Page 1

I S S U E 4 0 / Vo l . 4 October 2012

w w w. g a m e c c a m ag . c o m

Borderlands 2 Transformers: Fall of Cybertron Rocksmith Madden NFL 13 and more...

Back to Pandora Borderlands 2 is here!

New World Assassin’s Creed 3

Free Online Mag


Inside 6 From the Editor 8 IDoubleDQD I am nerd, hear me roar! 10 10 on 10 Some lessons from video games 12 The New World It’s time for a new assassin 20 rAge Master A look at South Africa’s game show... 24 Previews 13 games to look out for 36 Soapbox The decline of entertainment? 38 Console General So, where is it? 40 Reviews 11 games under the spotlight 68 Real Steel SteelSeries has a new SA home 74 Hardware Great tech to get! 82 From Space The pile...

THIS MONTH’S COVER Assassin’s Creed 3 takes on the new world. Read our interview on page 12

4

gamecca40


Previews Reviews

26

Doom BFG Edition

28

Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013

30

Spy Hunter

31

Alien Spidy

32

Iron Sky: Invasion

34

Alien Fear

35

NASCAR The Game: Inside Line

42

Borderlands 2

46

Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Writers: Charlie Fripp Christo van Gemert Dylan Bouch Grant Wilson Iwan Pienaar James Francis Lein Baart Pippa Tshabalala Sarah Snyman Suvesh Arumugam Walt Pretorius

48

Rocksmith

Letters: letters@gameccamag.com

50

Tekken Tag Tournament 2

52

Madden NFL 13

54

Toxic Bunny HD

56

Oddly Enough: The Pied Piper

57

Royal Family Secrets: Centuries of Hidden Secrets

58

Testament of Sherlock Holmes

60

Risen 2

62

NHL 13

64

Brave

66

Port Royale 2: Pirates & Merchants

GAMECCA Vol. 3 Issue 40 October 2012

Editor: Walt Pretorius walt@1337-media.com

Competition Entries: competitions@gameccamag.com Newsletter Subscriptions: www.gameccamag.com Design & Photography: 1337 Media cc Marketing Contact: Katia Taliadoros katia@1337-media.com

Taking fun seriously! All rights reserved. No content may be reproduced, copied or transmitted without the express permission of the publishers. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the editors and publishers. All Trademarks and Registered Trademarks are the sole property of the respective owners.

GAMECCA is published by 1337 MEDIA

gamecca40

Copyright Š 1337 Media CC 2009 - 2012

5


Priorities... by Walt Pretorius

A

From the Editor

recent conversation I had with a colleague and veteran of the industry got me thinking. It was in response to the reaction that took place after Megarom announced that, due to unforeseen circumstances, Borderlands 2 would be released late in South Africa. “If people cared as much about hunger as they do about games,” my colleague said, “we would have far fewer problems in the world.” Don’t get me wrong – I love games. I have made video games part of my life for a long time, and have been working in related industries for almost two decades. I think games are great, and I believe that they are an important part of the overall entertainment scene. But he did have it right. Most people seem to care more about their games than anything else. Let’s look at the case in point: the South African release of Borderlands 2. I heard about it pretty much as soon as it became clear that the game would be

6

landing late. Megarom, the local distributors, fell victim to a situation that they had no control over in this regard and, quite frankly, they did a great job in trying to rectify the situation. In the end, the game hit shelves five days after the international release. Five days. Not a month. Not even a week. The reaction that local gamers had to the whole affair was appalling. Complaints and insults were directed at Megarom from all angles (including from a number of journalists, who should just know better.) This is a company that, for close on twenty years, has serviced the local gaming community beautifully. They have achieved their status as one of South Africa’s top game distributors because of that. But as soon as Borderlands 2 got delayed, Megarom who were acting with their customers’ and clients’ best interests at heart – became the big bad evil thing. I am going to paraphrase something else that my colleague said during the

gamecca40

same conversation. We try to convince the world that gaming is an adult, mature hobby. We tell people that gamers have grown up, that the average current gamer is a responsible adult with everything that goes along with that idea. And then, when we don’t get our way, we kick and scream and pout like self-entitled, spoiled children. Way to go. What I think is most important, though, is the fact that all these people got their knickers in a twist over a video game. And that really makes one think a bit about priorities, and how out of whack they really are in this modern world of ours. Like I said, I love games, but seriously? Now that Borderlands 2 has been released locally, I am looking forward to hearing someone praise Megarom when they release their next big game. I doubt it will be as loud as all that complaining was. And that just reinforces what my colleague had to say about the matter. g


Nothing but my GW2 T-shirt IDoubleDQD

by Sarah J Snyman

I

have always assumed, as we all do, that the way I game is in line with the way other people game. Besides the odd quirk or character class preference, everyone is pretty much on the same mission. Imagine my despair when I was recently informed that my gaming habits are not normal by any stretch of the imagination. I am a huge RPG fan. No matter how far down the EA hole I fall, I always end up back in the loving arms of an RPG. With the recent release of Guild Wars 2, I found myself losing huge blocks of time guiding my Norn Guardian through the world. Seeing your fellow characters obsessing about every single skill trait and harvesting every single carrot in MMORPG land makes anyone else feel normal and balanced.

8

I have always put the true devotees in another box, hugely distanced from myself. I have never thought that I could mimic their obsession. This opinion has recently been shattered and shaken and I am left in the rubble of a perfectly good theory, chocking on the dust of irony. In the past few months, I have come to realise that I am one of them. I thought that the blonde curls and lady-like figure would protect me from the virus of nerd and I was wrong. I have always believed that I’m a geek. The “cooler” version of a nerd, like a hipster but less sexually awkward. But this week it hit me, like a ton of Magic: the Gathering cards. I AM NERD. This was brought on by more than being called a nerd by a guy in a

Warhammer t-shirt, more than my love of tabletop gaming, I cannot even blame my head to toe branded Guild Wars 2 outfit with matching keyboard and mouse. I am a nerd because I develop close bonds with my characters. I thought it was normal to name them with thought and purpose, I thought everyone verbally encouraged their characters over vast mountains, I thought all gamers shout “you’re stronger than that!” when they claim to have no inventory space. I never knew it was odd to give your character a pre-battle pep-talk. I like my characters to have quiet time after a boss fight, I let my Norn dance in victory and then lie down to get his energy back. I never knew it was strange until I did it in front

gamecca40

of 49 other people at a LAN. I pushed my Norn to kill an Ogre and then changed every element of his armour to a bright pink hue as a reward for a great kill. The L33T , level 68, gamer asked me why I was acting so “strangely” . My world fell apart. Maybe it’s because I never had many barbies as a child, or maybe my biological clock is ticking so loudly that game producers in silicon valley can hear it. Perhaps I need to get out more or maybe this is an indication that I should go into teaching. But then I realise that it’s because I love my characters more than some of my friends. And if that makes me a nerd then I’ll embrace the title with pride! After all… how many friends do you have that will die multiple times just to get you some bronze coins. g


©2012 Cyanide. Licensed to and published by Focus Home Interactive. “2”, “PlayStation”, “PS3” and “Ô are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. KINECT, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft.

16

Distributed Exclusively by Apex Interactive

Tel: (011) 796 5040

www.apexinteractive.co.za

Email: sales@apexint.co.za

All rights and trademarks and logos are copyright of their respective owners.

www.apexactive.co.za


10Things Video Games

taught us about the

Zombie Apocalypse 1

Corporations are Evil!

Whenever there is an outbreak of zombies, there is always a mega-corporation behind it. Or, at least, someone who wants to make money, and then everything goes wrong. Medical science is a favourite culprit… maybe we should avoid lab-made medicines and start eating berries and roots, just in case…

3

Zombies breathe...

10 on 10

Well, they must do. Breath is essential for making sounds. But, apparently, zombies need oxygen to survive, because they can drown. So it isn’t all about the brains, then…

10

2

Zombies aren’t dumb... or slow.

Idiotic, shambling undead might be fine for movies, but in games zombies are a hell of a lot smarter. You might think that the decay of the brain would result in a substantially lowered IQ. True, they’re not rocket scientists, but they’re smarter than you think. And they aren’t all shamblers, either. Apparently decaying flesh can perform as well as – or even better, in some cases – the muscle tissue of heroes in the prime of their life.

4

gamecca40

Snack food is good for you Snack bars and energy drinks possess incredible curative powers. No, really, they do. Because grabbing a quick snack will revive lost energy and heal heinous damage. So stock up on all those sugary drinks and candy bars that your Mom told you were bad for you… she was wrong!


We all know it’s coming – the day that zombies take over our world, shambling through the streets looking for the brains of the living. Or so movies would have us believe… but we gamers know that movies – and the complacency they create – are just the tool of the zombie-masters to lull us into a false sense of security. To truly understand the zombie apocalypse fully, you need to be a gamer…

5

Zombies have great taste

If there are a hundred people in a room, and zombies attack, they will always go for you first. All of them. That’s because they have great taste, and know who the most dangerous person in the room is. But mostly because they have great taste… leading us to believe that the Beeb might be the only person who would survive a zombie apocalypse.

7

9

6

Zombies come in many flavours

Movies would have us believe that all zombies are the same. But gamers know better… zombies come in all shapes and sizes, and have differing abilities, strengths and weaknesses. A single approach will never be enough to survive a zombie apocalypse. That’s why you need all those different weapons…

Someone is always immune... No matter how virulent the strain of disease that is turning pretty much everyone into a braincraving undead killers, there is always someone who has an immune system that is either unique or extremely resilient. And it is always you. Which, if you think about it, has both an upside and a downside. You won’t turn into a zombie, but you might have to kill the thing that used to be your mom…

Improvisation matters

A normal shotgun, for example, is never as good as a shotgun modified with duct tape, batteries, wire, a hamster and bubble gum. No matter what you strap to your previously perfectly functional weapon, it will work better… every time! And the more ridiculous the combination, the better.

8

Hit ‘em anywhere!

