GamesCom 2009

Kart racers have been around since the heyday of Mode 7 and Mario Kart on the SNES. Sony and United Front Games showcase their robust track editor in the latest trailer for Modnation Racers.

The "LittleBigPlanet" of racing? You betcha.

ModNation Racers GamesCom 2009 Trailer »

It slices and dices but doesn't make julien fries, it's Ubisoft's Red Steel 2 Join Ubisoft, as the dev team walks through this FPS sequel and takes on new ninja enemies, demonstrates a new shockwave input move and much more.

Red Steel 2 GamesCom 2009 Developer Walkthrough Video »

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Modern Warfare 2 GamesCom 2009 Co-Op Preview

In just a few months, the long awaited follow-up to Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare will be here. Modern Warfare 2 won't feature a full-fledged co-op campaign, but it does feature a co-op mode called Spec Ops, which Billy Berghammer had a chance to check out at GamesCom 2009 this week. Unfortunately, he wasn't very impressed.

"Spec Ops is inspired by the last airplane level from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Mile High Club. It’s a bite-sized challenge mode that you can play alone, split-screen or with a friend online. Three difficulty levels are available – regular, hardened, veteran -- and by finishing each challenge, you earn stars which open up later missions. Sadly, we only saw this mode played solo, which was utterly confusing. 'Oh hey, we’re going to show you the all-new cooperative mode in Modern Warfare 2! But, er…we’re playing it solo.'"

Read more about Billy's thoughts on Spec Ops mode by reading his preview.

Do you have the balls to take what you want from life? 2K Games readies the baseball bats and heads out to take what's rightfully theirs in Mafia II.

Mafia II Art of Persuasion GamesCom 2009 Trailer »

‘Battlefield: Bad Company 2’ Impressions

Can someone stand up to the might of Infinity Ward's Modern Warfare 2? Andrew Pfister sat down with DICE and Electronic Arts in Germany to check out the latest build of Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and came away impressed. Based on what Andrew saw, he's pretty sure it's ready to put up a fight with the reigning champ of military shooters.

"The dangling carrot comes in the form of ranks, pins, stars, and insignias -- comprising an array of rewards and recognition for quality play. The marketing quote of the demo was that Bad Company 2 is going to provide "the best all-out war experience," which means that DICE has Modern Warfare in their sights. That's an uphill battle for sure, but it looks like their arsenal is solid enough to make it an interesting fight."

Make sure to check out the rest of Andrew's preview from GamesCom 2009.


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.

Mafia II GamesCom 2009 Preview

It's a long wait before Rockstar Games delivers the next Grand Theft Auto and since The Godfather II wasn't too hot, it's encouraging that Billy Berghammer has come away with such positive impressions of Mafia II in Germany. Billy checked out the latest build of 2K Czech's Mafia II at GamesCom 2009, where the studio demonstrated the stealth gameplay of their 50s-set open world game.

"The demo renewed my hope in mafia-style games. The visuals are fantastic and the attention to detail within the world, from the animation and character models, to the gorgeous cars and period music, to fantastic indoor environments that have tons of interactive environments and plenty of destructibility, this is the way a mafia game should look and feel. Even though we didn’t get our hands on it, open world mafia style games could potentially have a new, more-realistic bar to strive for when Mafia II is released."

For more, check out Billy's complete preview of Mafia II.

DJ Hero

Activision's upcoming DJ Hero music game is bound to raise the roof, get the party started, and let the mother-effer burn -- burn, mother-effer, burn. Andrew Pfister jumped on the wheels of steel over at GamesCom 2009, and was very, very thankful for the game's tutorial:

"The note highway in DJ Hero has an array of colors, symbols and activity regions, so when you need to crossfade to the left and need to quickly switch to the right and immediately start scratching, it's easy to freak out and break your concentration. The tutorial (presented by Grandmaster Flash) does a good job of guiding you through all the mechanics, it just might take repeated sessions before you're ready to hit the club."

Check out the full preview for more info on turning this mother out when the game hits shelves at the end of October.

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 Final Fantasy XIV Online Beta To Start This September?


One of the biggest surprise of E3 2009 was Final Fantasy XIV. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, this MMO marks Square Enix's second attempt at an online Final Fantasy. G4tv.com's Andrew Pfister gathered a bunch of details on the game at GamesCon 2009. Andrew wrote about cross-platform play between PC players and PS3 players, the status status PvP, lessons learned from Final Fantasy XI, voice chat, and chocobos. Here's what he had to say about the game's skill system:

"The game's switchable skill system means that it's unlikely that you won't be able to find a complementary team to take on quests...versatility and adaptability will be a key."

Read Andrew's full preview here!

