Friday, June 29, 2012

Xbox Live Summer of Arcade

Every year Xbox Live does a line up of a arcade games for the summer, but this year isn't quite as exciting as last year. Last year we saw the releases of the fantastic action adventure game Bastion, the delightful From Dust, the co-op centric ARPG Crimson Alliance, the impressive tower defense game Toy Soldiers: Cold War and Fruit Ninja Kinect. Who cares about Fruit Ninja Kinect, but the rest of those games had some great qualities. This year we have a more questionable line-up with, which could turn out to be great, but at a glance it's a lot less exciting. This year we have: Tony Hawk's Pro Skater HD, Wreckateer, Deadlight, Hybrid and Dust: An Elysian Tail. Let's take a look a short look at each game and see what they have to offer.

Rainbow Moon Developer Diaries

Rainbow Moon is coming out on July 10th for the Playstation Network, PS3, and it deserves some consideration. Sure I haven't played the game yet, but there are so very few turn based tactical RPG's, like the Disgaea series or Final Fantasy Tactics, on any platform other than Nintendo 3DS or PSP. Rainbow Moon is especially worthy of interest because of the massive amount of content in the game, multiple difficulties, slightly complex combat system, open world and its low price point of $15. A couple of days ago Sidequest Studios released two videos with developer commentary of Rainbow Moon, one that shows off some general aspects of the game like the story and world, while the other focuses on combat. Take a look at the first one, the introduction video.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

ARMA 3 E3 2012 Showcases

Right before E3 Bohemia Interactive released some information about the two games they were showing off, which happened to be the military simulator ARMA 3 and the RTS/FPS hybrid Carrier Command. I'm going to be writing some impressions about Carrier Command later this week and you may find my commentary video on our Youtube page, but this post is about all about ARMA 3. They had six showcases at E3: underwater, air, land vehicles, night ops, infantry and support. Today they released videos to show off night ops and the underwater section. Over the next couple of weeks they will be releasing videos for each of those showcases.

When we went to E3 they had a couple of booths set up to try ARMA 3. If you recall my post about it, the demo we had was a showcase of Stratis Island that showed many different aspects of the game. I jumped on and tried the underwater section immediately, mainly because I didn't expect a whole lot new from the other sections and the previous Armed Assault game, ARMA 2, had nothing with swimming or underwater combat. The tiny demo had you controlling an underwater mini-submarine and moving into an area with some active old mines. You are supposed to deactivate the mines, which is easy enough, except there are enemy soldiers floating around the area. You have a specially designed sub machine gun designed to shoot under water and that felt a little odd, but the environment was gorgeous and movement pretty fluid. Take a look at that all in action.

Dishonored E3 Presentation Revealed

One of my largest posts from E3 was about the Dishonored presentation and demo, seen here, and now they are showing off everything that we experienced except for the demo level. The presentation is a little bit different and more smooth, which actually made it less interesting to me because the player seems to make it all look too easy, but it is the same level and a very similar developer commentary. If you don't know Dishonored let me give you a brief overview. It is a sci-fi game that puts you in control of a supernatural assassin who is trying to get revenge on a whole ton of people who framed him for the death of The Empress. It is a mix of Bioshock and Assassin's Creed, but it still feels unique due to its first person melee combat and non-linear approach to level design. It is also very violent and has a focus on giving the player choices in every level. It is being made by Arkane Studios and published by Bethesda Softworks. It will be coming out on October 9th for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. Read on for the two videos and a short description of each.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Yesterday I was writing about A Game of Dwarves going into beta and when I was describing that I kept using Dwarf Fortress and Dungeon Keeper as a reference. Gnomoria is a game that cannot not be compared to Dwarf Fortress, especially since it obviously takes so much from it, but most importantly it takes many ideas from that spectacular game and creates something much friendlier. It also really helps that Gnomoria doesn't use ASCII graphics and that the UI is really intuitive, but it only has a tiny fraction of the content and depth of Dwarf Fortress. The whole point of Gnomoria is to take your gnomes into an unfamiliar land, make a home, defend your home and thrive. The map you start on is scale-able and it is nowhere near the size of a common Dwarf Fortress map, but in comparison to another similar game, Towns, it is pretty big and there are you can mine very very deep. Check out the valley my Gnomes started in.

Source Filmmaker and the Pyro

Today Valve finally released the Meet the Pyro movie for Team Fortress 2. It is pretty short, one of the shortest of all of the movies, and it is probably my least favorite, but at least it came with other announcements. The Source Filmmaker is what Valve used to create all of their videos and they have opened up a beta for it today and now anyone can try their hand at creating their own movies or using the Filmmaker for other purposes, like posters or wallpapers.

The beta version of the Source Filmmaker will be coming with the Meet the Heavy movie, so you can mess with that as much as you like and try to create your own version. You use the in-game world of Team Fortress 2 and turn that into your own production. It doesn't look all that easy, but I bet some great movies are going to be made out of this. Hopefully in the future they will add other Source games to this so people can make similar videos with Left 4 Dead or DOTA 2, or anything that uses the Source Engine. Watch the introductory video to the Source Filmmaker below and if you want to join in the beta head on over to Source Filmmaker website and hit sign up in the top right corner. They will be updating that website with new tutorials and info in the future. Thanks for checking it out.
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Legend of Grimrock News

If you don't know Legend of Grimrock go read my review right now! It is a great first person adventure game for PC that successfully takes that old formula and makes it into something new and fresh. The game has been out for a couple of months now and Almost Human Games have started revealing information about their next game and the upcoming editor for Legend of Grimrock. Prepare yourself to have that tiny amount of information paraphrased in front of your eyes, plus the first video of the editor later on.

