Crysis 3

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The award-winning developer Crytek is back with Crysis 3, the first blockbuster shooter of 2013!  With this game recently released it’s time to discover the features of the game.

Available for;  Xbox 360, PS3 and PC

Top of the charts

Over here in England Crysis 3 takes a rightful first place for the top 20 UK charts for the week ending February 23, beating fellow competitors which include Aliens: Colonial Marines, Dead Space 3 and Assassin’s Creed III.

Graphics

This game is set to wow us with its graphics, however as always the graphics you see before you while playing alter depending upon if you are playing this on an Xbox 360 or PC. Do not let this put you off though – the entire Crysis series is know for its amazing graphics and this is no exception.

For a brief insight into the story-line of this game visit – https://pwnersmanual.wordpress.com/2013/01/11/dates-for-your-geek-calendar/  In my ‘dates for your geek calendar’ post Crysis 3 most certainly has had a mention there!

As expected the graphics are visually stunning, however do not expect a great story line.   Developer Crytek has worked unbelievably hard to continue with the amazing graphics and to wow us further, however perhaps they could have afforded to spend a little longer on developing the story line.  Despite this, the reviews do talk about graphics so if you want to play a game in which graphics are practically unbeatable then this is for you.

An example of the graphics

An example of the graphics

Combat is slick and dynamic which of course is vital for a lot of video games, and finally Crytek have introduced a Tactical Bow to Prophet’s armor alongside his Nanosuit which featured in the video games prior.  The tactical bow really does bring a certain something to this game along with a huge benefit for all the fighting.  Other weapons include, Assault Rifle, Sniper Rifle and Sub-Machine Gun.

Personally I like how this game allows for you to also explore places and encourages you to do so.  It also features an impressive multi-player. With  a total of 64 Cell Intel Collectibles in Crysis 3, or as Crysis 3 fans will understand 38 Datapads, 20 Blackboxes, 6 Propaganda Posters, i’m determined to find them all…or probably just some!

Due to the graphics this game gets an overall rating of 8.5. 

Sources;

Gamespot (2013) UK Chart: Crysis 3 lands top. [online] Available at: http://uk.gamespot.com/news/uk-chart-crysis-3-lands-top-aliens-colonial-marines-sales-drop-84-6404397 [Accessed: 27 Feb 2013].

Mail Online (2013) Review – Crysis 3. [online] Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2284832/Crysis-3-review-Xbox-360–PS3–PC.html [Accessed: 27 Feb 2013].

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Top 10 Best Selling Video Games of January 2013 (USA)

The NPD Group have revealed the Top 10 highest selling Video Games sold in  America during 30th December 2012 and 2nd February 2013 (January period).  They are the following:

  1. Call of Duty: Black Ops II (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)**

  2. Far Cry 3 (360, PS3, PC)

  3. Just Dance 4 (Wii, 360, PS3, Wii U)

  4. NBA 2K13 (360, PS3, Wii, Wii U, PSP, PC)**

  5. Madden NFL 13 (360, PS3, Wii, PSV, Wii U)

  6. DMC: Devil May Cry (PS3, 360)

  7. Halo 4 (360)**

  8. Assassin’s Creed III (360, PS3, Wii U, PC)**

  9. Skylanders Giants (Wii, 360, PS3, 3DS, Wii U)**

  10. FIFA Soccer 13 (PS3, 360, PSV, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, PSP)

**(includes CE, GOTY editions, bundles, etc. but not those bundled with hardware)

Liam Callahan, who works for NPD,  reflects upon the January period quoting

“With the exception of Capcom’s new Devil May Cry, January saw no major releases to speak of on the top ten, so 2012′s year-end hot sellers like Call of Duty and Far Cry 3 continued to top the charts. That said, new releases did fare a bit better than in past January periods.”

Some of the above figures may come as a surprise to many, with Just Dance 4 beating games such as Halo 4 and DMC, however it is important to take into account the release dates, target audiences and importantly sales of individual games being combined into groups by platform.  For those who love the game ‘Ni No Kuni’, this came close ranking at number 11 however it would have ranked number 7 if sales of individual games were not combined into groups by platform.

Sources;

IGN (2013) NPD: Black Ops 2, Far Cry 3 Top U.S. Sales Charts for January – IGN. [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/02/14/npd-black-ops-2-far-cry-3-top-us-sales-charts-for-january [Accessed: 18 Feb 2013].

