Review: inFAMOUS

Get out there and deliver this package! It is just another day in the life of Cole McGrath, bike courier. Or is it? Cole’s life is changed in an instant, and his destiny is to become that of the saviour (or the destructor) is revealed.

How will your story playout? I chose the life of the hero for my first play though of inFAMOUS. A do-gooder set on the path of restoring order to a chaos ridden Empire City and the liberation of it’s inhabitants.

The story line for inFAMOUS finds you in the shoes of Cole, a man forever altered by the explosion caused by the Ray Sphere – a mysterious device of unknown origins – that is detonated in the middle of a standard bike courier delivery. Finding a changed city after recovering you venture out into the wild armed with only your newly acquired powers. Lighting at the tip of your fingers, enhanced strength and the ability to jump and climb almost any surface (except Chain link fences?). Like me you will spend a lot of time scaling buildings only to turn around and then jumping from them. It’s more fun then it sounds – Trust me.

Even thought Cole’s powers are great they are not endless – keeping track of available energy sources adds to your struggles – as you progress to portions of Empire city that have no power and you find your self in need of a recharge. Also I found it somewhat disappointing that the completeness of a “Good” story quest prevented you from returning to complete the “Villain” portions of the story. I’d like the option to do both, not just one or the other after the main story line was completed.

Character development happens in a number of different ways; 1 – Earn experience for fighting enemies (bonus for combos, head shots and live captures), 2 – game progression, new powers are added to your repertoire as the story progresses by completing key objectives and 3 – Following the path of the hero or villain and completing the side quests to build skills. Maxing out as many skills as possible will make the later parts of this game much easier – almost too easy in some cases. There are also a few skills (specifically Thunder Drop) that I feel were not very useful and avoided the upgrade points needed to strengthen these skills are better spent elsewhere.

The story is full of (un)helpful NPC’s ranging from your best friend Zeke – your bumbling best friend who wants to be just like you, Trish your girlfriend who wants nothing to do with you. You will also spend a lit of time with Moya an FBI agent that gives you key intelligence and objectives making her a useful story progression tool. Moya also introduces you to another agent John, a deep under cover operative that your going to spend a number of missions investigating and getting to know. There are also three other characters your going to spend some time with, but I’ll leave these to you game play as many of your in game actions will determine how they will interact with you as you progress.

The combination of character personalities, flaws and idiosyncrasies provide great direction in a sandbox world like Empire City. The voice acting for the main NPC characters is top notch, believable and well acted. Accompanied by a story line that is both well planed and well directed your going to find your engrossed in the lives of Cole and his friends. I was pleasantly surprised with story plot twists and unexpected interactions from the citizens – tossing stones and fighting along side Cole to defeat the numerous enemies and the paparazzi effect.

A title all PS3 owners should have in their library. Still not sold on this title? Go check out the three part online graphic novel.

Pros:

* Voice acting and story line – plenty of twists and outcomes based on your characters alignment
* Upgrade paths offer different powers for Hero vs. Villain
* Visual queues for current alignment (Blue = Good, Red = Villain)

Cons:

* Chain link fence – of all the things you can’t climb…
* Some upgrades made enemy fights too easy
* Not all skills are useful

Now it’s time to get my villain on!

Feed your console gives inFAMOUS: 9 out of 10

Developer: Sucker Punch Productions
Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment

Xbox Live down for maintenance June 16th

Major Nelson is reporting that Xbox Live will be down for maintenance on June 16th. This is to prepare the way for these great new features accounced reciently

Games on Demand: See the launch of Xbox’s GoD with over 30 games. Say goodnight OnLive.

Great games on Xbox LIVE and Xbox LIVE Arcade: Xbox LIVE Arcade brings you the second annual Summer of Arcade, featuring games like: Shadow Complex, Trials HD, Splosion Man, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time Re-Shelled, and MARVEL VS. CAPCOM 2.

Avatar Marketplace: Bringing support for in-game Avatar Awardables and a virtual closet full of premium clothing and interactive props to download and purchase for your Avatar.

