness awaits in our Halo: Reach E3 2010 Firefight hands-on preview.

NCAA Football 2011

When it comes to football, there's no comparison between pro and college ball. Those pros are weak; coddled millionaires in it for the money, where the college ball players have heart. We got our hands on NCAA Football 11 recently and put the game through its paces. Here's a taste of the preview:

"The game feels a lot like NCAA Football 10, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but the locomotion change is a welcome addition to the ground game, and makes things seen a lot more natural. With ESPN now involved, it’s feeling more and more like Saturday afternoons when you’re in the middle of a game."

Don't worry, we've got you covered. Read our entire NCAA Football 11 preview.


World of WarCraft: Cataclysm

TheFeed's Kevin Kelly got his hands on World of Warcraft: Cataclysm and was very impressed with its size:

"This expansion is going to affect the entire world of Azeroth, and they're adding nearly 3,000 new quests. "We're looking at it as a 1 to 85 thing," says lead designer Tom Chilton. Meaning it's not just a few new areas for people to immediately hop to the top of the expanded level 85 cap. This is, in effect, a comprehensive re-skinning of the entire world, with a lot of extra stuff tossed in to boot."

But does bigger equal better? Find out more in our World of Warcraft: Cataclysm E3 2010 hands-on preview.


E3 2010: Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock Reveal Trailer »


Activision is taking more than a page from Tim Schafer’s heavy metal opus Brutal Legend with their upcoming music title Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock, but judging from Paul Semel's impressions of the game, there are plenty of differences too. They just aren't all that favorable.

"Equally worrisome are the new mechanics Neversoft is utilizing. In the game, your character can do a one-time transformation, and with it comes a new power. For example, Johnny Napalm transforms into a wall-crawling demon, which gives him the ability to always have a multiplier, and with said multipliers now going up to 11, er 5."

Check out our E3 2010 Guitar Hero: Warriors of Rock preview.

E3 2010 Live: Dead Space 2 Demo »

In space, no one can hear you scream, but my neighbors certainly can when I was playing Dead Space. Now, we've got a real in-depth look at the scary sequel, Dead Space 2. Here's a taste:

"Isaac heads into an enormous Unitology cathedral, and he's quickly attacked by a slew of new enemies: a giant Tripod, which is a huge creature with a gaping mouth, and some kind of wailing baby embedded in its clawlike tail. If that sounds disgusting, it's because it is."

If you don't mind the nightmares, definitely check out our E3 2010 Dead Space 2 preview.

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Rubbing is racing. Yes, I like to take every opportunity to quote Days of Thunder whenever talking about racing games, because it's one of the best movies ever about stock car racing AND the Hans Zimmer score totally rocks. And none of this has to do with Tom Price's first look at Test Drive Unlimited 2, the new sequel to the open world racing game of 2006. Instead try this on for style:

Test Drive Unlimited 2 features a brand new island, Ibiza. The Mediterranean setting of this island makes for a whole new set of roads to drive on that look a lot different than the Hawaiian streets of the first game. Ibiza features plenty of dramatic coastline, small cities and rolling desert-like hills for you to race your high performance vehicles, and this time, not just on the asphalt.

Does that make you want to take control of something out of control? Then read our Test Drive Unlimited 2 first look preview for all the juicy details.

Crysis 2

Why does my home state of New York always get the shaft? Between giant monsters, super-villains and destructive aliens, you'd think someone would invest in some top-notch defense detail by now! The latest to call NYC its victim: Crysis 2, and to witness the rubble in all its digital glory, our own Andrew Pfister flew to the Big Apple to get our first look at the game. What did he see?

Long gone are the idyllic beaches, rocky outcrops and lush canopy of the jungle that defined both of the company’s biggest games, Far Cry and Crysis. The pitch now is "urban jungle," with palm trees replaced by traffic lights, beaches swapped for bus stops, and rocky cliffs transformed into skyscraper rubble. Disaster has once more found a home downtown.

Oh great! Why couldn't this happen to Boise?! See what else is in store for Crysis fans in our full Crysis 2 preview, including a first peek at the new trailer entitled, "The Wall."  Mind the creepy rendition of "New York, New York."

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Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink. Of course, if you stop to take a sip during the action of Hydrophobia, you probably are missing the point. In this Xbox Live Arcade game, water becomes your ally as you use it to extinguish fires, spread oil to light enemies on fire, and eventually as a weapon itself. While there's plenty of underwater combat with the terrorists onboard the sinking ship, you'll also have to survive the disaster which consists of three acts each containing three chapters.  When it rains, it definitely pours.