NPD (2013) Video Game Industry Market Research – Video Gaming Trend Analysis – NPD.com. [online] Available at: https://www.npd.com/wps/portal/npd/us/industry-expertise/video-games/ [Accessed: 18 Feb 2013].

PlayStation 4 PrototypeController vs PlayStation 3 Controller

There is much speculation behind the PS4 controller but has it already been revealed?  In just a few short days (3 to be exact), Sony are set to announce the reason behind their “See The Future” announcement.  Of course all clues (the most obvious one being the PlayStation symbol buttons appearing in the “See The Future” teaser trailer) lead to the announcement being highly rumored of the new PS4.  Let’s look at the apparent prototype and how it compares with the current controller.

You can read more about the Sony announcement here; https://pwnersmanual.wordpress.com/2013/02/01/sony-ps4-update/

https://pwnersmanual.wordpress.com/2013/01/19/special-report-playstation-4-ps4-the-latest-surrounding-rumours/

In these, I discuss some ideas as to what the new controller will look like.  This is a main focus point to the PS4 as Sony are thinking of dropping the much loved dual shock controller. I’m sure Sony have a very legitimate reason behind this, for some people playing on a PlayStation and growing up with the dual shock this has become a key feature of gaming.

An apparent “trusted source” has released the following image of what the PS4 controller may look like, and although this is a prototype it is set to change between now and when the console is announced, it does make me wonder if the controller can really be changed all that much.

Prototype PS4 controller

Prototype PS4 controller

The image seems to be confirmed by gaming website “IGN” however I cannot help but feel a little let down that the screen is smaller than anticipated, although I do like how it looks like Sony have ‘leveled-up’.

The above image shows a breakdown of all the features on the prototype controller while below is a breakdown of features (and their functions) on the current PlayStation3 controller.

ps3_controller_dvd_buttons

Comparing these two pictures it is easy to spot the resemblance and note what Sony have (for now) altered.  There are people who also note a resemblance between the Xbox controller and Dreamcast VMU.   

New Features on the PS4 Prototype

Analog Sticks – although not new in concept as they feature on the PS3 controller, the analog sticks appear to be slightly further apart though they remain level, which of course is a good thing, unlike the Xbox 360 controller’s unevenly placed sticks. However, the sticks themselves are concave – like the Xbox 360’s. 

Touch Pad – the new front controller should embark a touch pad that can be used in different ways depending on the choice of publishers. It is also possible according to other rumors that this surface hides a small LCD screen.  This is highly rumored. 

Motion-Tracking LED – It is this technology that equips the PlayStation Move and will hopefully have been developed to be more precise. 

Also the R2 and L2 buttons may actually be more in line with spring-loaded Xbox 360-like triggers.

Sources;

IGN (2013) This Is PlayStation 4’s (Prototype) Controller. [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/02/15/is-this-playstation-4s-controller [Accessed: 18 Feb 2013].

Logic Sunrise (2013) [ Rumors ] Prototype of the new controller PS4 (SplitShock) *shift*. [online] Available at: http://www.logic-sunrise.com/en/news-599731-rumors-prototype-of-the-new-controller-ps4-splitshock-shift.html [Accessed: 18 Feb 2013].

BioShock Infinite

BioShock Infinite

A game which in particular i am really excited about its release is BioShock Infinite.  Not only is this game one of the best games released in March it could also possibly be one of the most anticipated and exciting games to be released this year.  Having the release date already been pushed back twice (October 16th, 2012 and February 26, 2013) this game will finally be released on the 26th March, I decided to discuss this game ahead of its release and see what adventures await before us.  Published by 2K games and developed by Irrational Games.

       Genre                                   Platforms

First-person shooter                                         PS3, Xbox 360 and PC

Booker and Elizabeth

Booker and Elizabeth

About the game

Set in 1912 you become Booker DeWitt, a main character and also a  a former Pinkerton detective.  The storyline we know of so far is short, the main goal is to find Elizabeth, a young woman who’s gone missing and been held captive in the floating city and return her unharmed.  Unfortunately we can tell it won’t be simple otherwise then the game would be very short. She is guarded by Songbird, a monstrous, winged creature who has become her only friend.

Drawing off the two previous BioShock games (BioShock and BioShock 2) the game could very likely be another game with its main focus being on the story line this may not appeal to all gamers, however if you do like games which have a lot of shooting then this game could be worth playing and switching between a shooting game and this to gain the fast pace, BioShock previous games have been very deliberate and paced.  There is also a possibility of the story line continuing further. Like previous BioShock games, the player has the option to use a combination of weapons, gear, psychokinetic powers granted through “vigors” against his attacks.