User Ratings: Xbox is adding a five-star rating system that lets you rate any content in the Games Marketplace – no more surprises for DLC – the community will tell you what’s hot and what’s not.

Performance Updates: Xbox LIVE is being upgraded for improved performance including better guide and friends access. This includes revamping the friends and Achievement lists and improved matchmaking support.

Here is the notice from Major Nelson.

On Tuesday, June 16th from 7:01AM UTC (12:01 AM PST) for up to 24 hours, Xbox Live will be offline for maintenance. As a result, Xbox LIVE and the ‘My Xbox’ section of Xbox.com will be unavailable, and the Xbox forums will be in read only mode (you won’t be able to post.)

The remainder of Xbox.com will be available with limited interruptions.

This service maintenance is to prepare for some of the recently announced features that will be available later this year.

Let me reiterate: When the service returns, you will not have any new functions or features. This is for scheduled maintenance only.

Impressions: F.E.A.R. 2: Project Origins

Platform: xbox 360 (reviewed), ps3

Alma’s back. If you’ve played the first F.E.A.R. installation you know who I’m referring to. If not, doesn’t matter F.E.A.R. 2 does a good job at starting you off with just enough to want to play on.

The gameplay is smooth yet sluggish at times (when walking it just felt like he was slow for no reason)…minor. For this type of game I can’t say too much on the plot, outcome, etc. but I am almost certain there will be a F.E.A.R. 3.

I really enjoy[ed] playing this title. It is what it, and at times it is quite good at getting you to jump out your skin (especially in the school). There’s replay value if you ‘Live’n it up. There are several new map packs out there for the masses. Graphics and sound don’t disappoint, however I’ve come to expect nothing less from this studio. IMHO, worth buying for 50 bucks or less.

Pros

* Good solid play for it’s
* Good weapons cache system
* Can almost use anything and maneuver it as cover in fire fights…

Cons

* …however, most items you can use for cover still leaves your head sticking above it to be shot off. Hows that cover?! A false positive indeed.
* Controls take time to get use even though they are similar in lay out to other games of it’s type..some response felt sluggish especially when moving about exploring.

Developer: Monolith Productions
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment

Ubisoft Press Round up

With the press conference from Ubisoft over the last few days we have been saving all the email new so we can have one super post to summarize all the Ubisoft news for you. This may not cover all the game presented during the press conference you can find them here.

Lets start with he location for all the videos from Ubi’s conference – you can catch the highlights here: Ubisoft’s E3 news feed.

First up your new fitness instructor “Your Shape”. Your Shape is the first fitness game that comes with a camera peripheral included inside the box and it’s for the Wii (That is right I said a Camera game for the Wii!). With Body Tracking technology, the game enables players to create a personalized and interactive workout that is individually tailored to your body type.

We witness the return of Travis in NO MORE HEROES 2: DESPERATE STRUGGLE… redesigning game play to allow for dual swords and face multiple bosses simultaneously in bigger-than-ever boss battles. Stay tuned to the No More Hero‘s official site for more details.

James Cameron’s Avatar: The Game – and it’s coming along as a movie tie-in. Find yourself on an alien planet searching for resources and fighting back the native populations and wildlife. Expected release in December 2009 for the all consoles, handhelds and Pc’s. Not to be confused with the Air Bender Avatar.

Probably the title that will draw flack from the media and the public “C.O.P. The Recruit”, an open world action-adventure game specifically designed for the Nintendo DS™ handheld system. Taking place in New York city play as an undercover cop on the trail of terrorist trying to stop the latest threats to the populous. At the same time solve the false imprisonment riddle and help your partner get out of jail.