The Walking Dead Episode 2

It is officially here, sort of. The second episode of Telltale Game's The Walking Dead is out today, but only for Xbox 360. Everyone else, PC and PS3, will have to wait until it releases on Friday the 29th. There are already some reviews up for the Episode 2: Starved For Help, but I will be getting up one over the weekend once I get my hands on it on Friday. If you don't know anything about the game's let me give you a brief overview. Telltale's The Walking Dead is a point and click adventure game with a heavy emphasis on player choice and story. Unlike most other zombie games out there, these have very direct action and they instead assault you with difficult choices that could end up with the death of a character. You can read our review of Episode 1 here. There are going to be five episodes of the game and they are currently trying to release an episode every month to a month and a half. Here is a trailer for Episode 2.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

A Game of Dwarves Beta

I like city management games that are similar to the amazingly deep Dwarf Fortress or the devilishly fun Dungeon Keeper. A Game of Dwarves mixes both of those games together into a new experience that could turn out to be a lot of fun. You go through levels, like Dungeon Keeper, and build, explore, mine, create and manage your Dwarves. The farther you dig into the earth the greater treasures you will find, but you will also unleash untold horrors upon your Dwarves. A Game of Dwarves certainly won't offer as much depth as something like Dwarf Fortress, I don't believe anything will ever manage that feat, but it could offer an enjoyable experience that is geared towards casual gamers. When I say casual gamers I don't mean people who play Farmville, I just mean those of us who don't have the time or patience to work through Dwarf Fortress's challenging user interface and tough learning curve. If you would like to sign up for A Game of Dwarves you just need to head on over here and sign up. They will be sending out beta keys in a couple of weeks. For more information on the beta check out the original forum post. Thanks to Rock Paper Shotgun for the heads up.

If you are looking for something more like Dwarf Fortress then check back later tonight and I should have a post up on Gnomoria (it's up). Thanks for reading.

-Sean Cargle

Planetside 2 Presentation

Does anyone remember when we wrote about our time with Planetside 2 during E3 2012? Well that whole presentation that we talked about is now up on Youtube and you can see exactly what we saw. It is basically an introductory video to the world of Planetside 2 and how the game works, so if you've seen all that other places and read about it a hundred times then you probably won't see much new here. There is however some gameplay in here and some new information on how the mobile part of Planetside 2 will work out. If you haven't signed up for the beta yet head on over to the website below and get on it. It has not started yet, but is set to start sometime within the next couple of weeks. That's all for now, be back soon.
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Monday, June 25, 2012

Scrolls First Gameplay and Info

Not to be confused with Elder Scrolls, Scrolls is the upcoming card game from Mojang Entertainment (the folks who made Minecraft). They have been showing off bits of the game and the last time they showed off a large amount of it was at Minecon 2011 when Minecraft was officially released, but today they re-released the Scrolls website and with it came the first gameplay trailer and a lot of general information. This is a collectible card game that will have a single player campaign, several multiplayer modes, auction houses, over 100+ cards to collect and combine into your own unique decks. Many of these ideas have been done before in card based video games, but not all together in the same package. Before I go over some more details about the game take a look at the first trailer.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Heroes & Generals Update

I've written about Heroes & Generals a lot here, probably just because I love World War II games that are a bit ambitious, but mainly because I've been playing the alpha/beta for a good long time and have been watching the game shape into something that I would like to play. At the end of May Reto-Moto transitioned the game into beta. With that that they added some new maps, better menu's, smoother campaign map and a ton of changes. Read more about the beta release in my post from May, plus more information in there about the general overview of the game. Keep reading for the gameplay video and a lot more.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Next Total War Game

The most beloved Total War game is almost unanimously Rome: Total War, at least from the fans of Creative Assembly who have been playing the series that long. Sure some people love Medieval II: Total War just as much, but mainly people have been hoping for a return to something more melee based for the next entry in the Total War series. and Rock Paper Shotgun are hosting their new indie games show Rezzed on July 6th and 7th over in the UK and Creative Assembly has decided to use that show to tease their next entry in the Total War series. Rezzed is going to be having many developers in attendance and a large number of upcoming games, with demos, revealing new content. Read all about that Rezzed here, but let me get back to the next Total War game.

Creative Assembly has been around for twenty years now and they are going to use Rezzed to do a "25 Years Of The Creative Assembly" presentation and part of that presentation will be about their plans for their next game. Normally I would say who cares, it's the 23rd of June not July 6th, but a certain image was taken from the next issue of PC PowerPlay Magazine today that got me and hundreds of other people quite excited. That issue isn't going to be out until July 18th, long after the announcement, but it's going to be also revealing the next Total War game. Enough beating around the bush, behold.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Missing Games of E3

The Missing Games of E3

            After Violent Gamer’s trip to E3 this year, I feel confident in saying we were all a bit…underwhelmed.  Which makes sense, I suppose.  This is probably the last year of the current generation of consoles, so of course E3 will lack some of the drama and excitement of other years.  It was a kind of  Swan Song for the current generation, and while I understand that in itself is hard to make exciting, I think they could have gone out with a bit more of a bang.  In any case, there are a few games that I did not see at E3 that I believe have no excuses to have been missing.  All of these games should have lit up E3 and had us talking in hushed whispers of awe, and yet they were all absent.  To be honest, I felt a bit cheated.  But I haven’t given up hope.  And with that in mind, here is my list of the missing games of E3 2012:

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Okami HD

A lot of people did not play the wonderful adventure game Okami back when it came out on the PS2 in 2006. Now everyone who missed out has a chance to try it once again and it will now be in HD. Sure it doesn't look largely different, other than resolution, but Okami was always a gorgeous game with a beautiful sumi-e Japanese art style. You play as a wolf, who is a god, set in a distant time of Japanese history full of myths, legends and folklore. It is a Zelda type of game where you roam a big world, but you have to unlock new sections as you go along and you of course will find new weapons, new items and new friends along the way. Before I talk about Okami anymore take a look at the newly released HD trailer that shows the game in all its glory.