BioShock Infinite Gear

BioShock Infinite Gear

Breaking away from the underwater setting of the first two games most of the action takes place in a floating city held aloft by dirigibles.  The floating city is supposedly Columbia, once a symbol of America’s success as a nation, floating around the world as a traveling World’s Fair, a marvel of human innovation.  Hence the logo being similar to a torn American flag with a Carnival twist.  If you would like to discover more view the trailers or a special look into the first 5 minutes of BioShock Infinite  at the end of this post.

Awards

In 2011 Bioshock Infinite was announced as the big winner of E3 with four awards.  They are;

  • Best of Show
  • Best Original Game
  • Best PC Game
  • Best Action/Adventure Game

For a full list of winners see the Game Critics Award link at the bottom of this post.

BioShock Infinite Artwork

BioShock Infinite Artwork

Try BioShock Infinite if you like…

RPGs, FPS, Resident Evil, BioShock, BioShock2, Borderlands

Trailers

Sources; 

1Up (2013) Two Possible Reasons for BioShock Infinite’s 2013 Delay. [online] Available at: http://www.1up.com/news/bioshock-infinite-13-delay-possible-reasons [Accessed: 7 Feb 2013].

Bioshock Infinite (2011) The Game. [online] Available at: http://www.bioshockinfinite.com/the-game/ [Accessed: 7 Feb 2013].

Game Critics Awards (2011) Game Critics Awards 2011 Winners. [online] Available at: http://www.gamecriticsawards.com/2011winners.html [Accessed: 7 Feb 2013].

Polygon (2012) BioShock Infinite hands-on: Mysteries in the clouds. [online] Available at: http://www.polygon.com/2012/12/7/3739008/bioshock-infinite-hands-on-preview [Accessed: 7 Feb 2013].

YouTube (2013) City in the Sky Trailer. [online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vRjNMQZ1qBk [Accessed: 7 Feb 2013].

YouTube (2012) BioShock Infinite Beast of America Trailer. [online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gBVZj6ROV0 [Accessed: 7 Feb 2013].

Dead Space 3

Dead Space 3

The story line

Issac Clarke is back for a third installment, this time he is on a mission like no other.  The thrilling story continues with  merciless soldier John Carver in tow having crash-landed on the treacherous frozen ice planet of Tau Volantis they begin their nerve shredding journey to discover the true source of the Necromorph outbreak.  What is lucky..in a way..is that Issac is an engineer, this means he can combine raw materials and scavenged parts together in order to create and customise not only survival tools, which is a given why they are required, but also survival tools.  Perhaps think a somewhat similar extreme version of Minecraft.

This game is action-oriented game-play and set in a classic space environment, in the brutal wildness you come across mortal enemies where you can not let them embrace you. Although from judging what they look like (no offence but they do look horrifying) you would not like them to anyways.  Although fellow gamers are wondering if EA have abandoned ‘scary’ in favor of a more ‘shooty’ approach. Creative director Ben Wanat has stated that “horror is a personal and a company obsession.” Please note as the game has just been released today in North America (5th February 2013) we will have to wait for the reviews to see if the horror that we are expecting is there. Although with research for this game done on ‘mummified’ corpses and his love for horror films there probably will be something haunting about ‘Dead Space 3’.  Although on PC there is a muddy texture quality, for the most it does not look bad in action.  There are several quality settings available which, on low quality, the dark shadows can appear light, which in a dark game like this make a huge difference.

Back to the story, you are also out to destroy as you drift through space equipped with an eva suit every shot counts.  You must collect and build your arsenal very cleverly to flee in what is set to be a nerve shattering expedition where danger is everywhere.

embrace not allowed

embrace not allowed

New co-op feature

There is set to be more steady pacing in this game, instead of the safe room where you can catch your breath, you now keep playing to a (hopefully) thrilling perfect pace where the action, horror and terrifying scenes will have a much greater impact on the player.   This game does look to be visually stunning, captivating, although frighting images to some.

drop in/drop out co-op

drop in/drop out co-op

There is a new co-operative mode!  Unlike the other two games you can now decide to play on your own or with a friend.  What is positive about this feature is the friend can join and leave at any checkpoint, this allows you to continue playing the game rather than waiting for them, although you can do that if you wish. There could also be a benefit of helping each other out fending off attacks as danger is set to be everywhere. Stated on the ‘Dead Space’ website;

“…playing the co-op version of Dead Space 3’s campaign, you will uncover additional story elements, cut-scenes, and battle strategies that are exclusive to this mode.”