Games on display at E3 from Ubisoft:
Academy of Champions, Assassins Creed Bloodlines PSP, Assassins Creed 2, Avatar, Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, C.O.P. The Recruit, Might & Magic CH, Monster Truck 4×4 Stunt Racer, No More Heroes 2, Rabbids Go Home, Red Steel 2, R.U.S.E., Shaun White World Stage, Tintin, TMNT Smash Up, TMNT Turtles In Time, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction

GAMES FOR EVERYONE:
Battle of Giants – Dragons, Fairyland Melody Magic, Imagine, Petz, Style Lab

E3 Sony Media round up

Big thanks to Josh for all the updates today during the Sony presentations, check out his updates here: Sony E3 Press Conference. During the show we received several email communications with more details about many of the games being shown – to save the posts and the noise we are going to summarize them all here for you.

Lets start with the amazing lineup offered by Sony this year. Lets start with the PSPgo. The PSPgo is designed for downloading digital content via built in Wifi and built in Bluetooth, the PSP go system comes built in with 16GB of flash memory for game and multimedia files. PSPgo will be available in Piano Black & Pearl White for CDN $249.99 with a targeted launch date of October 1, 2009. Also announced was a suite of new digital content services that will be available for both PSP go and PSP-3000 systems. These include a new music application called “SensMe™channels,” a mood based music recommendation system and Media Go.

Motion controls are all the rage at E3 this year with Sony demonstrating the still in development prototype controller that pairs with the EyeToy to bring you directly into the game.

Third Party games are adding to the already robust lineup with over 200 downloadable games already in the PlayStation Store will add more than 60 PS one Classics by the end of the year and will launch Final Fantasy VII and Medal of Honor which will be made available today. For the PS3 system add, Gravity Crash (Just Add Water), and Hustle Kings, (VooFoo Studios). The PSP system will add, Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake to the new downloadable lineup.

Last up check out this awesome list of first party games shown at E3 2009:

PLAYSTATION 3: BUZZ!™ Quiz World, God of War® III, Heavy Rain®, MAG, ModNation Racers, Ratchet and Clank® Future: A Crack In Time, Singstar® Queen, UNCHARTED 2: Among Thieves™, White Knight Chronicles™

PSP: BUZZ!™ Quiz World, Gran Turismo®, Hot Shots Tennis, Jak & Daxter: The Lost Frontier™, LittleBigPlanet, Motorstorm®: Arctic Edge, PixelJunk™ Monsters Deluxe, Fat Princess: Fistful of Cake, SOCOM: U.S. Navy, SEALs Fireteam Bravo 3

PlayStation Network: deTuned, Gravity Crash™, Hustle Kings™, Fat Princess, PAIN Museum, PixelJunk™ Shooter, Trash Panic™, Wipeout®HD Fury

GAME ON!

Sweet Sweet Bethesda Update

Today has been extremely busy trying to keep up with all the best news for all you “Feeders” out there. When I got home tonight I had a new email from Bethesda with some trailers and pics for you all to look at.

To start things off, I’ve got as few new screens and a trailer for the upcoming Fallout DLC: Point Lookout. Point Lookou drops on Xbox Live and Games for Windows Live June 23rd – I never thought I’d be this excited to venture out to the swamplands and converse with the locals.



And finally we have the teaser trailer for the new game Brink from Bethesda and some art work to go along with it.

Sony E3 Press Conference

Video Montage of all the latest tiles on the PS2, PS3 and PSP

HOST: Jack Tretton – President and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America

Major seized Screen 40’x80′

Jack Tretton says: “09 will be best year ever…364 games on PS platforms this year.”

Starting with PS2 – reaffirmed the 99$ price tag and sales record

Moving into inFamous (a PS3 Exclusive) talked about metacritic rating north or 90%.

Introduced Evan Wells of Naughty Dog to talk Uncharted 2: Among Thieves. Showing in game footage (recorded) of UC2 – Looks amazing!

Uncharted Bets Goes live tonight – with Multi-player!!

Jack: Only on Playstation = Only possible on Playstation

MAG – Andy Beaudoin from Zipper Interactive goes with a live demo of MAG using testers in different cities and a few live on stage players. Talks about Squad based bonus objectives, securing tower bases as spawn points, helicopters and other heavy weapons managed by players!