Orcs Must Die! 2 Coming this July

Back in April we revealed Orcs Must Die! 2 and talked about the new features that the sequel is bringing to the already great action/tower defense game. Since then they have added more info and very recently they have added the release date of July 30th, next month. The game is going to be like the first one, in which you go through levels as a War Mage setting traps, fighting orcs, collecting coins and defending the portals, but now you can be accompanied by a friend. Your friend will play an ex-war mage sorceress who is quite powerful and will have more magic based abilities than the original hero. On top of that there will be of course a whole new campaign, a plethora of new killing machines to dispatch your enemies with, a new upgrade system, new enemy types and more.

Magicka: The Other Side of the Coin

Who doesn't love the most stylish and romantic vampire ever? Well the developers at Magicka must love Alucard because they are throwing him into their newest DLC adventure. The Other Side of the Coin is an expansion for those of us who like to go do the whole Dungeon Keeper thing and just be evil sometimes. It's a whole new campaign that puts you and your friends against the forces of good. You get to fight some dwarves, elves, humans, treants and ponys, well not so much the ponys..that's just murder. If you don't want to play as Alucard you also have the choice of playing as a necromancer, who can raise the dead.

Besides the new campaign there is also four new challenge maps, new achievements, new characters for PvP, new spells and a little bit more. Like I said before this all can be played solo or with up to a total of four players cooperatively, or against each other. The Other Side of the Coin came out two days on June 19th and it is $4.99. That's all for this DLC, but check out the release trailer! 
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Riders of Rohan

I don't believe I've ever talked about my experience with Lord of the Rings Online, but let's just say it was mostly pleasant and it is one of the better MMORPG's that I've played in the last six years. Soon after I stopped playing it, mainly because I hate paying that monthly subscription of $15, Lord of the Rings Online went free to play and it was one of the first big time MMO's to do so successfully. This MMO doens't do a whole lot differently than most of the other MMO's out there, but everything it does do it does really well and it has some fantastic recreated locations of Middle Earth. It's one of the few Lord of the Rings that has actually made me feel that theme. The game originally started with a big chunk of Middle of Earth, but there is still a lot that people have been really excited to see, like Rohan.

June iPhone Review Round-Up

Last month was a crazy month and I missed posting a May iPhone Review Round-Up, so this month I'm going to do quite a few more games than usual. The last published iPhone Review Round-Up was back in April and if you want to check out the rest of them just search iPhone in the search bar on the upper right corner of our website. Every month I do a bunch of reviews for iPhone gaming, many of which are also compatible with other iOS platforms like the iPad. This month I am going to be covering Defender Chronicles II, Majesty, Crow, Wings of Valor, Dungeon Village and Neuroshima Hex. On with the reviews and if you have any questions about any of the games then drop me a comment.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One more helping of Dungeons of Dredmor

Opinions of this rogue-like RPG are quite mixed, but no one can say that the developers at Gaslamp Games have done anything other than supporting the game post-release. Back in November of 2011 they announced the first expansion for the game and released it in December. Then they released a free DLC last month that added the Steam Workshop, the excellent modding community/tool, new skills, new monsters and new dungeons. On top of both of those fairly recent chunks of new content for this small indie game there is now another expansion on the way. This one is called Conquest of the Wizardlands. In the words of Nicholas Vining at Gaslamp Games this expansion is going to come out, "Pretty Darned Quick." and it will contain a substantial amount of content for the low price of $2.99. Read on for a list of some of the new features.

Realistic Military Gameplay at its Best

While everyone has been dying over DayZ, me included, there are still many Armed Assault 2 (ARMA 2) gamers that still try to make the very best out of the original game. Sure the game has bugs, some weird animations, silly AI voices, tough controls and terrible optimization, but to hell if that doesn't stop talented people from making it into the best damn military simulator out there. Shack Tactical recently put up a video of June 14th's pFNG Session, in which 93 players got together to work together as a tactical unit in order to cooperatively complete a bunch of objectives against AI. They have the group broken into squads and they all seemed to be linked to a commander, similar to Project Reality if you've played that, and the whole operation is fantastic.

Generic ARMA 2 Screenshot

This session was recorded and edited into something attractive and cinematic, even with the old ARMA 2 engine in the background. At the the very least I'm very impressed that this server was able to take 93 players without lagging or having problems of some kind, but this kind of thing inspires me to go out there and find groups like this to play with. The video is twenty-five minutes long, but it has some great moments in it and the whole thing is damn inspiring, at least inspiring if you like tactical games and working together with others. I hope ARMA 3 continues to support this kind of gameplay and makes it easier to achieve. Without anymore delay here is the video and I hope you enjoy it, thanks for checking it out.


