Game Previews

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

What We Know: DICE's Battlefield: Bad Company was a hit when it came out in summer 2008. It offered up a console-centric bent on the popular PC series. Naturally, it performed well enough to warrant a sequel. EA first showed off Battlefield: Bad Company 2 at a media event during GDC this past March and demonstrated the advancements that the team has devised since the first game's bow.

DICE's console shooter sequel aspires to be more than "Battlefield: Bad Company 1.5." It's got a heavier emphasis on multiplayer than past efforts. The Feed's Andrew Pfister checked it out at GamesCom, and his report was that the war between EA's franchises and Activision's should heat up even more as DICE appears to be building up its shooter sequel to compete with Infinity Ward's upcoming juggernaut, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. In the past, the Swedish developer also mentioned that the new game will feature a new rendition of its Frostbite engine, which the team uses to enhance environmental destructibility. They claim that you'll be able to completely obliterate buildings into rubble. Other bold boasts overheard today included calling it "the ultimate all-out-war experience," and "the best multiplayer shooter you'll play in 2010."

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TGS 09: Dante's Inferno Hands-On Lust Stage Preview

What We Know: Electronic Arts tasked Visceral Games, the same studio who created Dead Space (it's a different team, however), with adapting The Divine Comedy into a video game. How does The Divine Comedy become a video game? You make Dante's journey through Hell a whole lot more intense, with God of War-esque gameplay defining the style. If you squinted, you wouldn't be blamed for thinking Dante's Inferno is God of War with a new coat of paint, but based on my few times with the game, that's not necessarily a bad thing -- it just means you're immediately familiar with how the game plays, allowing you to jump straight into the action without hesitation. Response to Dante's Inferno has been decidedly mixed, as gamers have begun to learn the, erm, interesting different directions Visceral Games has taken its adaptation of The Divine Comedy.

What's New At TGS: The "Lust" stage. In God of War, you can have minigame sex with two topless women. In Dante's Inferno, you can fight a massive topless Cleopatra monster who generates enemies for you to fight by squirting them through her nipples. No, I'm not kidding, though I desperately wish I was. I've played Dante's Inferno a number of times now and have always come away impressed with the fighting engine. It's one thing to say "hey, we're going to riff on God of War" and another to actually pull it off. It's not as simple as copying and pasting and the Dante's Inferno team should be commended for that -- it's a great playing game. But then I'm shown scenes where Dante's fighting off creatures that just emerged ala breast milk and I'm shaking my head as my stomach turns over. This isn't clever, this isn't funny -- it's downright embarrassing. It'd be one thing if the Visceral Games team realized it wasn't going to be capable of pulling off a competent beat 'em up and decided to strike at the lowest common denominator to catch eyeballs, but there's a good game here that stands a change of getting overshadowed by an uncomfortably obvious attempt to grab the players' interest with cheap tactics like gigantic flopping breasts and female enemies that seem to protrude crotch tentacles.

What I Want To See: Less of what I just spent the last few hundred words complaining about. At this point, between the promise at Comic-Con that I'll have a chance to burst through the anus of Cerberus and Tokyo Game Show's topless booby giant, I'm ready to write off large parts of Dante's Inferno. Show me disturbing, show me weird, make me want to look away from the screen because there's awful things happening in front of me, but do it because you're representing a version of Hell taken to the nth degree. I'm not seeing enough of that in Dante's Inferno and I'm hoping EA puts its best foot forward when the last big push for the game happens before its release next year. I want to like you, Dante's Inferno.

TGS 09: Dante's Inferno PSP Hands-On Preview

What We Know: Dante's Inferno is loosely based on the renowned literary poem The Divine Comedy. Of course, The Divine Comedy doesn't exactly provide direct framework for an action game, requiring some controversial changes, but Dante's trip through Hell does provide a unique setting. Electronic Arts has been slowly but surely pulling back the layers of Dante's Inferno to mixed response from gamers and the media and while the publisher has been promising a PSP version of Dante's Inferno all along, EA's Tokyo Showcase was the first time we were given a chance to check out the handheld edition. EA has been promising Dante's Inferno would look and play similarly on the PSP -- this isn't a spin-off or a prequel -- and the single PSP running the game, tucked away in a corner (not a a good sign), provided my first glimpse at whether EA pulled it off.