We have often been lead to believe that zombies can only be killed if they’re hit in the head. That is not true. Sure, a headshot will put them down faster, but that counts for anyone. Do enough damage to a zombie’s body, and they will go down, guaranteed… just like normal people. Except for the braincraving. And extremely bad breath. We’re assuming that they have extremely bad breath. Just like some normal people, really…

10

Heroes are idiots

While the sensible people stay indoors, barricaded behind sturdy stuff like walls and steel, heroes feel the need to venture out and take tons of risks. This, quite simply, does not imply any form of logic… or even intelligence. They say that there is a fine line between bravery and stupidity, but when there are zombies about, there is no line at all. And the question is… do you want the dumbest guy in the room saving your skin? Even worse… we do we always have to be that dumb guy?

gamecca40

11


Interview

12

gamecca40


the New

World by Walt Pretorius

I

t’s time for a new assassin; that’s what will await you when Assassin’s Creed 3 hits the shelves. The game moves from the cramped streets of Renaissance Italy to the relative space of the New World as America fights for her inpedendance. Bringing Assassin’s Creed to Revolutionary America in two games held many challenges for the teams involved. We spoke to Assassin’s Creed 3 Creative Director, Alex Hutchinson, as well as Team Historian Maxime Durand and Assassin’s Creed: Liberation Producer Martin Capel, about some of the challenges they faced with this massive project.

gamecca40

13


Interview

14

gamecca40


What were the greatest challenges in bringing Assassin’s Creed to a whole new setting? AH: AC3 as a whole was a huge challenge, but I think our new hero alone brought many of our big challenges in this project: making sure we didn’t retread old ground; finding something strong enough to motivate our character to join the assassins without falling back on simple, basic shapes so the character would have depth; finding a strong voice that wasn’t cliché or a traditional ‘videogame’ voice; but probably the biggest challenge was deciding whether to build a brand new colonial costume or evolve the traditional assassin outfit. With that one, in the end we decided that we have one of the few recognizable uniforms in games: people know what an assassin looks like at a glance, and this is too valuable to mess with, so we treat it like a suit that you need to wear when you take the job. Like most jobs, you don’t get to pick your outfit, you need to wear the uniform, it’s just that ours comes with a hood and two hidden blades… Ezio is a firm favourite with fans – what do you think players will find appealing in the new character of Connor? AH: Connor is a brand new assassin for a brand new period. While Altair was driven primarily by duty and Ezio by revenge, Connor is a more noble character. He fights injustice wherever he sees it and has a clear idea of right and wrong, which first leads him to try and defend his people, then to join the assassins and then finally to become involved in the American Revolution. Launching what are

gamecca40

essentially two different games at the same time cannot be a simple task. How was the development of the two different titles handled? AH: Assassin’s Creed III was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and Assassin’s Creed III Liberation by Ubisoft Sofia. For Assassin’s Creed III, Montreal is the lead studio with support from eight other Ubisoft studios. Ubisoft Sofia is the lead studio and developer of Liberation. The Montreal studio strongly coordinates and supports Sofia on brand oversight and scripting, and shares technologies as well as technical and artistic knowledge. What, in your mind, are the biggest improvements to the franchise in Assassin’s Creed 3? AH: We rebuilt the entire combat and navigation system, which is probably the biggest change. You can climb trees, freerun through branches, and the forest itself is a 3D playground for the first time in games. Connor fights with two weapons simultaneously, the enemy AI was rebuilt to use pistols as well as melee weapons, and the entire player strategy was redefined to be more aggressive and to encourage fluid combos. And finally we added massive new features like a full weather system and naval simulation. The franchise has always felt extremely authentic. What kind of research went into recreating this unique historical setting? MD: The mixing of both truth and fiction is a hard task as we needed to know

15


Interview

16

gamecca40


as much as possible about the period to choose clearly what is going to make it into the game. We started by building a huge timeline of the different events and characters, using hundreds of historical books and archives. Although we paid for many resources, public archives and libraries in various countries really helped a lot. The team also visited museums and different real life locations which we will find in the game. Historical recreations and professors’ conferences were a must for us as we could live a slight part of the events we would recreate in the game. Some team members also took climbing lessons to enhance our climbing system. In this manner, we did not have to make history fun so it would fit our fantasy; everything was there in history and we only needed to find it and use it for our own. For instance, we consulted many dictionaries from the period to create and validate the script and AI dialogue lines, and it was really funny. Even back then, linguists were trying to ban slang or expressions, and fortunately for us; they wrote them down. I especially like the expression ‘To flash the hash’ (to vomit). The goal was to find how people would think, act and how they lived to properly give that feeling back to players. In that way, building the cities of Boston and New York was a big part of the project. Those two are very different today than what they use to be in the past, except for couple streets and some landmarks. We used dozens of maps for each one to have the proper plans, but our research went way deeper. Creating boroughs with different social, artistic and economic feels needed both good knowledge in architecture and anthropology,

but also required a lot of paintings, drawings and engravings from the period to have the best accuracy. We desired to create a sandbox where AI crowds would live and have real activities to do on their own. Colonists had various different occupations in the 18th Century than we do today. We wanted to avoid cities feeling like an 18th Century playground filled with 21st century people. That’s why we have NPCs with various occupations related to the colonies; selling (fish, rum, wares, and tea), working in the dockyards (or ropeyards), or preaching, and so on. Back then, the space for privacy was very little and life on the streets was very more vivid than it is today. Streets were smaller and walking was definitely the most common form of transportation. It creates both an interesting place for players to wander around simply and enjoy the simulation, or a deadly playground for an assassin to be on the lookout for his prey. What was the major motivation behind releasing both Assassin’s Creed 3 titles (AC3 and AC 3: Liberation) at the same time? MC: Liberation and Assassin’s Creed III are both set around one of the most pivotal moments in history – the American Revolution. Both games feature a different assassin in different locations, following a different path to reach the same climatic moment in history. Liberation also ties in with Assassin’s Creed III for the PlayStation 3. Players with both games will unlock a range of bonus material for Liberation, including Connor’s tomahawk, larger ammunition pouches, plus bonuses for the multiplayer game!

gamecca40

Previous handheld versions of Assassin’s Creed have served as expansions on main titles’ plots and themes. However, Liberation seems to be taking a different route… is this indication that fans can expect diverging plot lines and more playable characters in future? MC: Liberation and Assassin’s Creed 3 share a number of themes common to this period: Death or liberty, rising against injustice and oppression and fighting for freedom. These cries rang out across many areas of the New and Old Worlds at this time and are a very powerful emotive force for people suffering oppression. For Liberation we have created a story that runs parallel to the story and events in Assassin’s Creed 3, using a setting and theme that we believe to be unique - that of a New World colony that was not one of the thirteen colonies in the battle for Independence, but one that was “outside looking in”. New Orleans was critical as a means of smuggling aid to the colonies from Spain and France, but itself underwent substantial upheaval during the years prior to and during the American Revolution, and it is these tumultuous years that the player will experience. We know that you guys never talk about these things… but would we be correct to assume that Assassin’s Creed 3 won’t be the end of the battle between the Templars and the Assassins? AH: We’ll keep making new games as long as the fans want them, but all stories need to end. I won’t spoil anything, but play AC3 and you’ll find out! g

17


ASSASSINSCREED.COM


Mas Ma

Interview

A behind the scenes look at SA

20

gamecca40


ster! aster!

A’s gaming expo.

With the rAge exhibition literally days away, the South African video gaming industr y is once again gearing up for a weekend of games, games, games… We managed to catch up with Michael James, the Senior Project Manager of rAge (and editor of NAG magazine , but that’s a whole different stor y) and picked his over-tired and mega-stressed brain about the expo. gamecca40

21


Interview

When did rAge start, and what lead you to the idea? MJ: rAge started in 2002. It was sometime early in October, timed to coincide with the last weekend of the school holidays. The idea is stolen and really came from visiting international trade shows (E3 in Los Angeles and Gamescom in Germany) and wanting to bring some of that magic to South Africa. Naturally because we’re much smaller in terms of the gaming industry I had to add things like the NAG LAN, retailers, hardware and other gaming lifestyle exhibitors (comics, anime and so on). The other key motivator was growing up during the computer boom in South Africa but never seeing any gaming content at the then ComputerFaire despite going every day and hoping to find something. It was all just business software and printer plotters (two things I’ve banned from rAge). It got so bad that a friend and I took demo scene software that came from Sweden and covertly loaded it onto any Commodore Amiga we could find on the show floor (rare too) – just to show people what these amazing machines were capable of.

What would you define as rAge’s greatest achievements in the past? MJ: This is a list in no particular order and I’ll probably miss a few important ones. We’ve had entire console launches at the show. We’ve had professional celebrity gamers at the show. We continue to have international developers at the show. We always have some major game release at the show and of course all that lovely early release code on all the stands. This year we actually got the guys at Gearbox Software to record a special message for everyone in South Africa from Claptrap – so a huge thanks to them and of course Devon at Megarom for making it all happen. Above all, the greatest achievement for the show is the fact that people like what we’ve been doing and keep coming back each year. This just tells me we’re doing something right somehow – probably by accident. Phew.

What do you believe are the most important functions of rAge? MJ: Growing the gaming industry in South Africa and showing the world we’re a serious player in the market. Breaking down misconceptions in the media and general public by properly showing them this hobby we love so much, and of course bringing the industry players closer together by forcing them into the same venue for the whole weekend. For

What are the greatest challenges involved in putting rAge together? MJ: Having to answer interview questions… just kidding… Time is the real killer for the event and of course getting everyone on the same page each year. There are scheduling conflicts, space conflicts, timing conflicts and a million other little details that need pampering. I’m eternally grateful that I have an awesome team of people who do all the real work

22

NAG it’s always been about selling more magazine by growing awareness – this was the original goal, but rAge has somehow grown wildly out of control.

gamecca40


on rAge – they really do make it all happen so my greatest challenge is keeping them all happy. How does rAge compare to other trade shows around the globe? What makes this event unique? MJ: rAge is pretty much a carbon copy of the bigger trade shows overseas but just on a much smaller scale and this is thanks to the smaller scale of the industry in SA – it’s directly proportional. rAge is unique because we cobble together the biggest LAN in Africa, retail and other gaming lifestyle elements in one show – a requirement due to the smaller size of the industry which really happened out of necessity and then worked out perfectly. The NAG LAN is a major draw-card for the event. How is this indicative of South African gaming and gamers? MJ: I feel it highlights how much of a PC orientated community South Africa is. Consoles are gaining a strong foothold more and more each year but it’s still pretty PC heavy. I also think the NAG LAN represents a weekend away from everything doing something you love with like-minded people. The fact that you can also see the latest games, buy discounted hardware or take advantage of all the show specials and events and stuff is a massive bonus – it’s certainly something I wouldn’t miss. How has rAge evolved over the years?