Jack: PSP – talks 3rd party titles being rick, engaging and deeper then any other handheld. Sales driven by bundled packaged 50 million PSP units sold.
Hannah Montana bundle- coming in July – Violet colored – Loco Roco 2, Patapon 2 and Rock Band coming.

Introduces: Kaz Hirai – President networked services for SCEA

We asked for customer feed back – “How do we make PSP better?” result – the PSP GO!
Kaz “Worst kept secret at E3“… does not replace UMD or the PSP 3000.

60 GB version for on the go – Down load games and movies via WiFi from the PSN, blue tooth.

NEW APP for PSN on your PC – Media Go – Access the PSN direct from your PC for content management on your PSP. Lower price point on PSP developer toolkits – 80% price reduction! $249.99 at launch October 1, 2009.

Video downloads from; showtime, g4, TNA, UFc, E! and many more…

Founder of Polyphony Digital (Grand Turismo – October 1, 2009) Kazunouri Yamauchi introduced – Grand Turismo running on the PSP Go – runs full scale Grand Turismo games @ 60 fps. 800 cars in the new Grand Turismo. New features; adhoc wifi for 4 player multi-player, trade and share cars with other players over wifi. Trailer for Grand Turismo on PSP shown.

Kaz introduces – Hideo Kojima – Kojima productions – talks about how PSP go is hot and Snake will be making his appearance in Metal Gear Solid: Peace walker 1970’s setting – 10 yrs after MGS 3 – a true sequel. Hideo helping with writing and producing this title.

Shows trailer. (Find link)… Takes place in Costa Rica – with 4 player multi-player? an platoon of Clones?!

Jack: Talks Resident Evil Series and background – coming with a whole new game in 2010 to the PSP. More titles shown in video: Little Big Planet, SOCOM, Harry Potter, Jak and Dexter, Motor Storm, Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter, Dynasty Warriors, Tiger Woods, Pets and Rock band.

PSN 24 million users in 55 countries – 457 million Downloaded titles/videos. FF7 available for Download on PSN TODAY!

Now we’re onto Home. This year new content and content spaces from companies like Ubisoft, Capcom, EA are coming. Video playing with images from various spaces inside Home.

Jack: Tons of great new content – Video launches with some images of what to expect. Nothing new to report from the video – Madden, Uncharted, Ghostbusters, God of War 3, etc…

Rockstar – New exclusive title Agent from Rockstar north in 2010.

Ubisoft – Assassins Creed 2 – video shown the Italian Renascence period during a street party. Enzio climbs into a new flying vehicle and flys around the city – Very cool.

Enzio has 2 wrist blades now – He can take out 2 people at a time. New Enemy called a seeker – makes hiding more difficult, 30 different weapons + other unlockables if you play AC on the PSP, Smoke bombs were added to his arsenal, steal your enemies weapons, and swimming now available.

Jack: shows Video on Final Fantasy XIII – coming spring 2010.
Very Final Fantasy looking – Beautiful graphics – The setting reminds me of FF7

Jack: Final Fantasy 14 Online launches in 2010 – Worls exclusive premiere video: This is pretty big news.

Jack talks about video and motion controls being a huge new innovation
New PS3 Camera with a prototype controller – with a blue sphere on the end(looks really…wierd)
Demo time – Showing off 1 to 1 tracking in a virtual room – In the image, he can change the look to be a racket, or baseball bat – Was pretty cool
The controller can look like anything you want they want it to look like including weapons
Lots of cool possibilities
New Demo shows Anton reaching into the screen with 2 controllers and manipulating the environment
Writing and drawing is highly accurate for you artsy people
The controller is also highly effective for RTS games in the next demo and 1st person shooters
Expected launch is 2010

Little Big Planet – Getting a slew of new licenses from companies like Disney and various other.

