Game Previews

Heavy Rain

One of the most anticipated games of 2010, Quantic Dreams and Sony's Heavy Rain, is a unique project. We've had the pleasure of speaking with director David Cage on numerous occasions, but our hands-on time with the game has been brief. No longer!

Armed with a preview build, our own Andrew Pfister "played" through the first 11 chapters of the game. Why do I put quotes around "played"? Andrew explains:

I’ve completed the first eleven scenes of Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain, and I’m not entirely convinced I should be calling it a “game.” Don’t take that as effusive pre-release praise about games being some form of higher art; it’s just that Heavy Rain, thus far, makes me feel like I’m an actor more than a player.

Click here to read the full preview.

Earlier today, I published my hands-on impressions with the US version of Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars. Sure, reading is fundamental, but who wouldn't rather watch some gameplay?

Here now, three videos for your viewing pleasure. First up, Frank West and Zero team up:


Tatsunoko vs. Capcom US Gameplay - Frank West & Zero »


Hit the jump to see two more videos.

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Star Wars: The Old Republic

BioWare has just released Dragon Age: Origins... Mass Effect 2 is on the horizon... but there's a third game in development at the RPG mega-studio and it is none other than Star Wars: The Old Republic, the company's foray into the MMORPG genre. X-Play's Matt Keil recently got to check out the game's final two classes, the Jedi Consular and Sith Inquisitor, and was kind enough to write-up his impressions:

"While the Jedi Knight is patterned after characters like Mace Windu and Anakin Skywalker, the Jedi Consular is more of a Qui-Gon Jin or Yoda type of Jedi. Whereas the Knight is melee oriented, the Consular is much more focused on Force abilities and will play a support class role more easily. However, unlike previous game incarnations of the Consular, The Old Republic version will be able to function as an offensive character as well as a healer and controller."

Click here to read Matt's full preview.

TGS 09: Battlefield: Bad Company 2 Hands-On Preview

Our resident multiplayer madman Brian Leahy recently sunk some time into DICE’s PlayStation 3 exclusive beta for next year’s Battlefield: Bad Company 2, and while he could have just kept his impressions of the game to himself, he decided to share his thoughts with you. Aren’t you special?

Here's a tasty snippet:

“I couldn’t stand Battlefield: Bad Company. The entire multiplayer experience, to me, felt sluggish and unsatisfying. I’ve always loved the Battlefield games, but I just couldn’t get into BF:BC. This is not the case with the sequel. After a few hours in the beta, I’m putting this on my watch list for 2010.”

Check out the full preview to find out what’s new and improved in DICE’s anticipated sequel.

ModNation Racers Hands-On Preview

You may or may not be familiar with United Front Games’ racing title ModNation Racers for the PlayStation 3, but after checking out our hands-on preview of this unique and ambitious kart racing game, your engines will be appropriately revved. Here’s a taste of what awaits you on the fully customizable roads of ModNation Racers:

“There are few game genres more timeless than racing. The goal is as self-explanatory as they come: get to first place. One of the greatest barriers for racing games to withstand the test of time is that, sooner or later, the tracks are bound to get old. United Front Studio's ModNation Racers seeks to fix that with its intuitive level editor adding "the deepest customization ever seen in a racer,” according to Dan Sochan, the game's producer.”

Read the full hands-on preview right here.


Star Trek Online

Morgan is a known MMO fiend, but you might not have known that she's totally into Trek. That's why X-Play sent her on an away mission to Cryptic Studios to check out Star Trek Online. Here's what she had to say about her hands-on time with the game:

"The ground combat is pretty fast-paced. You have a variety of weapons depending on class and preference, and some special and secondary attacks if the right opportunity presents itself and your enemy is open. Your bridge officers happily fight alongside you, blasting away at the Klingon scum (or Federation scum, if you're a Klingophile). If you are familiar with MMOs, you can think of your AI bridge officers as being similar to pets in other games. They help you on your battles and give you advantages both on and off the ship. Your crew is so important that Star Trek Online is mostly based around 5-man instances."

Click here to read the entire preview, and check out Morgan's interview and gameplay footage!