MJ: Surprising and continued growth is the thing that stands out the most for me. Each year I’m surprised how it all pulls together and ends up being bigger and better than the previous year. We saw growth of 29% in attendance last year which is unprecedented and unexpected. Besides the growth, the show has definitely become more refined and of course takes much longer to plan these days and is well supported by the whole industry. What do you hope to achieve with rAge 2012? MJ: Survival and growth in a tough economic climate was the real challenge this year, so making it happen and to the same standard of last year was something I wanted to achieve. So far so good – all that remains is to just get through the rAge weekend in one piece. Any predictions for the future of rAge? MJ: Besides the usual marketing stuff people love to hear I have no predictions. The show always manages to surprise me each year. Some of the people working on the show say that’s because I never read my mails. In all seriousness this industry is so hard to predict, if you look at how far we’ve come in the last ten years from a technology point of view who can say what the show will look like in another 10 or 20 years. Will it be completely online only then, will visitors arrive while they’re plugged into their own personal virtual reality machines or will it be a nostalgic party at the shell of the Dome after the zombie apocalypse. Nobody can say for sure. g

gamecca40

23


Previews Highlights 26 Doom BFG Edition The classic returns! 30 Spy Hunter Re-re-remake? 34 Alien Fear Redefining Arcade 35 NASCAR The Game: Inside Line Left, you say?

A

s the year enters the final stretch before the full bellies, ripped gift wrapping and carefully nursed hangovers, game announcements have been slowing down. And why not... it’s time for releases, not announcements. Still, there are a few games for us to look at in this month’s preview section, to let’s get to it! g

24

gamecca40


A

WRC 3 - FIA WORLD RALLY CHAMPIONSHIP © 2012 Published by Milestone S.r.l., under its registered trademark “Black Bean” . An official product of the FIA World Rally Championship, under licence of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. Developed by Milestone S.r.l. All rights reserved. Manufacturers, cars, names, brands and associated imagery featured in this game are trademarks and/or copyrighted materials of their respective owners. “WRC” and the WRC logo are registered trademarks of the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile. All rights reserved. KINECT, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. “2”, “PlayStation ”, “PS3”, “ 1 ” and “ ” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. “ ” is a trademark of the same company. Also, is a trademark of the same company. All Rights Reserved. Distributed Exclusively by Apex Interactive

Tel: (011) 796 5040

www.apexinteractive.co.za

All rights and trademarks and logos are copyright of their respective owners.

Email: sales@apexint.co.za

www.apexactive.co.za


Doom BFG edition

Big, uh, Freaking Gun… Doom. You know you’ve been waiting for this!

by Sarah Joan Snyman

D

just be a glint in the corner of a game designer’s eye, it is something that many gamers of my generation have been guiltily hoping for. Doom BFG will be a tome of the releases to date, including Doom, Doom 2, Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil and a fabled brand-new mission in Doom 3, namely, “Lost” which will be comprised of seven brand spanking new levels including a never-before seen boss and around three hours of gameplay. The graphics will obviously follow the HD re-releases of late and be optimised and relooked to make this game slightly less harsh on the eye. There is talk of 3D native graphics support and Xbox and PlayStation 3 optimisation. For the first time ever, the original Doom will run off my PS3! Xbox fans will be able to use their flashlight and

Preview

oom and I have a special relationship. I have only the fondest memories of playing Doom with my brother at a young and influential age, running through levels and obliterating demonic beasts with a series of overpowered weapons amid a landscape of somewhat horrific noises and hell spawn cries not suitable for a little blonde girl under the age of ten. The announcement of Doom BFG edition at E3 made my heart skip a beat, the game that got me hooked on WASD, coming to a platform that has kept me playing all these years. The main reason for my excitement, however, is the prospect that a “BFG edition” might mean that Doom 4 is in the making! Although that sequel might

26

gamecca40

g a m e c c a r ev i ew • i s s u e 1 7 • N ove m b e r 2 0 1 0


gun simultaneously; this was obviously a slightly cumbersome issue before… no one likes shooting horrific creatures in the dark, or worse yet, being able to see the terrifying things and be helpless to do anything about them. The game developers have taken a promising route of following message boards and forums for suggested optimisations and improvements directly from the mouths of their biggest fans. Elements that have been highlighted besides the obvious flashlight issue are ammo, difficulty and extreme darkness. Although, in all honesty, the dark endless corridors, noises with no visible source and fewer save points were all aspects of Doom 3 that kept me hooked throughout.

Doom 3 did disappoint many of the fans of the franchise with a combination of gameplay errors and a failure to capture the feel of the first two releases. The producers have again taken this into account and promised to avoid and correct that disappointment with the new levels, saying that the release was “a great game that had a few things that could have made it greater.” Besides the obvious excitement for the release, the new missions taking place in hell will include rocket firing, plasma pulses being thrown at shrieking stampeding demonic forces which hit your character in wave after wave of sheer terror. I may be a die-hard fan but that sounds like a flawless formula to me. g

AT A GLANCE: First Person Shooter

Doom and is infamous Big F***king Gun are back to capture a whole new generation of fans Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

gamecca40

ID Software Bethesda Softworks Ster Kinekor

Oct 2012

Platforms

Genre:

ETA

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

27


Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013

Bear with Me It’s going to be a grizzly tale

by Charlie Fripp

28

AT A GLANCE: Genre:

Hunting

With all the upgrades, it’s sure to be one of the best – and deadliest. Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

gamecca40

TBA Activision Publishing Megarom

ETA

Oct 2012

Platforms

Preview

A

la’s Big Game franchise. Becoming almost a staple video game for hunting enthusiasts, Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013 promises to deliver a bit more than the previous titles – in all aspects, and especially the plot. Hunting games don’t normally have a story attached, but that is what sets the Cabela’s franchise apart. The plot, which was written by Andrew Kreisberg of Fringe, focusses on two brothers who were torn apart by the death of their father at the hands of a grizzly bear. It might take another giant beast to bring them back together. But in order to take done the beasts, players will need a large arsenal – their tools of the trade. Cabela’s Dangerous Hunts 2013 will feature some of the best hunting rifles and shotguns commercially available, and Cabela will make sure that no hunter is stranded in the bush without the right gear and accessories to acquire virtual dinner. The highlight of the game, however, is that it makes use of the all-new Top Shot Fearmaster railgun, which tracks the heart rate of Xbox360 and PlayStation 3 users, which adds a new level of reality while enhancing the gameplay. While the franchise has never shied away from big creatures, this iteration will feature more deadly predators who will use reallife tactics such as pack social hierarchies, coordinating complex group strategies and takes advantage of the surroundings. While players will have to account for wind direction and bullet drop in the new game, it is sure to be one of the best Big Game Hunter games available – a must for fans. g

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

g a m e c c a r ev i ew • i s s u e 1 7 • N ove m b e r 2 010 28


© 1994-2012 Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc., 2K, 2K Games, Firaxis Games, XCOM, and XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and their respective logos are trademarks of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. All rights reserved. All other marks are property of their respective owners. Kinect, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE, and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft. “2”, “PlayStation”, “PS3” , “Ô and “À” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. All other marks are property of their respective owners. All rights reserved.


Spy Hunter

Arcade Racer Reborn 30 years after players first hit the road as agent.

by Sarah Joan Snyman

30

AT A GLANCE: Genre:

Arcade Racer

Two lanes, minimal controls and the safety of the world on your shoulders. Welcome to Spy Hunter Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

gamecca40

TT Fusion Warner Bros Ster Kinekor

ETA

Oct 2012

Platforms

Preview

N

ometimes I feel nothing but slight nausea when I hear about upcoming remakes of classic games. The story line, gameplay and longevity have to be able to keep up in today’s market; nostalgia is not usually enough to make fans fork out the cash. Spy Hunter was a 1983 classic arcade racer. Your agent took their massively basic red sports car down a highway, took out everything but the civilians and this, of course, somehow ended or prevented the world domination of a global terrorist group. The game is now being re-released for Nintendo 3DS and PlayStation Vita. Instead of the original ‘80s-esqu scrolling road where your main objective was to avoid civilians cars, this release promises transformation into a speed boat, and an off road assault vehicle. As if these minor aspects weren’t already attractive in today’s gaming landscape, Spy Hunter has mentioned a TF fusion developed special camera system, full customisation and multilayer. The original game is a cult classic and is still available to play online in its original low res format and maybe that is the appeal. The premise, in my opinion, doesn’t lend itself to a 21st century reboot… kicking a dead horse comes to mind. I also recall a failed attempt at a movie release that somehow involved the Rock. I am always open to being proven wrong but Spy Hunter 2012 will have to do quite a lot to make itself stand out among the upcoming releases this quarter. Maybe TF Fusion have a plan to make this more than an arcade reboot, especially considering the well-chosen platform, we’ll be waiting to see if the ‘agent’ still possesses the mass appeal. g

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

g a m e c c a r ev i ew • i s s u e 1 7 • N ove m b e r 2 0 1 0


Alien Spidy

The Alien Webslinger The art of making fanged creatures cute

by Lein Baart

N

AT A GLANCE: 2D Platformer

Alien Spidy has a great visual style to it, and its seemingly uncomplicated gameplay should appeal to the casual market. Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

gamecca40

Enigma Software Productions Kalypso Media SilverScreen

TBA 2012

Platforms

Genre:

ETA

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

31

Preview

o other genre in gaming has been as successful as the 2D platformer. In its heyday, between a quarter and a third of all console games were platformers; a market share which has never been surpassed, and in all likelihood never will be. Modern times have seen the decline of the genre as a whole, but with titles like Super Meat Boy, Trine and the immortal Mario series proving that the platformers still have something to offer, it’s very far from dead. At least that seems to be Enigma’s thinking. The small Spanish studio is planning its own contribution with Alien Spidy, a visually arresting title to be released later this year. If you paid attention to the Vita when it was launched, the name might sound familiar, as it was originally announced for the handheld at GamesCom. Sadly this has proven to be false, as publisher Kalypso Media revealed that Alien Spidy is in fact only to be released for the PC, PS3 and Xbox. Despite this the game seems to be shaping up as a solid title. Spidy, an alien spider, is on a mission to save his friend Virgi and restore his spacecraft after crash landing on earth. It’s a simple premise, one which the gameplay seems to match, and will see Spidy swinging and hopping his way around the 2D world. There will be over 70 levels for Spidy to navigate, including underwater environments, and Engima is touting the game as “easy to pick up, but challenging to master.” To be honest, nothing here seems terribly original, but the art-style is fantastic and this should go down well with casual gamers, at the very least. g


Iron Sky: Invasion

The Nazis are Coming Can comedy translate into gaming action?