-Written by Sean Cargle

Monday, June 18, 2012

World of Warplanes: E3 Impressions has gained quite the reputation in the free to play gaming world with its successful launch of World of Tanks in 2010. With millions of registered users and thousands of games going on every day, Wargaming has decided to go airborne with their new title World of Warplanes. Wargaming had one of the biggest booths at E3 this year to showcase their new expansion and we got to get some hands on time, plus we picked up a couple of beta keys too.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Everything is Better With Friends

Especially Just Cause 2! A year ago, if not more, there was a lot of talk about a Just Cause 2 modification that would allow you to play the game multiplayer. Soon after it started to gain popularity, despite how rough it was, it disappeared from existence and most people thought it was dead. Today that same mod team released a new video for Just Cause 2 multiplayer that looks absolutely fantastic. They also put up a website that explains how they originally hit some obstacles that seemed immovable and had seemingly given up on the mod, but they have been secretly working on it again in the last month and have made some really great progress. You can now see that progress in all it's glory and even though I own Just Cause 2 on Xbox 360 I am going to be buying this game during the upcoming Summer Steam sale if this modification is half as fun as it looks. Take a look!

Notice all the bugs? or the frame rate reduction? Me neither, it looks fantastic and smooth. The Just Cause 2 MP modification isn't out yet, but they are working on bringing up a real website for the mod and they want to release the modification as soon as they can. I can't wait to see more about it and see just what this fantastic mod is capable of. They will be sending news and updates on their Twitter and Youtube page, but they also have this makeshift website up for now. Take a look at any of those if you want to keep an eye on the modification, but I will definitely do some updates on it and if it is released. Thanks for checking it. 

If you don't know Just Cause 2 let me sum it up in one sentence for you; it is a open world action game that does everything to the extreme and has little or no story, but if you can dig its overly action packed style of gameplay then it has a lot to offer and a massive world to explore. 
Steam Page:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Heroes of Might and Magic 6: Expansion

Pirates of the Savage Sea it is called and with it is coming something that fans of the series have been clamoring for since I played the beta several months before it's release in October of 2011. Town screens are finally back and while they only have artwork of it they still look pretty good, like they should have been in the first place. Before I go into the expansion let me explain a little a bit about the game for those who don't know it.

Heroes of Might & Magic VI is a turn based roleplaying game by Ubisoft. The series is famous for it's depth, multiplayer capacity and large amount of content. The worlds of Might & Magic are huge, filled with monsters and waiting to be conquered, but somewhere along the way they erred and left many fans upset. Likely it was because of the large amount of bugs in the Heroes of Might & Magic VI or because there were features from the previous games, features people loved, that were removed in this iteration, like the town screens. Nevertheless, if you are still playing the game and hoping for more to play then Pirates of the Savage Sea is looking to be a pretty hefty expansion.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Krater Early Impressions

You don't see many squad-based rpgs these days, especially not set in a post-apocalyptic world. Fatshark released Krater for PC three days ago and the response has been pretty good so far. Currently the game is only singleplayer, but they are planning to add co-op within the next month and player versus player sometime after that. Sure there are bugs and a few problems, but take a look at my list below and see how everything stacks up. I should note that many bugs have been fixed already, I've seen two patches today alone and the developers seem pretty on top of it.

Going Independent

If you've ever seen me write about Journey or Flower you would know that I love That Game Company and Santa Monica Studios. They make some of the best games out there. Sure they are short and weird, but they bring art into gaming and making it into a fulfilling experience. So far all of their games have been PSN exclusives, but they just announced yesterday that they are going to be an independent developer now and that means they can now develop for other platforms, not just PS3 anymore. They were able to do this because of their success with Journey and generally being able to have enough money to not need a huge backer like Sony Computer Entertainment. They are also able to do this because of Mitch Lasky from Benchmark Capital, who seems to be backing them financially.

That Game Company,TGC, hasn't revealed what their next game is going to be yet, but they are already working on something and planning to release something on it sometime soon. We all know that could mean five months from now, but I'm excited to see the company growing and spreading itself to more platforms than just PSN. Last bit of recent news about TGC is that they made a demo for Journey, so if you were always worried about spending $15 on a four-five hour game you can now check it out. The demo is supposed to be just the first desert area from the game and it doesn't have multiplayer, but it doesn't also doesn't have a time limit. The demo should be out now on PSN in North America and Europe. For more information on That Game Company take a look at their website. Thanks for reading.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Scaring Gamers Everywhere Once Again

A Machine For Pigs is the next iteration in the Amnesia series and it is looking terrifying. Frictional Games released an Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs (AAMFP) teaser a long time ago and that turned out to be an AAMFP website that had a few details and some concept art. Frictional Games was thinking about setting up another a teaser and they were planning to release it when the Humble Bundle Five, which contained Amnesia: The Dark Descent, had reached a certain number of sales, but that Humble Bundle did so well, it broke the record and made five million dollars, that they couldn't ask for anything more. Today they released the first in-game video of A Machine for Pigs and it is looking just as terrifying and wonderful as Amnesia was. Before I show that off let me go over a bit of the information they have released about the game already.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Splendid Time with Dishonored

Yesterday I was talking about The Elder Scrolls Online and how we saw both it and Dishonored in a double presentation at E3. The Dishonored presentation was quite a bit different than The Elder Scrolls Online one, for it was almost entirely gameplay and they used that gameplay demo to explain the game. Arkane Studios, developers you may know for Bioschock 2 or Dark Messiah of Might & Magic, brought us right into the game as we watched someone playing through a level. Before they started the demo they explained how they are focusing on storytelling, stealth and giving the player a lot of choices. They are also really focusing on assassinations because that's what this game is all about. Before I start explaining the intriguing presentation take a look at this Dishonored gameplay trailer from E3. At the very least it will show you what kind of world this is.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Glimpse at Elder Scrolls Online