Exclusive The new “Big Create, Play, Share” title is going to be a driving game – It looks to be every bit as powerful as the LBP tools – Maybe even a little more powerful but time will tell. In a very small amount of time, thye were able to create a pretty cool racetrack including weapons and powerups in less than 5 minutes
Wow! I hate racing games but it looks to me like something I’d really enjoy.
it Drops in 2010

Another new exclusive title

The Last Guardian – This trailer leaked a few weeks back – Stunning graphics on this title – Video here

God of War 3 gameplay – Awesome footage
In this footage Kratos whips some major ass like only Kratos can and we get a glimpse of a boss similar to the Argonaut from God of War 2 but much bigger – He’s HUGE and on fire. Due for release March 2010.

Jack: Only possible on PS3 – The future of Gaming.

Nintendo E3 Press Coverage

Cammie Dunaway introduces Nintendo’s Press conference and stars with the introduction of New Super Mario Bros for Wii – four players now worlds and available Christmas 2009

Wii Fit Plus – 6 new Yoga and strength training exercises, set order, and remove pauses between exercises (BIG Improvement) Predefined programs, and create your own program. 15 new balance games; skateboarding, perfect 10 etc… Fall 2009

Here comes Reggie! (Reggie Fils-Aime) – Introduces Wii Motion Plus offering “Precision control” to your Wii mote. Looks like a gel case with a 1 inch attachment for the bottom of your Wii mote. video highlights; table tennis, samurai fighting, canoing archery, basketball, golf.

Wii sports Resort (Bill Trinen): Skydiving – Wii mote becomes your Mii.
Archery – uses Nan-chuck attachment – gauge based on pull back – wind and other elements
Three points Bill and Reggie face off – shoot three pointers from 5 locations around the paint (Reggie wins 19/17).
Available in a matter of Weeks

Red Steel 2 (Ubisoft) to include Wii Motion plus.

Square-Enix teams up with Nintendo for :
* Final Fantasy Crystal Bearers (Wii)
* Kingdom Hearts on the DS (Sept 29)

Bowsers in side story – Travel inside Bowser as Mario and Luigi to battel with Bowser’s insides. Available Fall 2009

Nintendo DS – gets a remake of Golden Sun DS (after a six year hiatus). Two screen trailer presented.

WOW 100 Million DS units in the market…

James Paterson’s Women’s Murder club Games of Passion – coming Oct 13 to the DS(i). Can you solve the mystery.

Ubisoft (DS) game announced: COP the Recruit. Go under cover in NYC and investigate terrorist and save New York City. Comic Like graphics with a look of GTA on the DS.

Style Savvy – Clothing Designer, dress your characters and run a clothing store and host runway events… Targeting young tween girls…

DSi – video runs with customer interviews. Total sales in US since (April 2009) launch 1 million units and 400K DS light sold in same time.

Studio games (user generated content) available this fall.

Mario Vs Donkey Kong Mini’s March Again – Build levels and upload to friends and Internet. Available Monday June 8th via DSi download.

Photo upload from DSi direct to Facebook

NEW Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks for the DS. Woot! No demo No trailer – booo! Just trade show floor

Satoru Iwata (Global President for Nintendo) introduced. Discusses the future of Nintendo and gaming.

Full 3D Mario Galaxy 2 … Snow worlds, drill tools, Ghost and Cloud cities. Now with Yoshi!

Reggie talks 3rd party games:

The Conduit from Sega (June 2009) – Trailer plays.

Resident Evil The Darkside Chronicles on the Wii trailer plays

Dead Space: Extraction from EA – Trailer introduced – Wii exclusive.

New Nintendo with an edge. In partnership with Team Ninja – Project M Productions – Metroid: Other M in 2010.

Lots of old stuff made new again… 🙁

KOEI Games E3 Press Round up

Many companies have been busy sending Press Releases over the last 24 hours… here is a quick roundup from KOEI.

New games being shown at E3:

TRINITY: Souls of Zill O’ll – For years, Omega Force has transcended the action genre to create one of video gaming’s most legendary franchises. Now they will unleash their imaginations on the realm of fantasy with the upcoming TRINITY: Souls of Zill O’ll.