by Lein Baart

32

AT A GLANCE: Genre:

Space Flight Simulation

With what little information there is available, Iron Sky: Invasion doubtlessly has a lot of promise Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

gamecca40

Reality Pump Studio TopWare Interactive Apex Interactive

ETA

Q4 2012

Platforms

Preview

M

ovie games present something of a paradox to the gaming community. Experience has taught us that on average they’re cheap cash-ins, designed to hop on whatever bandwagon is currently in vogue. On the other hand, we can’t resist hoping that for once there will be a genuine effort to create a game worthy of whatever film we love. Then there’s Iron Sky: Invasion. If you haven’t heard of the movie Iron Sky, don’t stress, as it never had a local release, and indeed wasn’t much of a success globally, though it has already attracted a cult following. To summarise, the film centred on space Nazis (yes you read right, SPACE Nazis) launching an attack on Earth after seventy years of hiding on the dark side of the moon. Iron Sky: Invasion will be set during the final battle from the movie. Billed as a “space flight simulation with elements of RTS”, developers Reality Pump Studios are claiming the gameplay will be “avant-garde” and bring “to mind such classics as the legendary... You-Know-Which series.” Exactly what series they mean is unclear as they have their own little know RTS sci-fi series, Earth 2140, but that’s beside the point. Gameplay will revolve around “non-stop action full of ship-to-ship dogfights”, and the game will be entirely open-world with no missions beyond the ultimate goal of destroying the Nazi base on the dark side of the moon. Powered by the GRACE2, the screenshots for Invasion do look amazing, though there are no gameplay trailers to confirm. At the very least Invasion does sound intriguing, though there will be a lot expectations to fulfil for this game to succeed beyond the existing movie fan base. g

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

g a m e c c a r ev i ew • i s s u e 1 7 • N ove m b e r 2 0 1 0


Alien Fear

New Breed

Improving on the download game formula… by Pippa Tshabalala

34

AT A GLANCE: Genre:

First Person Shooter

Alien Fear may have a cheesy name, but it looks like it may bring some great ideas to downloaded console games... Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

gamecca40

City Interactive City Interactive Online

ETA

Q4 2012

Platforms

Preview

W

ith a title like Alien Fear I can’t really say that I was excited about this upcoming game, however I could certainly see the appeal for those of you that like the idea of playing “a highly trained elite commando on a mission of sabotage”. Does it sound like pretty much every other alien shooter game? Up to a point, yes, but it’s the co-op nature of this game that adds an extra dimension to what could just be a standard, run of the mill XBLA/PSN release. The big feature the developers City Interactive are pushing is the fact that Alien Fear will supposedly set a new standard for digitally distributed games on the PSN and XBLA, with all the quality of a full scale title, but still within the size limitations of the relevant marketplaces. Certainly from the screenshots we’ve seen so far, this doesn’t look like an empty promise. With an exciting co-op experience that includes environmental puzzles, choices that impact on your experience, and co-op designed game mechanics, Alien Fear doesn’t look half bad. According to the feature list, which includes unique guns and fast-paced combat, you must also “solve all your problems with a gun”, demolishing the environment around you as you progress through the game. I’ll be honest, this is a refreshing change to the sometimes pointless design features of many games that make a half hearted attempt to introduce puzzle based challenges. Who cares about solving puzzles when you can have fun in a flashy, explosion filled environment? Sometime you really just want to kick ass and have fun doing it without exerting too much brainpower. g

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

g a m e c c a r ev i ew • i s s u e 1 7 • N ove m b e r 2 010 34


NASCAR The Game: Inside Line

Become Ricky Bobby Going in circles is dangerous

by Charlie Fripp

T

AT A GLANCE: Racing

NASCAR might seem boring, but the title will aim to prove otherwise Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

gamecca40

Eutechnyx Activision Megarom

Nov 2012

Platforms

Genre:

ETA

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

g a m e c c a r ev i ew • i s s u e 1 7 • N ove m b e r 2 010 35

Preview

he USA has four great pastime: football, basketball, ice hockey and baseball, but sports lover are quick to forget that there is a fifth sport that is almost bigger than any two of the previously mentioned ones combined – and that would be NASCAR. While people might joke about the cars making only left turns and predominantly driving in a straight line, the sport is worth billions of dollars each year, and the vehicles can reach incredible speeds – while sometimes creating spectacular crashes. While NASCAR games are nothing new, a new title will come into the fray in November with the release of NASCAR The Game: Inside Line. The racing simulator will pit would-be daredevils against other drivers in a new Career Mode, in which they begin as a rookie driver and compete in multiple NASCAR Sprint Cup seasons, acquiring sponsors, earning Championship points and gaining opportunities to compete in Invitational Events. The title will have some of the best graphics any NASCAR game has ever seen, and players will also be able to upgrade and customise their cars with a number of design templates. While driving against the CPU is fun, the title will feature a multiplayer mode with fully customizable practice, qualifying and race sessions. Adding something extra, NASCAR The Game: Inside Line will open up a variety of challenges for gamers, and by using Telemetry data the unique challenges will be created – each an accurate recreation of the most memorable and nail biting moments in recent NASCAR Sprint Cup history. But players won’t have to worry about authenticity, as the game will include all the officially licensed tracks and races of the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series as well as official NASCAR announcers and Crew Chiefs. g


Copyright or Wrong? The Soapbox

by Suvesh Arumugam

A

pple recently made a few waves in the Tech world by announcing that they have plans to move iTunes from a download store model to a streamed media model. Although the plans had been mentioned in previous press announcements, few had expected that Apple had plans to implement this massive change so soon. The impact of this would mean that media (movies, series and music) is truly non-transferrable. While Apple predicted that pricing for media would drop, there was also a lot they didn’t mention, like whether this would be a pay-per-use model, or if media can be used multiple times and from different locations. In the context of many prominent arguments against such stringent enforcement of copyright, many see this as a strange

36

decision by Apple. Companies like Google, through their backing and purchase of Android, are fighting the other side of the battle. 2013 should finally see the release of Ouya, an Android based gaming console was made possible by Kickstarter’s crowd funding programme. The console’s biggest selling point – all games will be free to play. Kickstarter is also central to the development of CLANG, a sword fighting game development project by science fiction writer Neal Stephenson (who is often associated with fellow writer Corey Doctorow, a vocal opponent of Digital Rights Management) – and a host of other open source development projects. However, Apple is not alone in its move to take ownership and control of content out of the hands of

the consumer. Sony’s CEO Kazuo Hirai made several statements recently about the importance of cloud gaming to the company’s future plans. Sony has aggressively acquired at least two cloud services companies, Gakai and So-Net, to prepare the way for the future, and early indications are that the next-gen PlayStation will be heavily reliant on cloud based services. While games will still be purchased on Blu-Ray discs, chances are that (like many PC games today) these will be useless without a cloud based component to activate the content and security features of the game. So the real question is, in the age of non-physical product, what do you actually buy? Do you simply buy the right to visit something that never

gamecca40

truly belongs to you (like buying a ticket to a show)? Without the ability to even store digital media on your hardware, it’s clear that the direction mainstream media is headed is that ownership always rest with the copyright holder and never with the purchaser. On the other side, open source products belong to the entire world! So where once one could buy a leather bound first edition Charles Dickens novel, which could be lent, sold or left to future generations (while it appreciated in value), under current copyright legislation, anything bought digitally is not transferrable, so even your prize Beatles Digitally re-mastered Complete Works can never be sold or left to your kid for them to enjoy when you’re gone – your copyright expires when you do! g


Odd Timing... Console General

by Montgommery Paton

Y

es, I know, I know, it’s another column about Nintendo hardware. But let’s be honest – as far as console gaming goes, it’s the biggest news out there at the moment. That is, largely, because we have a release date. Yep, Nintendo have let us know that the Wii U will arrive on the 30th of November. That’s awesome, right? Well, actually, maybe not… The Wii U is going to be a really fun console for the whole family to enjoy. In other words, it is a great option for casual gamers and gaming families. On the other hand, the Wii U will be a more powerful machine, with a number of more mature titles already on the cards. This makes it more appealing for hardcore gamers. Put all this together, and you have a

38

potential powerhouse for the Festive Season buying frenzy. But here’s the thing – at least as I see it. Or the two things, really… First of all, we’ve got the whole market appeal thing. On the one hand, you have casual people, who don’t necessarily read the kind of press that has been punting the Wii U. They’re a huge segment of the market. On the other you have the hard-core folks who do read that press, but are probably a bit jaded and are taking what the press says with more than a few pinches of salt. These guys will want to see a bit of coverage of the device after release, at very least, before they commit to buying a console made by a company that has casual written all over it (thanks to the Wii). So

no matter what the press has said, releasing the console 25 days before Christmas may not leave a lot of time for consumer education. Then you get the whole ‘we’re in a recession’ thing. This, combined with the idea that people start shopping for Christmas round about now, means that the Wii U will be visible on shelves rather late in the process. Assuming that it will cost a few grand (which it will) that means that, unless people have been educated about it and purposely have saved their cash to get it, the timing is once again rather late. This isn’t exactly an impulse purchase item. And the price hasn’t been confirmed yet, so consumers won’t know how much to keep aside for it.

gamecca40

There is a third issue, too, and it is one that is directly related to South Africa. Sometimes, things go wrong… anyone who was waiting for Borderlands 2 can attest to that. It doesn’t happen often but, because our market is small, stock may be allocated elsewhere first. Or it might get delayed as it travels here from overseas. That would only exacerbate the overall situation. But at least we do have a release date and, surprisingly, we will (theoretically) have the device more than a week before Japan gets it (another odd decision). A price will hopefully be confirmed soon, too. So, until then, here’s our bit. The Wii U looks awesome. Keep some cash aside to get one for Christmas. g


WWW.SHERLOCKHOLMES-THEGAME.COM /sherlockholmesvideogames

/focusinteractive

@FocusHome

PC 16

©2012 Frogwares Games and Focus Home Interactive. Published by Focus Home Interactive under license from Frogwares Games. All rights reserved. All other names, trademarks and logos are property of their respective owners. “PlayStation”, “2”, “PS3”, “Ó and “À” are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. KINECT, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and the Xbox logos are trademarks of the Microsoft group of companies and are used under license from Microsoft.