What's New For TGS: Everything and nothing, depending on how you look at it. Tokyo Game Show is providing the first look at the PSP version but the driving question about the PSP version actually has less to do with the game's content, which we've already seen on other platforms many times, and more about EA's ability to bring that to the PSP itself. In 10 minutes of running around, I botched a puzzle (I had to ask the nearby representative), batted away some enemies, crossed a lake of fire with air creatures and dodged first swipes from a monster that filled the entire screen. Sounds like Dante's Inferno, right? That's because the PSP version looks and plays like you'd expect. Whether Dante's Inferno is something you're interested in is a completely different story, but EA appears to have successfully translated it to the smaller screen.

What I Want To See: I'll be interested to see how the PSP version scales the boss battles, which is something EA has been heavily focused on when showing the console versions. Those sections game feature screen-dominating demons that might prove taxing to the PSP. There are also appeared to be less enemies on the screen at once in the PSP version, but it could have been the section I was playing. I'll need to see them side-by-side in the future for a better comparison of the translation.

Halo 3: ODST direct-feed coming straight at ya. Check out gameplay from the "New Mombasa" below,

Halo 3: ODST Direct-Feed New Mombasa Night Footage »


and "Tayari Plaza" after the cut.

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Ready for some action-packed, co-op shooter tactical gameplay?

EA Producer Matt Turner stopped by (with TheFeed's very own Jake Gaskill in tow!) to preview the gameplay of Army of TWO: The 40th Day with 10 minutes direct-feed footage. Watch and listen as an enthusiastic Matt examines:

  • Expanded, robust weapon customization
  • "Pre-Combat" tactical playbook gameplay
  • A grenade-launching boss fight
  • Improved Co-Op game mechanics
  • and a lot of dead Zoo hippos and elephants (Spoiler: you can use them as cover!)

Army of Two: The 40th Day Direct-Feed Walkthrough »


Do yourself a favor and catch this in HD and be sure to check out X-Play's extensive Video Previews after the cut.

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Contra Rebirth Preview

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Posted September 4, 2009 - By r_pad

Contra Rebirth Preview
Nintendo Wii owners looking to get their Contra on are in for some good news: Contra Rebirth is hitting WiiWare next week! TheFeed's Patrick Klepek got his hands on this new, old-school shooter at PAX 2009. As expected, it's terribly challenging (he died...a lot), but in that lovable Contra way. Klepek noted that while the game is difficult, it's not as ridiculous as past installments:
"If the PAX 2009 demo is anything to go by, however, Contra Rebirth will be easier than previous installments. There's less bullet hell (where enemy bullets swarm the entire screen) but plenty of cheap, out-of-your-control deaths (a Contra staple). Still, the sheer fact that I made it to the end of the first stage probably indicates the whole of Contra Rebirth has been designed for less hardcore-inclined to enjoy themselves. I don't have time to memorize bullet patterns anymore!"
Check out Patrick's entire preview here

Tony Hawk: RIDE Feet-On Preview

I guess having one G4 editor preview Activision’s upcoming skateboard-peripheral-only Tony Hawk: RIDE would have been sufficient, but where’s the fun in that? With this in mind, our own Billy Berghammer, Sterling McGarvey, Andrew Pfister and Patrick Klepek secured some feet-on time at PAX 2009 with arguably one of the year’s riskier titles (due its peripheral-only controls and $100 price tag). And while none of the guys are completely sold on the title at this point, there appears to be enough in this much needed reboot to keep (most of) them intrigued to see the final product. Well, maybe not Patrick:

"Tony Hawk: RIDE feels like Top Skater for consoles. Whenever I played Top Skater in the arcade, I immediately wondered what it would be like to have Top Skater in my home. Now that I realize what that means, I'm not so sure I want Top Skater around. Look, would I love to play Tony Hawk: RIDE with a drink by my side at a friend's house? Sure. It's easy, it's fun, you don't have to put in that much effort, but as someone who couldn't handle a skateboard without a drink at their side, I don't understand the appeal."

To find out more about what our well-balanced editors thought of the game, be sure to check out the full preview.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars PSP Preview

For PlayStation Portable fans out there who missed Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS, you will get your chance to experience one of the most epic hand-held experiences to date when the critically acclaimed title graces PSPs later this year.