Dead Space 3 is available from today on PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for North America and available from 8th February for Europe. (Although it is available now in Europe on PC)

If you would like to see some game play for yourself here is the official trailer from when the game was announced at last years E3.

If you have never played Dead Space before and would like to play Dead Space 3, or want a recap here is a video from IGN titled “Dead Space in 5 minutes” 

Dead Space in 5 minutes

Sources;

Dead Space (2012) Dead Space 3 Co-Op. [online] Available at: http://www.deadspace.com/team-up-with-co-op [Accessed: 5 Feb 2013].

Deadspace.com (2013) Dead Space 3 – Thrilling Story. [online] Available at: http://www.deadspace.com/de/thrilling-story [Accessed: 5 Feb 2013].

IGN (2013) How Horrifying is Dead Space 3?. [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/articles/2013/01/31/how-horrifying-is-dead-space-3 [Accessed: 5 Feb 2013].

Market Place Xbox (2013) Dead Space 3 – Xbox.com. [online] Available at: http://marketplace.xbox.com/en-GB/Product/Dead-Space-3/66acd000-77fe-1000-9115-d8024541099d [Accessed: 5 Feb 2013].

UK PC Game Spy (2013) GameSpy: Port Authority: Dead Space 3. [online] Available at: http://uk.pc.gamespy.com/pc/dead-space-3/1227341p1.html [Accessed: 5 Feb 2013].

Super Bowl and Video Games

XLVII

As we hope you are aware today, 3rd February, is Super Bowl Sunday and will see either the Baltimore Ravens or San Francisco 49ers crowned Super Bowl XLVII champions, in America’s biggest sporting event!  No matter who you are supporting, or if you are going to play video games instead, here is a special blog post featuring American Football games.  Time to eat some football shaped Oreos.

Madden NFL 13

This video game has been talked about a lot recently in the sporting world, this is because people are looking at this game to predict a winner for today’s event.  Featured on the TIME website as number one for “Super Bowl XLVII: 9 Wacky Ways of Predicting the Winner”
Madden NFL '13 (Credit: EA Sports)
Madden NFL 13 – Ravens

“This annual bellwether is played not on the gridiron, but on the couch. The Madden gurus pitted the two teams against each other, in a game of Madden 13on an Xbox 360. Final score? Ravens 27, 49ers 24. Baltimore quarterback Joe Flacco was crowned MVP after completing 70% of his passes and tossing two touchdowns. Sure, it’s just a video game  but it’s a painstakingly accurate one: Madden’s simulation has successfully predicted seven out of the last nine Super Bowls, and came within two points of predicting the exact final score of Super Bowl XLIII in 2009.”

Of course we will see how accurate this is tonight but right now it’s time to focus on the Madden NFL 13 game itself.  To see the final few seconds of this gameplay see the video clip at the end of this post.

Madden is available in stores now for Xbox 360, PS3, Vita, Wii, Wii U, Madden NFL 13 Social is also available on iPhone, iPad and Facebook.  This is very good news for all Vita gamers as Madden NFL 13 is the first Madden game to be released on the PlayStation Vita, as well as this it is also the first game in the series to have Kinect support for Xbox gamers.

With a player capacity of 1-4, and online multi-player capacity of 2-6.  This game redefines its previous, with an all new game design and, new pass-ready system and improved play action.  This game has set out to entice us, especially if you have played a Madden game before.  This game also features a new read and react defensive AI system which is the most intelligent pass defense to date, Madden NFL 13.  This game has some impressive real style virtual frame work.  This game certainly has come along way since it was first released in 1989.

IGN quote;

“Madden NFL 13 revolutionizes the way sports video game career modes are played with Connected Careers—a completely new and fully connected universe defined by deep gameplay, unique storylines and social integration. The game continues to evolve the sport sim experience with cutting-edge Infinity Engine technology, revolutionary Connected Careers and a complete audio and visual overhaul that delivers best in class presentation.”

Madden 13 Game Cover

Cover Art

Cover Art

On the game cover we see a very realistic looking Calvin Johnson, known to many as Detroit Lions wide receiver. 