Distributed Exclusively by Apex Interactive

Tel: (011) 796 5040

www.apexinteractive.co.za

Email: sales@apexint.co.za

All rights and trademarks and logos are copyright of their respective owners.

www.apexactive.co.za


Reviews Highlights 18 Borderlands 2 Back to Pandora! 20 Transformers: Fall of Cybertron The best yet? 22 Tekken Tag Tournament 2 Get ready for a fight... 23 Madden NFL 13 Pig-skins and passes.

R

Age is happening in a few days, so get ready to check out some of the hot end-of-year releases first hand. But, until then (and after then) we have thirteen game reviews for you to take a look at... starting with Borderlands 2, the first big Q4 2012 release... g

40

gamecca40


logolink Essential surfing made easy

become a fan!


Borderlands 2

Back to Pandora Bigger, better, badder…

by Walt Pretorius

I

particular (and perhaps peculiar) love affair with the game and its awesome setting. Borderlands takes us back to Pandora, but this time around we get to see more of the planet than the dusty desert vistas the played home to the first game. After the first vault was opened, a mysterious element called Eridium s was released in vast quantities, and knowledge of a new, bigger vault comes to light. Hyperion Corporation, under the leadership of a chap called Handsome Jack, comes to Pandora in full force, making the lives of its inhabitants a living hell. But even the high tech Hyperion forces cannot keep the mercenary Vault Hunters at bay. As you might have guessed while reading the previous paragraph, Borderlands 2 puts much more emphasis on story, and has a much stronger narrative driving the player’s actions. It’s still screamingly funny – in fact, I

Review

t was with much anticipation that South Africans waited for the release of Borderlands 2. That wait got extended though, when unforeseen circumstances resulted in the game’s local release being delayed by around five days. But arrive it did, and already online gaming servers are buzzing with Borderlands 2 activity. Was it worth the wait, though, extended or otherwise? The answer to that question really hinges on whether you enjoyed the first game or not. The original Borderlands was a unique experience, for a number of reasons. From the off-beat graphic style and sometimes hair-raising humour through to the random weapon generation system, Borderlands offered players one of the freshest first-person shooter experiences to be had in a long time. The game didn’t appeal to everyone, of course, but millions of fans around the globe developed a

42

gamecca40


would hazard that it is even funnier than the original – but the story feels a touch more serious than before, dealing with ideas like exploitation in only the way that a Borderlands script can. Excellent voice acting and beautifully written dialogue compliment the story, which sees numerous familiar faces return as the plot progresses. These include Marcus the gun merchant, and Scooter the mechanic. And, of course, CL4P-TP… it just wouldn’t be Borderlands without Claptrap. The originality that Borderlands 2 has on offer comes from these elements; the stronger plot lines and myriad new locations are where the freshness is at. In terms of game dynamics, we’re looking at pretty much the same kind of game as before. That is, for those who don’t know free-roaming first person shooter action with a smattering of role playing elements. The player will get to take on

main plot quests, and will have a huge number of side quests to complete as well. Play-through estimates are at around 50 hours if you get to most of the side quests. And then there are increased difficulty levels, of course, and the fact that you can experience the story four times over with each of the very different characters. Naturally, there will be DLC too, with a “season pass” to purchase four pieces of DLC (for the price of three) already available. And then there’s the fact that you can play the whole game in either single player, or as part of a co-op team of up to four members. Initially, Borderlands seems like more of the same and, for the most part, it is. But the developers have put tweaks and new ideas into play that make it a better game than the original. The skill tree, for example, has been refined, with the player now able to better build their

gamecca40

43


Game Name

gun accuracy, faster reloading, and so on. These no longer apply to individual weapons, though – rather, they apply to the character, regardless of what kind of gun they are using. It’s a much better way of handling things, and the fact that the player can choose between a few options for each token they spend means that there is yet more customisation available. Another big plus is something that was introduced to the original Borderlands as part of the General Knox DLC: storage. Because of the game’s random gun generation system (which is even broader this time around) players will often find items that they would like to hang on to, without them taking up valuable inventory space. This takes care of it. Players can even transfer items between their characters if needs be (when they reach the right point in the game it becomes available) which is another

Review

character into the type of fighter they want. Once again, the four characters are very different (and players will doubtlessly develop their favourites) but with the added flexibility from this idea, even two characters of the same class can feel very different. There are a variety of unlockable heads and skins for the characters as well, for added customisation options. Another great change are the passive skills that the characters develop. Previously, te game would give the character advantages based on how much they used a particular kind of weapons; if you specialised in the sniper rifle, you got better with it. This time around, the player earns a different kind of experience (based on in-game achievements) called Bad-Ass ranks. Getting enough of them will earn the player a point that can be spent on a selection of overall ability upgrades. Better

44

gamecca40


small but really nice addition. So, to sum it up: It is longer than the original. It is funnier than the original. There are more gun options. The character development is improved. Features like storage have been added. Graphics and engine ideas have been tweaked. All of that adds up to one thing – Borderlands 2 is the perfect game for those who enjoyed the original, because it is an improvement. Fans will certainly want to play this game, which has arrived as something of a starter pistol bang for the mad Q4 rush. It provides something that is very area these days – a good long single player experience. But the drop-in, dropout multiplayer is just as awesome, following the same story line as the single player (although with better loot and more enemies). The game works well on both fronts, therefore, which is also pretty rare… rather than having

tacked on multiplayer, or a single player game that feels like lip-service rather than a quality product, Borderlands 2 takes the whole experience and makes all aspects of playing great fun. A word of warning – the game can feel a little repetitive after protracted periods of play. Single player games can also get a little tough at times, particularly if you haven’t done enough side missions. But both of these are things that are easily dealt with (take a break, do some side quests). All in all, Borderlands 2 is great fun, and provides the player with an experience that really is well worth the money it costs to buy the game. And with DLC already in the works, it will have a great amount of longevity… hopefully right up until the next Borderlands game is released. g

AT A GLANCE: First Person Shooter

Reviewed on:

The irreverent FPS (with RPG bits) is back for another tour of duty on Pandora, and it is full of improvements. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Borderlands Local

2

Network

Online

4

Gearbox 2K Games Megarom

Parental Advisory

18+ gamecca40

4

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

X360 Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

96 45


Transformers: Fall of Cybertron

Time to Transform The battle for Cybertron continues

by Charlie Fripp

I

their own special ability, and the game relies rather heavily on the application of this ability – which naturally makes things a little bit easier. Players will get a quick introduction to the game and plot by playing with the small but nimble Bumblebee, where everything is neatly explained in terms of controls, camera movement and a bit of a back-story. As the game kicks into high-gear, the levels do tend to become a bit more challenging, and if players aren’t careful, they will die often. Making use of the Havok and Unreal engines, gamers should be familiar with the graphic style as it is similar to the previous title, but also bear resemblance to Gears of War, Mass Effect and even Transformers: Dark of the Moon. Small details have been added to the Transformers to bring home a more immersive feeling, but most gamers

Review

t has been a long-standing thing in video game history – game adaptations from films are never of the quality that they should be. However, when developers are given almost free-reign over a title that has nothing to do with a film, they tend to get it right. Which is exactly what makes Transformers: Fall of Cybertron so good. Fall of Cybertron follows in the footsteps of the previous title War for Cybertron, but is completely different to its predecessor and much better. Fall of Cybertron takes off exactly after the event of War for Cybertron, where the Autobots have to fight for their city and stop the Decepticons from destroying everything in their path. The entire game spans about 13 stages and gamers will get the opportunity to play as a different Transformer on every level, even the Decepticons. Each Transformer has

46

gamecca40


will probably not even notice the notches in armour or the subtle movements as the title’s pace don’t leave a lot of time to stand around and admire the scenery. Fall of Cybertron is a marked improvement over the previous title, as the game’s mechanics have been updated, the controls and the camera angles have been improved and it in general just runs a lot smoother. Gamers will want to continue the game, as the changes are instantly visible. The only drawback about the new designs and the game’s layout is that player don’t have a choice at the beginning of a level if they want to play as an Autobot or a Decepticon. That part is completely written into the story, and only at the end of the title will they be given a choice of character (which affects the ending). Not content with only single player, the game does feature a rather elaborate multiplayer offering as well, with

the usual modes like Death Match, Team Death Match and a Conquest mode (which is similar in principle to Battlefield 3’s mode of the same name.) Player will also be able to customise a created Transformer in the form of a Scientist, Infiltrator, Destroyer or Titan with interchangeable heads, torsos, legs and arms, as well as give them a new paint job for use in multiplayer mode. Created characters have default weapon sets, but those can be upgraded by levelling up and destroying as many enemies as possible. Any Transformers fan should get a copy of Fall of Cybertron, as it is probably the best Transformers game released to date. It is not incredibly long, but will provide for a highly-entertaining play, and coupled with the multiplayer, many hours of Decepticon hunting await. g

AT A GLANCE: Third-person shooter

Reviewed on:

It’s by far one of the best Transformers games, with a lot of action. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Transformers: War for Cybertron Local

1

Network

Online

4

High Moon Studios Activision Megarom

Parental Advisory

12+ gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

X360 Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

85 47


RockSmith

The Real Thing Part game, part instructor…

by Walt Pretorius

W

guitar, real guitar players scoffed. But they won’t be able to do that now, because RockSmith makes use of just that – a real guitar. The secret is in the special cable that creates an interface between the guitar and the game console. With this cable, the game can read the notes played on the guitar and judge the player’s performance. It’s pretty ingenious, and one cannot help but wonder why no-one thought of it before. But it’s here now. However, it doesn’t quite fall into the whole ‘plastic guitar’ category for another reason… this is a far more serious undertaking, and one that gamers should not take lightly. This is a game for people that are serious about their guitar playing, and it gets pretty tough early on. See, RockSmith uses a scaling system, where the game will automatically adjust difficulty levels according to the player’s performance.