I didn't want a glimpse, I just wanted to see Dishonored, but at E3 Bethesda had a dual presentation and we were shown a presentation for The Elder Scrolls Online from the developers at Zenimax Online and then one for Dishonored by Arkane Studios. Let me say this right off the bat The Elder Scrolls Online does not look like a terrible game, like most would suggest, but it is a victim of tragic circumstances. One of the first things we learned in the presentation was that Zenimax has been developing The Elder Scrolls Online for nearly five years already. Five years ago this game might have seemed like a fantastic idea for a MMO, but now it has some serious problems to climb over. Let me share with you all everything I  have learned about Elder Scrolls Online and why it does have some good features underneath.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Hawken Overview and E3 Impressions

By now any gamer who reads about gaming news on a even slightly regular basis has heard of Hawken, but if your like me you probably don't really know a lot about it other than it is free to play, looks gorgeous and is a player versus mech based multiplayer game. I got to try Hawken at E3 and I loved the smooth controls, versatile weapon systems and impressive graphics. Even though I only got to play one map and only team death match it was a lot of fun. Hawken will have four game modes: team death match, death match and two unannounced unique modes. They also recently revealed that the game will be coming out in December of 2012. There has been a lot of talk of Hawken using the Gaikai open cloud gaming platform, but it is initially coming out on PC. Before I go over anymore details let's take a look at one of Hawken's more recent gameplay videos.

Black Mesa Shows Off

Early last month Rock Paper Shotgun did an interesting interview with one of the developers from the long presumed dead Half Life 1 remake Black Mesa Source. Check out my recap of that interview here, or you can go straight to Rock Paper Shotgun's two page interview. In that interview the developer, Carlos Montero, explained how Black Mesa Source has purposely being doing a news black out for the last couple years, but now they are finally ready to release something and today they released eight new screenshots. All of the screenshots are full of beloved, or hated, enemies and places from Half Life 1. Even though the engine they are using is admittedly dated, it is still looking impressive.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Bringing you back to Wolfenstein 3D

Wolfram is a standalone Wolfenstein 3D remake that let's you gun down Nazi's, search for secret walls, earn achievements and collect treasure. This is the first Wolfenstein 3D remake that I've seen that is of decent quality and contains quite a bit of content. The modders at Chain Studios remade the game with their own Volatile 3D II engine and it features per-pixel lighting, ragdoll physics, reflections, soft stencil shadows, bump mapping and parallax mapping. All of those terms don't really mean anything to me, especially since I've never dabbled in development, but what it really means is that this game retains the look and feel of Wolfenstein 3D while sporting a much more modern graphical system.

Hands On With The Wii-U

During last years E3 it was impossible for me to get my hands on the Wii-U and try it out.  Now that it is getting closer to release I was finally able to try out Nintendo's next big console.  I was skeptical at first, with its big tablet controller and Nintendo's ambition to open up to a more hardcore audience, it seems like Nintendo is taking a big risk with the launch of Wii-U.  Though I didn't get to play the more popular games like Assassins creed 3 and Zombie-U, I did get my hands on Game & Wario and Super Mario Bros. U.

When I first picked up the the Wii-U tablet controller, I was really surprised how light weight it was in my hands.  I was expecting it to be a little heavy and cumbersome.  I was also surprised of how comfortable it was to hold, the joysticks were easy to use and the action buttons were easily accessible.  Overall I was impressed with the controller. I was very skeptical when I first saw the controller at E3 last year, but after seeing what it could do and getting some hands on time, I think it could be a very unique way to play games.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Ascend: New Gods Overview

Light Caos Warrior

Yesterday I was writing about Skulls of the Shogun and how it was one of the more interesting games we saw at E3, but in that post I also mentioned Ascend: New Gods, both of which are XBLA games. I really wish Microsoft had expanded this section of their floor instead of giving each of these developers only one or two displays to work with. Ascend: New Gods is really unique for a Xbox Live Arcade game and it is quite ambitious. It is an action RPG with some pretty normal mechanics when it comes to combat and controls, but Ascend differentiates itself with it's online interaction system, it's world and the Ascend system. Signal Studios pretty much just announced the game and we saw a playable, but very early version of Ascend at E3. I'm going to go over what makes Ascend really exciting, but first take a look at their E3 gameplay trailer.

End of Nations Overview and E3 Impressions

When most gamers see that a game is free 2 play they get a bad taste in their mouth, but lately F2P has been looking not so bad thanks to likes of Planetside 2, Heroes & Generals, Super Monday Night Combat and Dust 514. Sure three of those games I listed haven't even been released yet, but all of those support balanced gameplay ideals and will not let players purchase their way to victory. End of Nations is one of the first real time strategy games that I've played that is not hampered by the free 2 play model. It is being made by Trion Worlds, who are known for the rather good MMO Rift, and they are creating a conquest style RTS for PC that let's players battle on objective based maps all over the world. They are planning to have thousands of players battling it out all over the world map and up to fifty-six players in any given battle. You will be able to play the game solo, but it is mostly designed to be played online with friends.