The heart and soul of the game is the water, so I spent some time with the XBLA game at PAX East and spoke to developer's senior creative designer, Rob Hewson, to get more insight into the game, the story and what gamers can expect from Hydrophobia.  Make sure to put on your poncho, it's going to be wet:

Hydrophobia First Look Preview »

Feel free to follow me on Twitter or if you have something you'd like to share, get in touch via E-mail.


Enslaved: Odyssey to the West First Impressions

It's been a while since Namco-Bandai announced that it had acquired distribution rights for Enslaved: Odyssey to the West, Ninja Theory's follow-up to the 2007 hit Heavenly Sword. Since then, it appears that the London-area team has been hard at work on creating a totally new look at post-apocalyptic action. In the distant future, North America's population has been reduced to 50,000, and the remaining survivors must escape the clutches of robotic slavers out to abduct them. You'll step into the shoes of Monkey, a muscle-bound loner with a deadly device wrapped 'round his head that forces him to do the bidding of others. Monkey must help Trip, a tech-savvy survivor, return to her people, mostly since she hacked the enslaving device for him to bring her back home.

I took a demo with Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades, who showed off a very early glimpse at the game. Here's a sample from my impressions:

"In the first scene Antoniades showed off, Monkey and Trip have to traverse a series of gutted high-rises to reach a construction crane for a vantage point. In this section of Enslaved, the enemies are all sentry droids. Trip scans the area for sentries, which are triggered like landmines by motion sensing. For the sake of showing off combat, Monkey trips the sensors and brawls with four sentries. One of the enemy types has a timer above its head that projects a hologram that counts down from ten seconds. If Monkey can’t destroy it, the droid will summon more reinforcements. At the end of the brawl, Monkey gains a weapon of limited ammo. And that’s key to many of Enslaved’s encounters: ammo is scarce, so it’ll take some clever gameplay to get past the many deadly robotic turrets that litter the landscape."

From what I saw last week, Enslaved could be one to watch over the next few months. I was certainly impressed with it during my 15 minute demo. Want to know more about it? Read on!

Skate 3

At PAX East 2010, Andrew Pfister tried out EA and Black Box's skateboard simulator Skate 3. The new game promises to beef up online play, as well as provide virtual-thrashers with a more robust set of customization and building tools. Plus, they've added both a simplified "really easy" mode and a compli-fied "hardcore" mode. So get ready to get totally gnarly. Here are Andrew's impressions:

"Skate 3 might be for me, because some of the new things Black Box is doing with the third game is geared toward softening that hardcore-only connotation. Features like a new “easy” mode, and the ability to turn on slow-motion during trick training so that you really can get a handle on the tricks you’re trying to pull off, with the idea being that you can eventually work your way up to being awesome in normal time. Also, Jason Lee ("Mallrats," "My Name is Earl") plays the role of Coach Frank, your helpful and humorous advisor when you first start out."

For the rest of the preview, click this link.

Red Dead Redemption PAX East 2010 Preview

It’s difficult to vocalize just how excited I am about immersing myself in the brutal and stunning world of Rockstar Games’ open-world western Red Dead Redemption. As soon as I start to, I have to fight back a horrific banshee shriek, and while my coworkers certainly appreciate my restraint, it ultimately leaves me unsatisfied and cranky.

So naturally you can understand why I’m a bit frustrated right now, because I’m here to tell you that Patrick Klepek had a chance to get some hands-on time with Redemption during PAX East 2010. Here’s a taste:

"We all tend to casually overlook the fact that shooting thugs in Grand Theft Auto isn't very fun because the rest of the game is fantastic. Red Dead Redemption moves Rockstar's premiere style of game into more baseline competence. Meaning, the shooting is much, much better here and Rockstar has even incorporated some special features to make the shooting even easier along the way."

You can find the rest of the preview right here. And you can keep up with all things PAX East 2010 at our event hub.

GDC 2010 Preview: Sports Champions

Nintendo knew exactly what they were doing when they bundled the Wii with the ridiculously popular collection of simplified, motion-based sports games, Wii Sports. Not only were the games satisfying in their own right, they also served as the perfect introduction to the Wii’s revolutionary control scheme. Throw in the massive sales of the beefed up sequel, Wii Sports Resort, and it’s absolutely no wonder that Sony decided to create their own sports-based compilation title to launch with their PlayStation Move motion controller.

Patrick Klepek got both of his hands on the tentatively named Sports Champions during GDC 2010. Sample quote to follow:

"Like Motion Fighters, Sports Champions emphasized what's possible when developers design games with the option to have player's utilize two PlayStation Move controllers at once. The controller in the left hand moves the shield, while the right controls the weapon of choice."

To find out more, be sure to check out Patrick's full preview right here. More GDC 2010 goodness can be found over at our GDC coverage supercenter.


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