The gaming industry is bigger than its ever been. With the advances in gaming technology, video games are becoming better and better with each new installment, aside from a few exceptions. With the recent E3 convention coming and going, we thought we’d give you a rundown of some the hot new games, either in development, coming soon, or already out.
This one’s already out, and we’re sure you’ve already either played it, or heard all the rave reviews about it. We’d like to co-sign all the hype surround this one. This game is, by far, the best football game to hit the market. EA has made leaps and bounds with their improvement from year to year with the Madden franchise, and this year, they’ve upped the ante, improving and adding several features (85 to be exact) with just a few missteps.
This year, EA implemented a Madden IQ, which is a test where you run through a series of training drills — from passing, running and defense. Upon completion, you are given an IQ number, in which your “My Skills” difficulty settings are automatically set based on your strengths and weaknesses. This means, throughout your Madden NFL career, the all-new Adaptive Difficulty Engine will continually tailor the difficulty settings as the gamers’ Madden IQ score evolves.
The ball carrying dynamic is also done well. It’s now possible to combine moves such as spins, jukes, or step-backs into a fairly fluid move set unlike past attempts. And the overall presentation of the game has stadium fly-bys, more realistic crowds and a more detailed and informational play calling interface, not to mention better commentary.
It’s definitely a huge improvement, but there are some drawbacks, which we will get into in our full review coming sometime next week.
Resident Evil 5
For the fifth install of Capcom’s long-running survival/horror title, gamers are set in Africa, which is the birthplace of the game’s infamous virus, according to the storyline. From early previews, we noticed that during gameplay, it seems as though everything is well-lit, which is a plus and departure from previous versions where everything was mostly dark and dank, and at times, hard to see. Back this time is the title’s original lead character Chris Redfield, and he’s joined by a new bioterrorism-fighting organization that helps along the way.
Along with weapons you previously had access to, we noticed you now are able to garner new weapons for annilating the game’s zombies, such as a pistol-grip shotgun, an HK MP-style sub-machine gun, and a machete. This is all we seen in a preview, but we’re sure more weapons will be at your disposal as you navigate through the game. Resident Evil 5 will also feature environmental decimation, unlike past versions. Zombies can now break down doors with make-shift weapons.
So far so good in the development end, but much is yet to be unveiled from Capcom. A release date is also pending, but rest assured the game seems to be a winner.
This is pretty much our favorite basketball title out, above EA’s NBA Live title. From the trailers and previews released, 2K is nearly 90% done with the game, which is slated for October, and we can’t wait.
Developers have said that they’ve added so many different animations this time around, it’ll take months to see them all. That got us excited. From what we saw, the players look a lot sharper this time around, and parts of it’s presentation makes it look more like an NBA broadcast than an actual video game. At the end of each quarter, selected replays for premier gameplay moments are show. Another change this year, they took out Kenny Smith’s commentary and replaced it with Clark Kellogg, who joins of Kevin Harlen and Cheryl Miller. We we’re exactly pleased with the change — others aren’t as well, according to what I read — but it’s only commentary right?
They also updated the franchise mode with more customization and automated actions. Now you can create a player editor, which has also been enhanced, and share him through Xbox Live. You can share gameplay moments via the Reelmaker function, which offers instantaneous digitizing of the action and then uploading it to YouTube within the game.
As far as actual updates within gameplay, we’re not exactly sure what was done, but it looks a lot better than last year’s version. We’ll have to wait to get our hands on it before we can give a verdict.
It drops October 7.
Street Fighter IV
This arcade classic is on its way back, revamped and updated. Our staff were able to play and preview early versions of the game during E3, and it’s definitely one game — if you loved the previous versions — to be on the look out for.
While gameplay is similar to the classic Street Fighter 2 and 3 versions, there are definitely new features that add to the gameplay. It’s now in 3D, although the gameplay is still very much a 2D affair. They’ve also added a new a new gauge-based system, designed to help players when they are down and vulnerable. Basically, the more damage you receive, the more you’ll be able to give to your opponent. It helps stage comebacks if you know what you’re doing, and can open up awesome counters. Also, players have ultras and supers, which are big, finisher-style combos that are integrated very nicely into play. The 3D aspect of the game allows the view to pull away and pan and turn for some of these big moves we mentioned, giving the game a much needed update in 2008.
However, what our staff tested is still in development, and has a lot of work still before it’s polished. But what we saw looked good to us and we can’t wait for the final product. A release date is yet to be announced though.
Saint’s Row 2
This title is the follow-up to the previous version released back in 2006. While it was dubbed a “GTA clone” by most, it was still a fun and different type of game. While gameplay was similar, the plot was much different. Instead of being a one-man wrecking crew like “GTA,” you’re a member of a gang, rocking the color purple, and you are fighting for dominance among a city of rivals who dress in yellow, red, and several other colors.
The second installment takes place a few years after the events of the original, and has you returning to the city of Stillwater, which has been rebuilt after all the mayhem and destruction caused by you the first time around. Your gang, The Saints, is no longer the force they were before. After you left, new gangs set up (three of them), and now you’ve returned to take your set back to the top.
This time around you can play as a male or female, and detail your character in a more defined way through sliders, according to gaming outlets, and also define his looks — old or young, fat or buff — control how they fight, what taunts they use, and choose your voice.
From what we see from previews, the game looks like it offers a lot more than the first time around. Since we had fun with that version, this one should also give us some entertainment in our downtime. There is no release date yet, but it is expected to drop this year.
Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
This is another arcade classic many gamers have grown to love over the years. While after first hearing about the combination of MK and DC characters, we were skeptical of how it’d turn out, once seeing trailers and gameplay previews, it seems to work. So far, we’ve noticed that during battle, it’s mostly done in the game’s 2D format, which seems to be better. All the characters have yet to be revealed also, but so far, we know you can play with all the original MK characters, and DC superheroes such as Superman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Batman, Catwoman and The Joker.
Some of the MK characters have been redefined, and the superheroes look awesome in digital format. We’re told that during battle damage is visible as well. For example, character’s costumes get rips, char marks and skin lacerations are highly visible, which is definitely a cool effect.
And what would Mortal Kombat be without the Fatalities? Those are there too. We’ve only see Scorpion’s so far, but it was re-vamped and looked like an updated version of the toasty Fatality players remember. DC characters have them as well, but they are called Brutalities, from what we understand.
Other elements are yet to be seen. This one’s slated for late 2004.