This is the kind of RTS that shies away from base building and instead focuses on combat. You have customizable units that you use to make up your squad and you can have a bunch of different squads suited for different situations, but you can only command one squad during a battle. However, you can change your squad during combat. When you are outside of a map you can customize all of your units and create whatever kind of squad you want to make. Each squad is lead by a commander tank, which can also be customized to be anti-air, anti-tank or many other options. There is a fairly traditional of leveling system for your commander that will let you unlock more forces as you level up. Each commander also has customizable abilities, like being able to call in stationary turrets during battle or a repair aura for your vehicles. Before I go any further watch this trailer from E3.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Skulls of the Shogun E3 Preview

One day we were wandering through the Microsoft section of E3 avoiding all the Kinect dancing games and being disappointed by the lack of anything of substance when we ran into Skulls of the Shogun and Ascend: New Gods. Ascend I will talk about in another post, but this is all about Skulls of the Shogun and what makes it one of the most interesting upcoming Xbox Live Arcade games. It is not only for XBLA, it is also being developed for Windows 8 and the Windows Phone by 17 Bit and this is their first title. This is a turn based strategy game where you control a group of undead Samurai and devour the skulls of your enemies in order to gain power. It is not a deep strategy game like Wargame: European Escalation or Final Fantasy Tactics, but it does a lot of things right and many things that I haven't seen before in a non-PC game. Before I talk about it do take a look at this E3 Trailer.

A Game of Dwarves Trailer E3 2012

A Game of Dwarves

Every single day of E3 this year we were looking for the indie developers and wondering where they had gone. Sure there was some attached to Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo, but for the most part the indie developers were all off in tucked away in offices between the two mains hall of E3 or strangely absent. One of the most interesting games we saw last year at E3 was Orcs Must Die! and even though they are currently working on a sequel they didn't attend this year, same goes for many other small developers. Zeal Game Studio and Paradox Interactive threw out there the E3 trailer for a Game of Dwarves today and made me really miss the presence of small timers like this. This PC game is essentially a toned down mix of Dungeon Keeper and Dwarf Fortress. You go through levels on a campaign map and in each level you build yourself a base above ground and underground. There are enemies to battle, traps to place, a huge amount of objects to build, randomly generated maps to explore and dwarves to command. Read on for a bit more information and the E3 trailer.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Video Game History Museum at E3

One of the little treasures at E3 this year was the Video Game Museum, displaying all the old school games and memorabilia.  They had classic consoles and vintage arcade games for people to play and also displayed a lot of classic gaming accessories.  Being in my mid 20's I never owned a console older than the original Nintendo, so for me it was really fun for me to pick up the Odyssey, Atari and the Commodore 64.

They also had an entire wall filled with vintage arcade games provided by Vintage Arcade Superstore.  There was everything form Missile Command to later arcade games that came out in the 90's.  When I was younger, arcades were still a gathering place for kids and adults to hang out and play games.  Now with high tech home console games and computers, arcades have become obsolete.

It was really great to see this booth setup and play many of the classic games and consoles.  They even had a 70's living room setup with an Atari.  I hope that they will keep adding on to the collection and keep coming back each year.  If you are attending E3 I would suggest stopping by and taking a trip back in time.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royal E3

Ever since its announcement, Playstation All-Stars: Battle Royal has raised a lot of speculation around the gaming community. Some say it's the Smash Bros. killer, while others think the Playstation game developers just got lazy, either way the game is a blast.  The title says it all, Playstation All-Stars features a roster of the biggest characters in the Playstation universe and duke it out using signature moves. Read on for some gameplay and impressions.

Planetside 2 E3 Presentation and Demo

It has been 8 years since the last Planetside game and Sony Online Entertainment looks to revamp the game with Planetside 2.  The game is a FPS MMO set in a futuristic world with three factions battling over resources, Terran Republic, the heavy military group seeking control over the planet, the New Conglomerate, a scrappy group of rebel soldiers seeking freedom from the Terran, and the Vanu Sovereignty, an alien technology faction seeking resources for advanced weapons.  Though the original Planetside had innovative features for its time, Planetside 2 looks to add modern FPS elements while keeping the original gameplay.

One of the new features include an expansive squad and outfit system which helps players find squads and coordinate to capture objectives.  Outfits act as guilds where large groups of players can all get together and join battles with each other.  There is also a voice function which allows you to communicate to your outfit in the game, you can also use the voice function when your outside the game and browsing the stats page or even on your smart phone.

Planetside 2 also features a free form class system where players can unlock new roles of combat through experience and switch through them at will.  There are six character roles and have an expansive amount of equipment, abilities and armor to unlock.  One of the things they really pushed is how much you can customize on each character, everything from their guns to their armor.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

XCom: Enemy Unknown E3 Presentation

Right at the end of the first day E3, around six a clock, we got into the last showing of XCom: Enemy Unknown. We were shown a short presentation of the game that gave a general overview and showed some late game abilities, armor, weapons and squads, plus some new enemies. I'm not going do to an in depth overview this time, but if you would like one check out my previous post on X:Com Enemy Unknown. This X:Com is made by Firaxis and it is re-imagining of the original beloved turn based strategy X-Com games for PC. X-Com gives you control of a military organization that is out to protect earth from alien invaders. You manage a base, shoot down UFO's, help cities under siege and strategically battle your enemies with turn based combat. Originally I was really worried that they were taking away most of the tactics and strategy from X-Com and mainstreaming the game and I wasn't entirely wrong, but it does look like the mainstreaming they are doing to X-Com may reinvigorate the stagnant genre and bring X-Com to the wider world.

Violent Gamer @ E3!!