John Madden Football 1989

Pre 1993 the EA Sports American football video game series was known as John Madden Football. Named after pro footballer and Super Bowl winning coach, John Madden.

Game play footage Madden '89

Game play footage Madden ’89

Super Bowl 2013 Predictions: Ravens vs. 49ers in Super Bowl 47

Sources; 

IGN (2012) Madden NFL 13 (PlayStation 3). [online] Available at: http://uk.ign.com/games/madden-nfl-13/ps3-128098 [Accessed: 3 Feb 2013].

Unknown. (2013) TIME. [online] Available at: http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/01/29/super-bowl-2013-9-wacky-ways-of-predicting-the-winner/#ixzz2JpXpgO3V [Accessed: 3 Feb 2013].

YouTube (2013) Super Bowl 2013 Predictions: Ravens vs. 49ers in Super Bowl 47. [online] Available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3WWFpzbhX5o#! [Accessed: 3 Feb 2013].

Disney Infinity

Disney-Infinity-Logo

A few weeks ago, on 15th January 2013, Disney Infinity was announced to the world during an exclusive media event at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood.  Set to be a new video game where a spark of imagination unlocks the freedom to play with some of your favorite Disney and Disney/Pixar characters.  This game wants to take us to infinity and beyond (pun definitely intended) so lets go and explore what this game is about.

Have you ever dreamed about writing your own story and having your favourite Disney/Pixar characters join together  and star in it?  This game can make that dream a reality. Disney Infinity, a third person adventuring mode, sees you accessing characters and environments by standing a series of chunky toys in different slots on the Infinity Base, this base is essential to the game as it allows the characters you have chosen to appear on screen before you.  With the characters you have chosen you can choose to either play in worlds native to the characters or make your own worlds.

The Infinity Base which allows characters to appear in the game

The Infinity Base which allows characters to appear in the game

It’s creativity and playfulness combined. If you’ve dreamed of ever having different Disney characters meet and explore their own missions then with good old Disney magic, this is a dream come true.  Personally for me what would be interesting to see is what characters it features and which ones they do not feature, for example can you have ‘The Beast’ from ‘Beauty and the Beast’ appear or have all the classic Disney characters unfortunately disappeared.

Characters in the world

Characters in the world

To play this video game to it’s full potential you will have to purchase additional features, there are power discs, playset pieces and hexagonal skin and item discs as well. The playset pieces unlock themed levels, the power discs which add buffs and abilities to characters when stacked underneath them, and the hexagonal discs allow you to unlock vehicles, items, wallpapers and give you even more to use when creating your own levels.  With each play set created to give you an estimated 15+ hours of game play this could be worth it.

John Pleasants, Co-President of Disney Interactive, says it is a “new interactive gaming platform.” He goes on to state, “Disney Infinity is not a single game.”

There will initially be 40 interactive pieces and 17 characters to collect, but additional pieces, sets, and characters will release over time.

  • The Disney Infinity starter pack will be $74.99(features the game, 3 figures, Infinity Base, Play-set token for three adventures (Monsters UniversityPirates and The Incredibles) and upgrade token.)
  • Other play sets/expansion pack will be $34.99(2 figures and a Play-set token for as yet unannounced franchises for launch)
  • Additional three-packs of figures for $29.99 (3 figures)
  • Individual figures for $12.99 (1 figure)
  • Power-disc pack for $4.99 (2 tokens in each foil pack but unseen before purchase)

If you purchased one of each of the above it will cost $157.95 (around £99.80)

We can't help but feel this is true

We can’t help but feel this is true

What you do in this game is up to you.  You can do a mission summoning a range of ‘prank’ devices to install at specific spots in a level, for example – things like call boxes which produce fly swats that knock characters around the map, or manhole covers that spring them into the air. Although each individual sets is reserved only for the specific characters whose worlds they draw upon. There will be no pirates around the plazas of Monster University and no superheroes on the deck of the Black Pearl.  Editing is all done without leaving the game world or switching to another mode which of course is a plus. You simply equip your character with a magic wand that lets them highlight and manipulate things. You can load in new texture packs and sky domes by stacking power disks onto the Infinity Base alongside your figurines. The entire process will feel pretty effortless which allows for smoother game play.

To view the Disney Infinity Trailer click on the link  

Infinity has been set for a June release on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, Wii U, 3DS, PC, and mobile devices.

This 3 characters will be included in the starter pack

These 3 characters will be included in the starter pack

Game footage

Game footage

Possible characters available

Possible characters available