G4's Sterling McGarvey had a chance to check out the upcoming portable crime extravaganza, and what he found might surprise you. That is, if you’re surprised to hear that a GTA game is a hell of a lot of fun. Here’s a snippet:

“As I plugged away artillery shells at police cars and armored vans, I noticed how the tank (though a little clumsy) handled significantly better than a similarly paced mission would have done in one of the ‘Stories’ games on PSP. GTA fans will likely notice that the mission structure in this game is better suited to a bus ride than a plugged-in PSP at home.”

To find out more, and to see what's new for the PSP version, check out Sterling’s full preview right here.

  • Videos
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

  • Videos
  • Screenshots
  • Cheats and Walkthroughs

I wasn’t expecting to be as impressed as I was with Rockstar’s music-making PlayStation Portable title Beaterator. That’s not to say I had low expectations (it’s Rockstar after all). I just didn’t know terribly much about it going into my preview session, so I didn’t really know what to expect. Well, that all changed shortly after the game booted up, and a Rockstar rep started making actual music before my eyes within a minute.

I mean, just get a load of this:

"Studio mode kicks things up a bit as it lets you edit tracks created in Live Play. And actually, it’s quite similar to Live Play, but all the tracks and sounds are much more manageable and maneuverable, and they all appear as tabs on a single cross-bar of sorts, making it much easier to visualize what’s going on with your song. Here, you can also tweak pretty much every aspect of your creation from the tempo to the sound channels to the volume of individual tracks."

And that’s nothing. Check out my full preview to see why you should keep a very close eye on Beaterator as we get closer to its September 29th release date.

Beaterator Features Trailer »


High-octane junkies are in for a treat today. After going through our in-depth interview with Electronic Arts Producer Jesse Abney, dive even further into the Slightly Mad Studios racing simulation with 15 minutes of direct-feed gameplay preview goodness of Need for Speed: Shift.

Need for Speed: Shift Direct-Feed Developer Walkthrough »

Heads up simulation racing fans.

The Need for Speed series is getting a bit of a sim makeover with Shift. We preview EA's new racer with producer Jesse Abney about the driver experience, AI, and gameplay modes.

Need for Speed: Shift Producer Interview »


Rolling up the cosmos with the Katamari series has been a staple to the memories of many gamers. For the first time ever, the series will make it's appearance on the PlayStation 3 taking full advantage of the hardware horsepower. 1080p Katamari tribute!?! You ask? Why yes.

Join Namco Bandai's Localization Specialist Katherine Schilling, as she previews the vibrant and wacky gameplay of Katmari Forever for the PS3 with a 10-minute Direct-Feed gameplay walkthrough.

Katamari Forever Direct-Feed Developer Walkthrough »

Scribblenauts for the Nintendo DS

Most of the G4tv.com staff was utterly charmed by the inventive Scribblenauts at E3 2009. The game is nearly here and Sterling McGarvey got his hands on it for a preview. Here's what Sterling had to say:

"Like a genie that gives you what you asked for, good or bad, Scribblenauts’ execution doesn’t always fall in line with your expectations. And that’s something that’s tough to deal with at times. But when you finally put together an idea, no matter how crazy or off-the-wall it might seem, there’s something ultimately satisfying about getting thatStarite . It’s a funny coincidence that the last game to make me so happy to collect a shiny star involved a famous plumber. So while some of my expectations have been curbed by the game’s quirks, I’m still really excited that I should have another gem in my DS library come mid-September."

For more hands-on impressions on this wonderfully creative game, be sure to read Sterling's full preview.

GamesCom 2009 Recap -- Previews, Features, And VideosThe G4tv.com crew has been working uber hard at GamesCom 2009, bringing you excellent previews and videos from the show. In case you've missed any of the coverage, here's a list of what's been posted so far and what you can expect in the next few days.


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Command & Conquer 4 Debut Trailer Director's Cut »

It might be a while before eager RTS fans get to experience Electronic Arts' Command & Conquer 4, the final chapter in the series' Tiberium saga, but that doesn’t mean you can't start getting a little excited about it. G4tv.com’s Andrew Pfister checked out the game at GamesCom, and despite not being a diehard RTS fan, he managed to be pleasantly surprised by some of the game's new features.

“I went into my Command & Conquer 4 demo at GamesCom with open ears and paying very close attention. When co-lead designer and story lead Sam Bass started describing the game's Support class as the way to go for people who are unskilled or intimidated by RTS games (*hand raised*), then I was able to see myself exploring the C&C universe after all these years.”

To find out what else had Andrew eager to make the RTS plunge, be sure to check out his full preview.


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