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Monday, June 4, 2012

The Last of Us Gameplay E3 2012

Welcome to the brutal world of The Last of Us. Sure we are promised some kind of infected humans in this apocalyptic world, but the first true gameplay video Naughty Dog has decided to show for the game is all about surviving against other humans. In this video Joel and Ellie, the two main characters, are working their way through a ruinous city towards a bridge and run into a bit of trouble inside an old hotel. The AI is really impressive and Naughty Dog, the maker of the Uncharted series, is effectively showing that they are still one of the best developers out there. They are callign this AI system the Balance of Power AI. The enemies will try to flank you, surprise you and intelligently alert their friends as you try to take them as efficiently as possible. I immediately compared The Last of Us to Ubisoft's I Am Alive, where you had the option to not kill people, because Naughty Dog sure makes it look like you are a murderer and you have no option not to murder other survivors. Anyways, take a look at the trailer. Be back with more later probably, if not we will have quite a bit tomorrow once we get back from E3.

-Written by Sean Cargle

Quantic Dream's Beyond Two Souls

I've been waiting to see something new from Quantic Dreams ever since I got hooked in the spectacular, albeit flawed, Heavy Rain. Today they showed off one of their new games, apparently they have tow in the works and they are both Playstation 3 exclusives, and it is all about a woman with some kind of powers. The trailer for it is all in-game, but it doesn't show any actual gameplay as far as I can tell and it really doesn't reveal why people are hunting this woman, who is the main character that you play. You may notice her voice though, since she is being voice acted by Ellen Page, whom you may know from the movie Inception or Juno. I hope we get to hear more about Beyond Two Souls at E3 and whatever else Quantic Dreams is working on, for now take a gander at this first trailer.


-Written by Sean Cargle

Watch Dogs First Gameplay E3 2012


Watch Dogs by Ubisoft came out of nowhere and it is gorgeous mix of Deus Ex, GTA and Assassin's Creed. When you start watching this video you may think that you are watching a cinematic video, but it's actually all in-game and by about 1 minute you are watching gameplay. Everything about the demo looks to be highly scripted, but if they can manage to create this game in a less scripted way with these next-gen graphics then we are all in for a treat. There is no information on it yet, to the point where they haven't even said what platforms it will be for, but you play some kind of assassin in Chicago who uses technology for everything. I wanted to say that he is a futuristic assassin, but much of the technology shown could easily be modern day technology. You can keep your eyes on their website below for more info on it, but for now take a look at this stunning nine minute gameplay demo. Keep your eyes on Watch Dogs.
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Assassin's Creed 3 Blowout E3 2012

Ubisoft did their E3 conference not too long ago and they showed a lot more of Assassin's Creed 3 than I was expecting. First they showed off a cinematic trailer, which I found to be pretty interesting but not nearly as interesting the naval combat or frontier gameplay. I was unaware they were going to include something as ambitious as naval combat, but it looks to be similar to how they handled tanks and other such situations in the previous games, except with a lot more reliance on AI since you only steer the ship. The frontier gameplay is pretty impressive as well and shows off a short section where a British fort is infiltrated and the leader is assassinated. The frontier gameplay shouldn't strike anyone as new gameplay for Assassin's Creed, but it does look quite smooth and interactive. I just hope combat isn't nearly as easy as it was in Assassin's Creed Brother or Revelations. Without further ado here is the cinematic trailer, followed by the naval combat video and the frontier gameplay video. I have some more to put up from the Ubisoft conference so check back in a few. Thanks for reading.

Splinter Cell Blacklist E3 Gameplay Demo

The Splinter Cell series is traditionally about playing a deadly black ops agent named Sam Fisher in modern times. It used to have a really heavy emphasis on being cautious and planning your moves. The latest entry in the series, Splinter Cell Conviction, stepped away from all that and moved the game more into an action game where stealth didn't really matter all that much because you could easily eliminate your opponents. It certainly did have some challenging co-op, but it was ridiculed for having a very short, easy and action orientated campaign. Splinter Cell Blacklist is set to come out in Spring 2013 and it looks to be going even farther towards action and away from stealth. Blacklist doesn't look all that generic or unenjoyable, but for those who wanted the series to return to stealth and careful tactics are going to be really disappointed. Nothing screams Sam Fisher like shooting five people in five seconds out in the open and using an automated system that seems to require little or no skill from the player. Also, Michael Ironside, the voice actor who has voiced Sam Fisher for every single Splinter Cell game is no longer doing the voice acting. This is the first gameplay demo shown of the game and I hope there is still quite a bit of stealth involved in the game. I could rant a little more about Splinter Cell Blacklist, but I'll just let you watch the gameplay demo that Ubisoft released earlier today.


-Written by Sean Cargle

Resident Evil 6 First Gameplay E3 2012

When Capcom announced Resident Evil 6 back in January they did a good job of making Resident Evil sound less and less like a survival horror game. In all honesty though the series has strayed away from it's original genre since Resident Evil 4, so it's not surprise that this first gameplay of Resident Evil 6 is full of action, explosions and cinematics. There are plenty of zombies in the video, thank god, but they are treated as trivial enemies that are only a slight annoyance. Later this month anyone who owns Dragon Dogma will be able to play a demo of Resident Evil 6 and I'm sure it will eventually be released to the public. For now all we have to judge the game by is this five minute gameplay segment from Microsoft E3 conference that took place earlier today. Right now there is a EA conference going on and I'm sure we will be posting a bit on some of their games later today. Enough from me, check out the video.