Total War: Napoleon

It's a fact: All gamers love Napoleon Bonaparte. They also love total war, So Napoleon: Total War will appeal to all gamers. If my unassailable logic fails to convince you, perhaps you should read Andrew Pfister's preview of this PC RTS. Pfister says the game is:

"A hybrid mix of real-time and turn-based strategy that puts you in the shoes of the world's most powerful people, armies, and nations. Napoleon is developer Creative Assembly's first attempt at incorporating a comprehensive campaign story that mirrors the legendary military career (and then rule) of the French emperor."

If all that wasn't enough of a reason to pick it when it comes out this February, think of it this way: At least Napoleon: Total War isn't another World War II game!

Check out the full, first-look preview right here.

Final Fantasy XIII
Final Fantasy XIII will be one of the biggest games of 2010 -- no doubt. G4tv.com's Andrew Pfister got to watch a demo of the English version of the game at GamesCom 2009. In addition to being dazzled by its graphics, Pfister wrote about the game's battle system, the curious Ghestalt mode, and more. Here's what he had to say about the game's Paradigm Shift feature:
"Working in conjunction with Active Time Battle, your party is able to shift into different class roles during combat, depending on what the situation calls for. For instance, you can shift into "Aggression" to increase your offensive power, or even kick it up a notch further with "Overwhelm." As your party progresses through the game, they'll be able to learn new specific jobs, and it's that combination of job skills that forms the various offensive, defensive, and healing paradigms."
While I abhor '90s corporate buzzwords, I'm happy that they're now being used for more productive purposes, like games. I just know that future Final Fantasy titles will incorporate Mindshare Mode and Active Time Battle 2.0.

Fans of Polyphony Digital’s acclaimed racing franchise Gran Turismo have been waiting for the latest installment, Gran Turismo 5, for neigh on 28 years now (or so it would seem), and the anticipation and expectations continue to grow by the hour. One of the most talked about aspects of the new game is the inclusion (finally) of car damage. G4tv.com’s Billy Berghammer snagged some hands-on time with the game at GamesCom, and sent back his impressions of the much-discussed new damage system. Here's a taste:
“So after I interviewed Yamauchi at this year’s GamesCom yesterday (full interview hitting G4tv.com next week!) and he told me the Gran Tursimo 5 demo on the show floor included damage, I was beyond excited. I’m quite the Gran Turismo fan, so I rushed to the floor to get my hands on the demo. Either something was wrong with this demo or Polyphony is barely finished with the damage model for the game– but I walked away shaking my head.”

To find out why our distinguished leader was so flummoxed, check out the full preview here.


Gran Turismo 5 PS3 E3 2009 Trailer »


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GamesCom 2009 Assassin's Creed II Preview

Two of the major issues people had with Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed were the repetitive mission structures and the shallow gameplay. For Assassin’s Creed II, Ubisoft has made damn sure that players have tons of things to do and tons of ways to do them, and based on G4tv.com’s Andrew Pfister’s impressions of the game at GamesCom, the game is shaping up to be an even more robust and dynamic experience than previously expected.

“[Patrice] Desilets waited until the duo stopped near a crowd of people, before walking behind the guard and giving him a quick poke of Ezio's poisoned blade. The stricken guard went berserk, waved his spear around and caught the merchant in the gut, doing the dirty work for him. And just for fun, he threw some spare change from his wallet towards some bystanders, some of which who bent down to pick it up only to receive the guard's spinning blade in their faces.”

For more, be sure to check out the full preview here.

Heavy Rain GamesCom 2009 'Love' Trailer »

Quantic Dreams' Heavy Rain has been getting a ton of attention at GamesCom 2009 and rightfully so. This game is one of the most highly anticipated PlayStation 3 exclusives. Blending Quantic Dreams' masterful storytelling (Indigo Prophecy) with stunning next-gen graphics, this should be a brilliant experience! Personally, it's #2 on my PS3 most-wanted list, behind Final Fantasy XIII. G4tv.com's Billy Berghammer is similarly high on the game:
"There’s something about Heavy Rain that gives me goosebumps and tugs at my heart strings every time I see it. Now that I know all the characters, I hope Quantic Dream decides not to show anything more until the game is released. Spoiling what’s really going on and how the Origami Killer plays into each of these characters lives is something I truly hope is going to be beyond fascinating."

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The hype behemoth known as James Cameron's Avatar: The Game launches its debut trailer at GamesCom 2009. If you caught the movie trailer, then consider yourself primed for what to expect in the game.

I'm still on the boat of " it looks like blue Thundercats vs. Halo", but am definitely curious as to what's to come. You?

Avatar: The Game Debut Trailer »


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