Review

hen Activision announced that the Guitar Hero franchise would become a thing of the past, they left a gap in the market. True, EA’s Rock Band series is more or less still around, but we haven’t seen anything significant from that particular set of games in recent times either. The flurry of guitar-based rhythm games has all but disappeared. Until now, that is. Ubisoft saw the gap and took it, but instead of delivering another ‘plastic guitar’ clone, they made the decision to go more realistic than ever before. And the result is RockSmith, a game that not only allows players to play along to their favourite rock tunes, but also teaches them how to play a guitar, for real. That’s the genius of this game. When people tried to claim that games like Guitar Hero taught them even a modicum of skill in terms of playing a six string electric

48

gamecca40


Each new song also introduces new techniques, like slides, hammer-ons and simple chords, even as the song progresses. What makes this even more difficult is the fact that the guitar strings aren’t colour-coded, like the buttons on those fake guitars were. So the player needs to spend some time familiarising themselves with the fret board and string placement, to ensure that they get through the game properly. There are a few fun mini-games included to help with that. Aside from playing the included songs, which include modern tunes as well as classics, the game allows the player to practice technique and even ‘free-play’ with unlocked effect pedals – effectively turning their TV and console into an amplifier. The game can be purchased with an Epiphone Junior guitar, too, for a price that is actually extremely reasonable,

considering the package contents. The real question is, then, will RockSmith do what it claims? Will it help the player learn techniques that will improve their real guitar playing skills? The answer is, undoubtedly, yes. This game will, through repetition and learning songs, teach the player how to become at least a passable guitarist. And that really is awesome. The problem, though, is that this is not a simple process, and it is one that may take some time. The player who undertakes this task needs to be aware that great guitar players practice a lot, and they will be playing ‘til their fingers bleed if this is their aim. And if it isn’t their aim, RockSmith may just be a little too challenging and demanding to be considered a fun, casual title. If you have the desire and dedication, as well as the ambition to be a guitar player, there is no better title. g

AT A GLANCE: Rhythm

Reviewed on:

A game that will actually teach you something, but it may be frustrating for those who seek casual entertainment. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Guitar Hero, Rock Band Local

2

Network

Online

0

Ubisoft Ubisoft Megarom

Parental Advisory

16+ gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

PS3 Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

88 49


Tekken Tag Tournament 2

Tag, You’re K.O Don’t pick the panda

by Sarah Joan Snyman

T

The game has all of the same elements as before, arcade, versus, team battle, time attack and survival; the only new element of Tournament 2 is the Fight Lab, which helps you train your character in various combat situations. I spent most of my game time in versus. These games are, in my opinion, designed for group play; I’ve always preached that the arcade fighter is the perfect accompaniment to at least four people and a case of beer. After a couple of matches using the various characters and combinations, I did find myself growing tired of the pace. Although the ability to play with four players is an added bonus, being so stationary until you’re tagged in can become annoying. The combat in Tekken has always been very close range and sudden, requiring very fast reaction times and a lot of movement towards your

Review

ekken has been a stable arcade fighter for over a decade, and despite it being 13 years since the original Tag Tournament hit arcades, the appeal still seems to be alive and well. I have always enjoyed arcade fighters; anything from Mortal Kombat to SoulCalibur will keep me entertained for hours at a time. I had high hopes for Tekken Tag Tournament 2. I wrote a short preview a while back and the talk and trailers made my mouth water! I slid this game in after first having prepared dinner and dessert, sure that I wouldn’t be interrupted. But after half an hour, I ended up begging for distraction. The graphics in Tekken have always been a bit cheesy, very within the genre but still cheesy. Although this game is leaps and bound ahead of what we’ve seen before, I found it hard to watch, garish and a bit cheap.

50

gamecca40


opponent. The tag element is similar to Marvel vs. Capcom, in that your tagged out character will slowly regenerate some of their lost health while you use their partner. There is also a flashing element on their life bar which indicates that it would give you a boost if they are immediately tagged in. All 44 of the the characters are nostalgic, no one can deny that fighting with the same bearded old man that you did so many years ago isn’t heart-warming, even though he has changed so drastically in appearance, gaining more bling and a more visible vascular system as the years pass. And unlike previous editions, the Fight Lab can allow a bit more insight into the gameplay and moves of each character. Tekken, although accessible to almost anyone as a button basher, is an extremely complex and involved game

that can be mastered. But even as a master, there is still a chance that you will be obliterated by a teenage girl holding a controller for the first time. After sitting in front of this game for hours, uninspired and confused about how I felt, I realised that this is a wellproduced game from an experienced development house. It has new features which a lot of devotees will enjoy and the characters have developed in their gameplay to a degree which is expected between releases. But, at the end of the day, it’s still Tekken and Tekken is Tekken. It is an arcade fighter with bad tech music playing in the background and multiple odd stages, including one with Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion) seated and playing in the background. I would rather indulge in Mortal Kombat or SoulCalibur, but this is an all-round decent release. g

AT A GLANCE: Arcade Fighter

Reviewed on:

X360

More of the same with some new elements thrown in, it looks like Tekken, it feels like Tekken, it’s still Tekken Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Marvel vs Capcom, SoulCalibur, Mortal Kombat Local

4

Network

Online

6

Namco Namco Bandai Megarom

Parental Advisory

16+ gamecca40

4

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

79 51


Madden NFL 13

Ol’ Pig Skin This time it’s going long

by Charlie Fripp

A

In terms of controls, it can be a bit complicated, but a quick tutorial will sort out all the kinks. It’s fairly basic, but there are a couple of special commands that need to be remembered. A number of changes have also been made to speed up the game and make it flow a bit better – all of which work well, to a degree. While the added extras are all good and well, there are a couple of hiccups that could ruin the overall gameplay. The game makes use of the Infinity Engine which “improves tackle animations and the outcome of player interactions including a balance system” but causes players to literally fall over themselves. Because of the technology, as soon as a player bumps into another, they will immediately fall over and hit the ground. It’s highly frustrating if a runner

Review

merican football isn’t a huge sport in South Africa, and not a lot of people actually understand what is going on. They tend to compare it too much to rugby, but it is in many respects much more complicated – and the winnings are much higher. Madden NFL 13 is yet another offering from Electronic Arts in the Madden franchise, and while the series has been going strong, the 13th game offers a bit more than the usual fare. The graphics have been given a notable upgrade and EA added a nice touch of having commentators Jim Nantz and Phil Simms actually go through a pre-game presentation in a television studio. Small changes have been made in the detail of the game, which adds a bit more reality to it.

52

gamecca40


as much grazes another player, falling to the ground faster than a soccer player during the world cup. Apart from that, the AI is also a bit thick. As part of the new engine design, AI players on the field won’t pay any attention to the ball unless they look back at the quarterback (which is only when they are ready to receive a pass), or when they expecting the ball. This means that a quarterback will have limited options when it’s spike time, as defenders will be bearing down on him. Adding to that, if a ball is passed, receivers won’t use their own intuition to stretch for the ball or make an effort to pursue it. They are so set in the playbook routines that they hardly ever deviate from it – which gives them the common sense of a sponge. The best way to tap the most out of the title is to

play with friends in multiplayer mode, or to start a new career in the Career Mode. Being an EA title, the career will allow players to create their own player, choose a side and lock it in to a position. The career naturally has the player aiming for the completion of certain gaols to earn experience points, which can then be traded in for stats upgrades. The career will start the player off as a rookie in the NFL, and he will have to prove himself by playing well in games and winning matches. Madden NFL 13 is a great, engaging game, but if it wasn’t for the small niggles, it would have been a fantastic title. The graphics are fantastic, the commentary is spot on and the game play flows a lot better than previous titles. It’s really a must-have for any football fan. g

AT A GLANCE: Sports

Reviewed on:

X360

It’s a fantastic rendition of the game, and a must for fans Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

The Madden franchise Local

2

Network

Online

6

EA Tiburon EA Sports EA South Africa

Parental Advisory

7+ gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

81 53


Toxic Bunny HD

Classic Do-Over A reminder of the good old days…

by Walt Pretorius

Review

I

54

AT A GLANCE: Genre:

Platform

Reviewed on:

PC

It may not have all the latest bells and whistles, but Toxic Bunny HD will appeal as an homage to a different age of gaming. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Numerous old school platformers Local

1

Network

Online

0

Celestial Apex Interactive Apex Interactive

Parental Advisory

TBC gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

Platforms

t was many years ago that intrepid local game developers first created Toxic Bunny. This was t a time when everyone had pretty much given up on the idea of local game design, but Celestial Games brought the irreverent platformer out to many people’ surprise. Fast-forward many years, and the team are back, working on something that we see quite a lot of these days: an HD version of Toxic Bunny. Toxic Bunny was once a normal rabbit… but toxic poisoning of the planet, the brainwashing of his friends and the denial of coffee have turned him into a rodent avenger, seeking to distribute justice to all that stand in his way. Toxic Bunny HD is a revisiting to the platform action that proved to be charming, entertaining and challenging when it was first released. As such, the newer version does feel a little old-fashioned, despite the HD overhaul. That said, this is the kind of game that people won’t buy for massive innovations and tech. Toxic Bunny HD is all about nostalgia; the looks might be new, but the game dynamic and even controls hearken back to a day when the platformer was king, and the arrow keys and spacebar were the main controls. Because of this, the game will likely appeal to a niche market, rather than being a mainstream hit. But there is a place for that in the gaming market, and those that want to relive the good old days will certainly be able to do so with this revamped classic. It has a more casual appeal, and a zany sense of humour that will appeal to many. g

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

72

g a m e c c a r ev i ew • i s s u e 1 7 • N ove m b e r 2 0 1 0


Oddly Enough: Pied Piper Collector’s Edition

More Than You Bargained For As they say, don’t judge a game(s) by its cover

by James Francis

Review

T

56

AT A GLANCE: Genre:

Hidden Object

Reviewed on:

PC

With three games you get to see how many different ways a hidden object game can be presented. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Veronica Rivers, Mystery Trackers. Local

1

Network

Online

0

Aliwar Games Focus Essential Apex Interactive

Parental Advisory

16+ gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

Platforms

he most vexing thing to explain about the Hidden Object Game (HOG) genre is that it comes in many flavours. Yes, it often boils down to the same principles: scour beautiful, semi-static scenes for objects, wriggle through a large stable of different puzzles and endure some bad writing. But just as there are many ways to relinquish a cat from its fur, HOGs approach the basic set of its genre rules in many ways. The Collector’s edition of Oddly Enough: Pied Piper manages to demonstrate it all, but not solely through one title. Being a special edition, it comes with two bonus games - Mountain Crime: Requital and Natural Threat: Ominous Shores. As you’d guess, Pied Piper involves the famed underpaid child-kidnapping musician your quest is to rescue the tots. It is perhaps the weakest - or at least simplest - of the three games. Mountain Crime is a murder drama with suitably interesting and chilling moments, not to mention the only one with voice acting. It’s not perfect, but certainly interesting. And, finally, Ominous Shores involves being shipwrecked on an island where mutated plants have gone mad. Each have their flaws, but still manage to make for a thorough and interesting HOG experience. Some are heavy-handed on the puzzles while others demonstrate the many different conventions when it comes to figuring your way around this genre. As mentioned, Pied Pier is perhaps the weakest and thus great for novices. The murder mystery spins the wheels differently in a few sections, and the island adventure is perhaps the closest to a traditional HOG. If this genre might tickle your fancy or you are a devout follower, the Oddly Enough: Pied Piper Collector’s Edition is well worth picking up. g