-Written by Sean Cargle

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Dragon's Dogma Impressions

After 25 hours of adventuring in a brutal world filled with goblins, ghosts, ogres, giants and dragons; I have earned sufficient knowledge about Dragon's Dogma in order to let you all know what I think about it. I didn't know when I should come write some impressions, especially since I didn't know how much content there is in the game or how huge the world is, but today I spent at least an hour fighting a dragon and it was fantastic. By the end of that fight my party members had been knocked unconscious dozens of times, I had used 70% of all my healing items and I had finally lain the dragon into its earthly bed.It was the hardest fight I have attempted in the game and  by the end of it I knew I was ready to write.

Dragon's Dogma is an open world RPG for Xbox 360 and PS3. It is the first attempt by Capcom, to my knowledge, to try their hand at this genre and they have achieved a lot here, but it is not without plenty of bugs, flaws and half-successes. It came out on May 22nd in the US and the 25th in Europe. Like most other open world RPG's there is a focused main quest that is fairly short, but there are a great many side quests littered throughout the world. It is unfortunately entirely singleplayer, but you do not play the game alone.

*I apologize in advance for all screenshots. They are taken using the in-game screenshot tool included in each version of the game. They are not very high-resolution and rather blurry, but at least they are in-game right? 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Star Wars 1313 Announced

For a while Lucas Arts was hinting at a new Star Wars game. Many fans of the Star Wars Battlefront series were hoping for a long overdue sequel, but alas twas not the case. They instead announced Star Wars 1313. In this game you control a bounty hunter who has a wide variety of weapons and gadgets, but he has no force powers. This is actually one of the few Star Wars game that doesn't involve the force in anyway. Sure it may be in the game, like in Dark Forces, but the main character will have nothing to do with it. Instead the main character will being using human skills and gadgets to get the job done. Combat is fast paced and they are calling Stars 1313 a cinematic action adventure game. Story wise you will be hunting down assassination targets and uncovering the truth behind a criminal conspiracy on the planet of Coruscant. The name 1313 is a reference to a dangerous criminal underground deep beneath the surface of Coruscant. They claim that the world and story will be dark and mature. Read on for a little bit more info on the game and the first concept art.

Hitman Absolution Gameplay E3 2012

I've only posted about Hitman Absolution once before and that was a sixteen minute gameplay video. This time around they have released some hands-on gameplay that show the many different ways one can go about assassinating a target. They have seem to taken a step back from the previous Hitman games and gone with different type of stealth gameplay. You can certainly still do a lot, like snipe a target, poison them, stab them or walk right up to them with a pistol, but it looks far less difficult than the previous Hitman games. Thankfully levels still seem to be fairly large and open, but I'm very uncertain and worried about Hitman Absolution. Check out this E3 video that has some developer commentary and plenty of gameplay. There isn't a release date yet for Hitman, but it should be coming out on consoles and PC in 2012.
Main Website:

-Written by Sean Cargle

Castlevania: Lord of Shadows 2 E3 Trailer

Apparently MercurySteam and Kojima Productions are making another Castlevania: Lord of Shadows. This previously unannounced, but rumored, title has debuted it's first trailer today. They have revealed any information on the game yet, but I've looked around a couple places and been able to figure out a little bit about it. The first game put you in control Gabriel Belmont, a vampire hunter, and the second game brings him back, but if you've played the first game you may be wondering how that is possible. Without spoiling anything let's just say that the second game probably won't have you controlling Gabriel again, but he is definitely integral to the plot. The main playable character may be him, but it could also be the unexplained white haired vampire in the game, which looks quite a bit like Alucard from my favorite Castlevania game of all time. The CG non-gameplay trailer does show a giant, so you can expect to battling colossal enemies once again, but they really need to show that the game is better than the first.

Dishonored E3 2012 Gameplay Trailer

Ever since I originally wrote about Dishonored I have come to like it. Maybe because it is similar to Bioshock, or because it is a mature game, or because it is all about assassinations..who knows, either way it looks quite good and this first gameplay trailer does seem to continue to make me interested. They had shown off a cinematic trailer before, but this is the first look at actual gameplay. Quick recap: Dishonored is a game set in a futuristic world that is dark, violent and filled with choices. You play a super-natural assassin and it is essentially a first person shooter. The story is focused on revenge as you go around assassinated well protected individuals. It is being published by Bethesda Softworks and developed by Arkane Studios. In the video they reveal that the game is set to release on October 9th 2012.Take a look at this new trailer and enjoy.
Main Website:

*Warning this trailer is very violent*

-Written by Sean Cargle

ARMA 3 E3 2012 Preview

The Electronic Gaming Expo in Los Angeles doesn't officially start until Tuesday, but this year many developers are starting to release pre-E3 videos, info and news. I have a couple of other posts to put up today in regards to E3 news, but first off we have a fantastic ARMA 3 video. For a while Bohemia Interactive has been showing off little snippets of gameplay on Stratis Island and today they showed off some real moving gameplay of infantry movement, flying a helicopter, piloting an underwater vehicle, driving a ground vehicle and a bit more. They also reecently released a very awesome lighting video, which I will throw up after the E3 video. With all this ARMA 3 news they have also been talking a bit about Carrier Command: Gaea Mission, which I intend to write an overview about at some point, but it is a fairly impressive looking RTS. Anyways, check out these videos and expect more E3 news to show on here up today.


Now for the recent and impressive Lighting Showcase video.

-Written by Sean Cargle