If you thought Abbie Heppe's Left 4 Dead 2 Realism Mode Walkthrough was stellar, you'll be stoked to know she had time to do some exclusive, direct-feed walkthroughs for both the Survival and brand new Scavenge modes as well.

First, check out the fast-paced 4 vs. 4, gas can-gathering extravaganza in the Scavenge Mode walkthrough, where you'll be tasked to run like the dickens gathering can after precious can of gasoline in the fastest time possible.

Left 4 Dead 2 Scavenge Mode Walkthrough »


Then, Ms. Heppe gives you the lowdown on laying out your best chance at a time you can brag about in the returning Survival Mode. You'll have to hit the jump to see it, though!

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  • Videos
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

Dragon Age: Origins will be released tomorrow for the PC, PS3, and Xbox 360. While you wait one more excruciating day, watch this interview between Adam Sessler and Mike Laidlaw, lead designer on the game at BioWare.

Adam and Mike discuss the game's 5-year development, lessons learned from previous BioWare games like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic and Mass Effect, and how the dev team specifically wanted to help players that may not be familiar with the company's previous titles that relied on the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset get right into the action.

"Moving away from things like round-based concepts and things that were very tabletop-heavy and moving to elements, talents, and abilities that make sense and are, ideally, very visceral. So you can actually see them play out. That's the thing about tabletop gaming. It's abstract by nature. It's a bunch of friends and a bowl of chips. The bowl of chips have no part in combat, but they're there! So, you have to get past that "it's all in your imagination". With a game, you can create animations and models. When you 'Shield Bash' someone, even if you aren't quite sure what effect that has and then [the enemy] goes ass over tea kettle... well, it's pretty obvious what just happened."

Extended Dragon Age: Origins Lead Designer Interview »

Are you picking up Dragon Age: Origins tomorrow? For which platform? For me, it's PC all the way. I need that isometric viewpoint.

BioShock 2 All Access Preview »

Take a deep breath, folks. It’s time to dive back in to the world of Rapture, and it ain’t going to be pretty when you see what’s happened to Andrew Ryan’s undersea utopian nightmare over the past decade. Seriously, there’s so much I’ve wanted to tell you about 2K Marin’s BioShock 2, but I just haven’t been able to…until now!

Here’s a little taste of what awaits you in my hands-on preview:

“When my destination came into focus, I discovered that I had arrived in a Disneyland-ish area called Ryan Amusements, a now dilapidated shell of what was once used as a place to terrify Rapture’s children into never wanting to venture to the surface. I quickly found out that my mission was to locate the Incinerate plasmid so I could melt a frozen door blocking the progress of the train I was using to move between areas of the city.”

Would you kindly check out the full preview located right here? And definitely watch that X-Play all-access preview to find out even more about what awaits you in the twisted world of BioShock 2.

Say you're an accomplished entertainment veteran credited with projects like the 2003, Oscar-winning feature film Monster (story editor) and television drama staple N.C.I.S. (writer). You're minding your own business when highly regarded game development house, Infinity Ward, comes knocking on your door. They ask you to create a story from scratch having no consideration for any financial restrictions whatsoever, to explore the dark recesses of the modern day terrorist mind.

"...some of the things that we would come up with as fictional ideas, basically, started happening. So you start feeling like... okay, we've got our finger on the pulse a little bit, we're starting to think like terrorist... and that's, disturbing." 

Find out more, as Adam continues the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 interview train with veteran writer Jesse Stern.


Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 Writer Interview »



Morgan Webb recently traveled to Italy to get her hands-on with Assassin's Creed II and interview the makers of Ubisoft's new game.

First, Morgan talks with Patrice Desilets, the game's creative director, about the character of Ezio, the challenges in recreating real world cities like Florence and Venice, and how the team wants different players to experience Assassin's Creed II in their own way. Patrice also drops hints about some of the secrets that Ubisoft has included in the game.

Assassin's Creed II Creative Director Interview »

If you haven't been following the development of Assassin's Creed II thus far, Morgan sums the sequel up nicely in her preview:

"While the first game took place during the time of the Crusades, this time it’s the Renaissance, and while there’s still no penicillin, life has certainly improved. Ezio is the son of a rich nobleman, and most of his attention is wasted on the exploits of young men with too much money and too little responsibility: booze, boobs and brawls. Everything changes one day when his family is double crossed, and he dons the assassin’s hood to get his revenge. While Altair from the first Assassin's Creed always seemed a bit of a cipher, Ezio feels like a living breathing human you relate to immediately. He doesn’t start out as an assassin, he becomes one because of the hand that life has dealt him, and you are happy to follow him on this 30-year journey."