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

87

g a m e c c a r ev i ew • i s s u e 1 7 • N ove m b e r 2 0 1 0


An adventure is afoot

by Charlie Fripp

Royal Family Secrets: Centuries of Hidden Secrets

Missing jewels A

AT A GLANCE: Genre:

Hidden object

Reviewed on:

PC

Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Mysteries in London, Mysteries of Egypt Local

1

Network

Online

0

Gunnar Games Focus Multimedia Apex Interactive

Parental Advisory

7+

gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

Platforms

The story is engaging and should keep players busy for a while

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

75 57

Review

t first glance the title, Royal Family Secrets, can be a bit deceptive, as gamers might think that it focuses on the modern-day royal family. But upon closer investigation, the subtitle Centuries of Hidden Secrets hints at going back in time – and that is exactly what happens. Hidden-object games have become hugely popular over the last couple of years, and developers have tried to implement ways to make it more engaging – other than just staring at a static canvas while feverishly looking for objects. Focus Essentials took a different route in Royal Family Secrets, and made it more interactive for gamers. While some titles allow the user to shift to camera 360 degrees around and up and down, this title allows gamers to actually “walk” around the areas in search for clues. The plot involves the player trying to help four previous monarchs from the British Empire find rest for their souls, and through navigation and a beadyeye solve the puzzles, riddles and the occasional hidden-object map. The correct genre for this title is Hidden-object Adventure Game, as there are actually less hiddenobject spotting than with traditional games in the same space. While walking through areas, players will be pick up object to use in combination with other to progress. Only occasionally will they have to complete a tradition hide-and-seek map like previous games. The adventure is engaging and while the graphics and sounds is typically what one would expect, it’s enough to keep players busy for a couple of hours – around four of five should do the trick. It’s easy to understand but sometime the selection tool can be a bit off. Nevertheless, it’s fun and even includes a bonus title, Buckingham Palace, which is not really on the same par. g


The Testament of Sherlock Holmes

Elementary… Not as easy as you may think…

by Walt Pretorius

P

This particular game is about more than just solving puzzles – each of the activities that the player undertakes adds towards solving a greater overall riddle. In this title, Sherlock Holmes is accused of a dastardly crime. All his allies lose their faith in the super-sleuth… even Dr Watson doesn’t believe that his friend is innocent. It is up to the player to use puzzle solving skills, attention to detail and deductive prowess to prove Holmes’ innocence. That all makes for a rather fun title. It is not an action packed game by any means. Rather, it is a pedantic title that will have the player searching every corner of a given area, looking for clues that need to be analysed. Some of these clues lead to puzzles, which in turn reveal more clues. Once analysed, the player will be tasked with making the correct deductions as a part of solving the

Review

uzzle games are generally – these days – a collection of disparate activities tenuously tied together with a theme that often has nothing to do with the activities the player is to undertake. There isn’t much wrong with this, in truth; the hidden object market is massive, and the people that play these games don’t seem to care to much about the background, as long as they can get their puzzling fix. But there are those out there that do yearn for a more traditional puzzle game style. The kind of game where the puzzles tie in to a larger plot. The kind of game that is about more than solving a bunch of brain-teasers. The kind of game where the activities actually feel cohesive and important. Well, there is a great option to scratch that particular itch, in the form of The Testament of Sherlock Holmes.

58

gamecca40


crime. On paper, that reads beautifully. But, in practice, it is a little less than ideal. Testament of Sherlock Holmes can be brutal, in the cerebral sense. Some of the puzzles are extremely challenging (including a very early Knight’s Tour, which tasks the player with moving a chess knight across a chess board, touching every square only once). Some of the deductions may seem a little less than logical at times. And the game will not always clearly explain what the player needs to do, or what analytical results mean. Read the manual. Seriously. If you have the kind of iron-willed constitution that will allow you to get through these elements, Testament is a rather rewarding title. The crimes are detailed, and the player will get some help in solving them, at least in terms of finding clues. It’s well worth the effort if intense

puzzling is your thing. The presentation of the game is a mixed bag. The graphics are good, but the character lip-synching is not. The voice acting is also pretty solid, but Watson’s nasal whine and the fact that some words (like Marquis) get horribly mispronounced breaks the illusion of the high society Victorian set that Holmes supposedly frequents. And Holmes himself is portrayed as an extremely arrogant, condescending egotist – although this is pretty accurate. Testament of Sherlock Holmes is a good game that is hampered by a few problems, including controls that sometimes feel less responsive than they should. But once you get past the handful of issues it brings with it, it can be extremely rewarding… solving that really tough puzzle can be a real boost! It’s not for everyone, but investigation fans should enjoy it. g

AT A GLANCE: Puzzle

Reviewed on:

X360

Playing as the world’s greatest detective can be rather challenging, but puzzle fans should enjoy it. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

CSI, Gray Matter Local

1

Network

Online

0

Frogwares Focus Home Interactive Apex Interactive

Parental Advisory

16+ gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

79 59


Risen 2: Dark Waters

Pirates – Not Sid Meier’s Rum, swords and dark magic

by Lein Baart

P

It’s a sombre premise, and the tone stays throughout the entire game. Risen 2 plays a lot to the stereotypes, but manages to squeeze in enough character and personalisation to avoid being camp, thankfully sparing us any Keith Richards impressions. The plot is mature and dark, mixed with a healthy of dose of dry wit and obscenities. They’re pirates after all, and been told to “eff off” every now and again, or rather seemingly every second sentence, is par for the course… apparently. As an RPG, Risen 2 checks most of the right boxes. Rather than one large open world to run around in, the game takes place between a number of different islands, each with their own unique feel and foibles. The game is meaty, with plenty of quests to keep you entertained. Admittedly, most of them are of the stock variety, but the presentation adds a charm seldom seen. Completing

Review

iranha Bytes has never been known for making easy games. As anyone who played Gothic can attest, you are generally thrown into a vast world, filled with all sorts of intrigue, desperation and suffering, and simply told “save us”. How you are meant to accomplish this is never explained fully, and starting out, you are about as powerful and scary as a midget with foam stick. Risen 2: Dark Waters is no exception. Once again the Nameless Hero is thrown into the thick of things, told to make everything better, and then whisked across the seven seas to fetch a legendary harpoon. Humanity is on the verge of extinction as the titans rage across the land, with the only hope left to flee to the New World, while the Nameless Hero has fallen to drink and despair, seeing the futility of his past actions.

60

gamecca40


quests, killing monsters and finding treasure all provide glory, Risen 2’s substitute for experience, with which you level up your character skills. Firearms such as muskets and pistols are now available, adding more diversity to the game, and elemental magic has been replaced by voodoo. While not as useful, it does have its own allure, such as being able to possess people, and at the very least makes things interesting. Complemented by a large variety of skills, such as forging, locking picking or sword techniques, it’s a solid and well-designed system. On the PC Risen 2 looks amazing, with luscious environments that practically breathe life. The consoles have suffered in the transition though, experiencing framerate problems, low quality textures and other graphical glitches. Loading times are also excessive for the console, making Risen 2 a frustrating experience, and one in which

you’re constantly pausing to save. Starting out Risen 2 is as tough as nails, and only towards the latter half of the game do you really become truly formidable. Gold can be counted by the coin, and considering that every skill has to be bought, you’re a clumsy oaf to begin with. The game recommends that you save often, which is good advice, as even later in the game you’re likely to die. Combat is laborious until you learn several techniques, and you’ll have trouble even with simple foes. The AI, particularly the monster AI, is in all honesty retarded, either running in circles while you slash at them, or standing stock still. Duels though are a different affair, and can be pleasantly challenging, particularly when you start using an offhand weapon, such as sand, pistols or even a parrot. g

AT A GLANCE: Action RPG

Reviewed on:

There’s a great game underneath a lot of technical mediocrity. Patient gamers will be rewarded, though if you do get, get it on the PC Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Gothic series, Risen Local

1

Network

Online

0

Piranha Deep Silver Apex Interactive

Parental Advisory

16+ gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

PS3 Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

68 61


NHL 13

Skate!

Every stride counts as you skate your way to the top! by Suvesh Arumugam

A

of physics. Holding direction gives the player more momentum, while holding down R3 gives your player a speed boost. But this also sacrifices control and makes it difficult to stop or change direction. To stop or change direction basically requires momentum in the opposite direction, so a lot more control and thought is required. The new game also features backwards skating for the first time, making it easier to shield against poke checks. Some other features are the ability to hug the wall to make stick checking a little more difficult, so you can hold up the puck while your teammates get into position. You can also defend against this by closing the player off against the wall and blocking any passes. But of course, the real reason we love NHL is the fighting. It was a sad year when one of the NHL series had no fighting, but luckily it still here and as exciting as

Review

long with EA’s other long-running sports series like FIFA and Madden, NHL 13 is the latest instalment, promising a blend of realism, strategy and arcade style fun for die-hard fans of the sport, as well as the un-initiated. EA went off-script though by allowing fans to vote for the player they felt deserved to be on the cover, which had a frenzy of tweets, posts and comments from fans. With over 25 millions votes submitted. Claude Groux (of the Philadelphia Flyers) narrowly came out on top over Pekke Rinne (of the Nashville Predators), which was announced at a gala event in Las Vegas. NHL 13 features True Skating, a painstakingly accurate recreation of the dynamics of ice skating. Improving on previous attempts, skaters movements on the ice are driven more than ever by the laws

62

gamecca40


ever. From a first person view you can throw haymakers and uppercuts at your opponent, with all the required shirt pulling, until only one of you are left standing. The game features all the standard game modes – Exhibition, Stanley Cup, Be a Pro, Be a GM and others. One of the highlights for me though is the NHL Moments Live mode. It’s a cross between Brian Lara Cricket’s old Classic Match mode and FIFA’s Challenge of the Day. In what is strangely mislabelled as the 20112012 version, you actually play games dating back to the days of Wayne Gretsky playing for the Edmonton Oilers, and Mario Lamieux in his days as forward for the Pittsburgh Penguins. In a combination of Be A Pro and Team modes, you replay classic Cup and Playoff games, and must either repeat a historic individual or team performance, or change history with one. In the