E3 TRINITY: Souls of Zill O’ll Video Trailer:

Warriors: Legends of Troy – Three thousand years ago, a poet sang of heroes strong enough to stand alone against an army. For love, they sailed the world. For family, they made the greatest sacrifices. For honor, they stood and faced the will of gods, and fought a war which shook the earth…

E3 Warriors: Legends of Troy Video Trailer:

Monster Racers – Monster Racers for the Nintendo DS™ will take you on a quest around the globe in search of monsters to train, nurture, and race. For the first time in the genre, your skill in controlling your monster will be a key factor to winning each challenge. Races are filled with obstacles that will test your skills in controlling speed, jumping ability, and reaction time. By combining real-time racing, platform-style action, and role-playing with the fun of monster collecting, KOEI is bringing to life a colorful and unforgettable world where everyone can be a champion. This product is rated “E” (Everyone) by the ESRB.

Video Trailer for Monster Racers:

WARRIORS OROCHI 2 – The best-selling DYNASTY WARRIORS® and SAMURAI WARRIORS® crossover comes to the PSP (PlayStation Portable) system with continuing storylines. WARRIORS OROCHI 2 features three new game modes: Dream, VS and Survival, plus VS mode “Tag Team”-style matches that pit fighters in deadly head-to-head combat! New features for the PSP include 96 playable characters, 2-Player VS and Co-op and new scenarios. This game is rated “T” (Teen – Mild Suggestive Themes, Violence) by the ESRB.

Video of Warriors Orochi 2 Vs mode:

Video of Warriors Orochi 2 single player mode:

Ubisoft: E3 Press Coverage

Avatar
James Cameron discusses movie and game tie in – lots of talk about working together with movie producers to design characters and vehicles.

Red Steel 2
Wii motion plus for Red Steel 2 gives realistic sword motions and heightened sensitivity – Game to be bundled with Wii motion plus. Trailer follows this announcement.

Jason Vanderberger – Creative director for Red Steel 2 – Roman Campos assists. In-Game play demo follows a brief introduction, Strength of swing and angle of Wii-mote a factor in attacks. Demo shows fights against Jackals and the Heavy (mini boss).

Pele is introduced to discuss Academy of Champions – trailer introduced with some technical difficulties. Some Portuguese/English translating happening to help Pele express himself in an impromptu speech while waiting on video difficulties get resolved.

Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell Conviction“Max Beland” – creative director. Video footage shown of Sam Fisher faster, brutal attacks and no longer tied to the third echelon but is on a private and personal mission – Xbox presented this earlier today. Mark and infiltrate, last known position – two new tools to help kill your enemies, (Via Twitter many sightings of “This is the same footage as Xbox’s demo of Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell)

Ruse: First trailer played. then on to Casual Games…

Tony Key – Sr. VP sales for Ubisoft.
* Most units sold over the last three years – Imagine! Biggest brand on the DS that is # 1 third party title, Pets is on the list too.

Games for Tweens – Tween Games 2.0 focus on integration, interconnectivity and invention. Make items in game – upload the design and purchase in real life!

Fastest growing vertical? Fitness games. Ouch – Pot shot at EA Sports Active… “better then a set of 20$ rubber bands”. Felicia Williams – introduces Fitness camera gaming “Your Shape“. Scan you body into the game and track your progress visually, tailored to your body type. Ubisoft announces first camera enabled wii game – Christmas 2009.

Rabbids go home – introducing Adrian Fernandez-Lacey. Rabbids to build pile of stuff to the moon so they can go home, using shopping carts?! Trailer shown… insane Rabbids collecting all kinds of stuff.

25th anniversary of TMNT Smash up, Woot! – presented by Laurent Detoc (North American president of Ubisoft). To be released released this fall (Sept 22, 2009).

No More Heros 2: Desperate Struggle – announced, Grasshopper to develop this title

new project with code name EDEN with designer, Tetsuya Mizuguchi – known for Lumines.

Assassins Creed – sold 8 Million units, set record for fastest selling new IP. New Assassins Creed 2 trailer shown, assassination during street party, rooftop chase and ranged weapon kill shown.

Fin.