Click through for two more video interviews with Benoit Lambert, the game's director, and Casey May, the game's writer.

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Left 4 Dead 2

X-Play's Abbie Heppe is a lucky one. She's up at Valve Software right now getting her hands on Left 4 Dead 2's newly announced "Scavenge" mode! While we sit patiently in Los Angeles for the game's November 17, 2009 release, she was kind enough to send back her impressions of the mode.

"For the final rollout of Left 4 Dead 2 goodness before launch, Valve announced the new Scavenge mode. This 4 vs. 4 mode pits survivors against infected and not in the way we've come to expect. Four survivors must retrieve gas cans around the map to power a central generator. Each can that is poured into the generator buys 20 seconds of time on the clock which counts down to the survivors demise from 120 seconds. The catch? You can't take damage when filling the generator and the gas cans are spread so widely throughout the surrounding area that it takes an impressive feat of skill and teamwork to get all 16."

Read her full preview now!

Ubisoft's Splinter Cell: Conviction has all the makings of a stellar game: expertly crafted presentation elements, tight gameplay and a gripping story. X-Play's Morgan Webb caught up with Ubisoft creative director Maxime Beland during TGS 2009, and as Beland explained, one of the welcomed side effects of Ubisoft's reworking of the franchise's stealth-action combat is that players will have more control than ever over how the game unfolds.

"Also, what we're trying to do is put the player in control of the pace. So if you want to play it slower, you want to take your time, you really want to be tactical, you can. If you're more of a gung-ho player--I don't think it's going to work that well unless you're really good and you're playing at an easier difficulty level--but other than that, I think you're really going to need to think before you act."

To find out more about some of the new and exciting elements of Splinter Cell: Conviction, be sure to check out the full interview below.

Splinter Cell: Conviction Maxime Beland TGS 09 Interview »

There weren't as many games at this year's Tokyo Game Show as there had been in years past, but there were still enough quality titles on display -- from both the East and West sides of development -- to compete for a spot on our unofficial and completely unscientific list of top games from the show. Winners shall receive nothing beyond our continued anticipation. Feel free to nominate your own candidates in the comments section!

Top 10 Games of Tokyo Game Show 2009

1) Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker

Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker Screenshot

TGS 09 TrailerHands-On Preview | Demo First 13 MinutesDeveloper Interview

Billy Berghammer:  "However, co-op is the main dish in Peace Walker, and based on our short hands-on time, it's looking quite promising. When playing a cooperative level, players choose which type of Snake they want to use to tackle a mission -- Battle Dress (best armor, yet slow), Sneaking Suit (Snake has a shield, yet if not equipped has weak armor), Jungle Fatigues (balanced), and Naked Snake (little defense, but fast and has a brutal weapons load-out). I initially chose Naked Snake, and enjoyed his speed and vast weapons."

2) Crackdown 2

Crackdown 2 Screenshot

Gameplay DemoHands-On PreviewDeveloper InterviewScreenshot Gallery

Patrick Klepek:  "Let it be known: Crackdown was made for a robust, sprawling series of multiplayer options. Deathmatch is a perfect compliment to the Crackdown gameplay and the sense of verticality means the ebb and flow is completely different from anything else out there. Unlike a great many other shooters coming down the pike, Crackdown 2 doesn't have to worry about the monster that is Modern Warfare 2; this is another beast entirely."

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TGS in Review: G4tv.com's Full Tokyo Game Show Coverage

Tokyo Game Show is a wrap for 2009, and that's music to the ears of our Tokyo Team who just returned to the office in a sleepy funk. Not that it wasn't fun, mind you, it was just completely exhausting for pretty much everyone involved. Hopefully you've been with us for the last week or so and have been keeping up with our long list of previews, trailers, demo videos, interviews, and photo galleries.

And if you haven't, well...here's our long list! (Read after the break for written previews, news stories, and photo galleries.)

Pre-Show Activities


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