2012-2013 mode, you can download NHL moments from current matches as they are created throughout the season. Despite the sport having a small niche audience, the NHL franchise frequently places in the top three sports Games of the Year. A big part of the game’s popularity is the high-impact and fast paced nature of the game. The action is fast, and NHL 13 is the most demanding instalment in the franchise yet. While the controls seem complicated at first, they’re eventually pretty easy (and there is also a feature to revert to the old style controls). While Ice Hockey may not be as popular as soccer or basketball, NHL 13 is a must have for lovers of sports sims, and anyone who likes a good challenge. The game requires concentration and skill to master – the mating call for any serious sports gamer! g

AT A GLANCE: Sports Sim

Reviewed on:

With the most advanced skating system ever, NHL 13 is the most realistic ice hockey experience for endless hours of fun. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

NHL 12 Local

4

Network

Online 12

Electronic Arts Canada EA Sports EA South Africa

Parental Advisory

13+ gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

PS3 Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

85 63


Brave

Movie First

To boldly go where all franchise games have gone before. by Pippa Tshabalala

D

Merida, in frustration that her mother can’t see her point of view, asks a witch to cast a spell to make her mother change. Of course, as is the case when you employ witches (they’re tricksy you know), the spell that Merida asked for, instead of causing her mother to change her mind, instead changes her and Merida’s triplet younger brothers (whose names all begin with H and which I can’t be bothered to remember) into bears. So begins the quest to change them back into their natural human form. Oh, and along the way break the curse of another crazy rampaging bear called Mor’du, the embodiment of hate, anger and pride. Merida must cleanse the land of the corruption that Mor’du has sown and in order to do this she must collect charms that represent the different elements – Earth, Fire, Wind and Water (or Ice as the case may be), in order to

Review

isney Pixar’s Brave the videogame is based on Disney Pixar’s Brave the movie. That’s right, we’re talking about a franchise game. Surprisingly however this is not completely and utterly awful. Forgettable? Yes. Terrible? No. It’s not ground-breaking, particularly innovative, or anything other than you’d expect from a franchise videogame, however there is a certain comfort in that fact, and let’s be honest – if your kids loved the movie, they’ll love the game. Let’s quickly do a short recap of the plot, which if you’ve seen the movie, is mostly along those lines. You play as Merida, the princess of Dun Broch, and daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, who is being forced to be “a lady” and fulfil her duties as a princess of the realm. This is predominantly enforced by her mother, and

64

gamecca40


combat different foes. Graphically Brave is pretty enough, with some beautifully illustrated cutscenes, although it won’t be setting any new benchmarks. The characters are cartoony and cute, but again, pretty run of the mill stuff. Combat is the staple of Brave, as Merida wields both a bow and a sword, and skills in both are absolutely necessary to progress through the game. There is no levelling up per se, although you can upgrade the quality and functionality of your weapons, both by finding new ones hidden around the different levels, as well as through upgrading at waystones and spending the gold that is lying hidden in the plants. Because you know, I always find gold in plants and barrels when I smash them to pieces. Ok, no not a great deal of the game mechanic is incredibly believable. In fact, the amount of gold you collect

simply from smashing things open is actually phenomenal. The difficult on normal is quite laughable to be honest, and I don’t actually think I died once the entire way through. The level design is incredibly linear – you simply progress through from point A to point B, with minor diversions along the way to the rather obvious “hidden” areas in order to collect loot such as weapon upgrades and outfits. I’m not really sure about the point of the latter. Overall the game is very Harry Potteresque in its nature. You won’t find much in the way of challenge but it’s relatively fun and mindless if you’re just looking to zone out for an afternoon. In the end, games such as Brave must be taken for what they are. A fun albeit not particularly challenging movie franchise spinoff that makes you feel kind of happy throughout. g

AT A GLANCE: Adventure

Reviewed on:

X360

Fun yet forgettable. A typical franchise game that won’t provide much in the way of challenge but won’t make you want to vomit half way through. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

Harry Potter. Local

2

Network

Online

0

Behaviour Interactive Disney Interactive Prima Interactive

Parental Advisory

12+ gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

70 65


Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchant

The High Seas Plying your trade in one of two ways

by Walt Pretorius

Y

control, despite the lack of all those convenient buttons provided by a mouse and keyboard combination. The game allows the player to make use of either an in-depth, location-based control system, or a quick radial menu that allows for most operations to be completed easily, without too much loading. This title enables the player to follow one of two routes in the campaign – either the life of a trader, or that of a pirate. Because of that, the game offers two rather different flavours; trading is all about setting up routes and meeting supply and demand issues, while the pirate side of things is about sinking ship, raiding settlements and generally being a violent thief. Port Royale 3 on Xbox 360 feels more like a novelty than a game to be taken seriously. In the early stages of the game, the player will be doing the same repetitive tasks

Review

ou don’t often see management games on consoles. There are numerous reasons for this, presumably, but the main one is that the genre doesn’t translate very well into console format. Management games are the kind of pedantic, slow paced stuff that most console gamers will eschew in favour of action-packed blast-o-thons. Management games are far more at home on PCs. So when Port Royale 3: Pirates & Merchants arrived for review, it sparked more than a little interest. The presumption is that the developers behind the game fully realised that they would have to take a somewhat unique approach to the title, because of the major differences between PC and console gaming. And they did. With Port Royale 3 they managed to create a title that is interesting and fairly easy to

66

gamecca40


over and over again. This is part of the tutorial process, but sailing back and forth between towns I the 17th Century Caribbean and manually trading goods can get to be a bit tedious. As the game progresses, though, things get a bit better. In fact, if you are the right kind of gamer, it can be quite fun watching your holdings grow as you ply the dangerous seas. Port Royale 3 requires a bit of forgiveness from the player. Aside from the pedantic, time consuming game dynamic, it has a few issues that set it a few steps back. Graphically, for example, the game is rather out-dated, with static art cut-scenes breaking the anachronistic feel of the in-game graphics. The looks aren’t awful; they just feel old. The same can be said for elements like voice acting. It just feels like it comes from a few years ago. And the

game will load a hell of a lot if the player doesn’t make use of the radial menu, so it can feel even slower. As such, it is even more of an oddity on the generally faster-paced console platforms. But it is still playable and can be rather fun, if this kind of micro-management is a flavour you like in your gaming. And it has to be said again that the developers managed to create an extremely clever control system, considering the nature of the game. Were it not for this, Port Royale 3 would most certainly have been a far worse game. It is odd, really, to consider control as the saving grace of a title, but if you play the game you will realise how this can be the case. This game is certainly not for everyone, though; even management fans will need to get used to the new ideas it introduces.. g

AT A GLANCE: Management

Reviewed on:

X360

A rather unusual entrant into the console market, Port Royale 3 does a decent job of bringing the management genre to console. Similar to: MaxPlayers Developer: Publisher: Distributer:

PC management titles Local

1

Network

Online

0

Gaming Minds Kalypso SilverScreen

Parental Advisory

12+ gamecca40

0

Violence Language Sex Drug Use Prejudice

Accessibility Hard-Core Medium Casual

Platforms

Genre:

PC X360 Kinect

PS3 Move

Wii PSV DS 3DS

Score

68 67


Real S

Interview

SteelSeries re-enters the South African market with Megarom‌

68

gamecca40


Steel S

teelSeries are a well-known brand of gaming and computer peripherals. Unfortunately, the brand has seen erratic distribution to the South African market in the past. That is set th change, though, with Megarom taking over local distribution. We spoke to Megarom Interactive Product Specialist Chantal Wood and SteelSeries CEE, MEA and Oceania Regional Sales Manager, Flemming Gyldenhammer, about what South Africans can expect from the brand locally. Megarom has distributed video game software for many years, but is relatively new to the hardware arena. Was a new approach to these products necessary? CW: It is the same market space and the same customers we are trying to reach, so from that perspective it has been much the same as our standard sales approach. From a marketing and planning perspective, the main difference between software and hardware is that hardware generally doesn’t face the same short window period for release with an initial day one spike tapering off later as new titles are released. This allows us to invest more time for a long term growth strategy on a brand offering rather than the forced flurry of action and sudden drop

gamecca40

by Walt Pretorius

the software gaming market experiences from one release to the next. It also is a natural progression for Megarom to partner with a hardware supplier as the drive towards digital media distribution continues to dilute revenue retails on game releases. Will Megarom be distributing the full SteelSeries range from the start, or will the lines be expanded over time? CW: For the South African SteelSeries relaunch we have selected the biggest hitters from the SteelSeries stable, covering all four pillars of their product offerings, namely Surfaces, Keyboards, Mice and Headsets. As product knowledge and brand awareness grows we will be expanding on the core range, and of course will make licensed products available as they are launched. Megarom is the official distributor for several publishers that work closely with SteelSeries in creating branded hardware (like NC Soft and Activision). Will South African gamers be able to expect special bundles as a result? CW: Megarom will definitely be looking at bundles in the future where time allows; initially though

69


our focus will be on making the branded hardware available locally to coincide with the game launches - it has been the case in the past that the branded hardware is only available after launch of the software, and our focus for the publisher partnerships at this stage is to ensure that both software and hardware launch simultaneously.

Interview

How does SteelSeries compare (in terms of recognition) with some of the other brands out there, like Razer and Logitech? CW: Historically in the South African gaming hardware market SteelSeries supply has been erratic, so we do have to grow brand awareness and retail presence, but it is a strong brand internationally for pro gamers and clans alike. Couple that with the strong publisher relationships we are confident that SteelSeries will be top of mind for South AFrican gamers looking for quality hardware in the near future. FG: We have a different profile in the market space to the other producers of gaming gear, because our original background was to create professional gaming gear for a narrow, professional segment of gamers. We are in reality developing our products with the best teams on the planet. A good comparison is Nike who develop their shoes with the best athletes. Now we have a much larger portfolio for all kinds of gamers, whether you are a beginner or full time professional. Our core values as a company is to provide the absolute best solution for gamers. We take pride in providing solutions that make costumers go “Wow, that is really cool” - Which i think is a vital and big part of our

70

gamecca40

succes. We really mean it when we say “Winning is everything”. Will Megarom be looking at sponsorship arrangements, in terms of the SteelSeries brand, with gaming clans and the like? CW: Yes, in keeping with SteelSeries international partnerships and clan support, Megarom will be looking to emulate that support and brand awareness with key local clans and pro gamers too. When can South African gamers expect to get hold of SteelSeries products? CW: Limited stocks will be available at this year’s rAge expo, with the full core range available in stores from October. Will SteelSeries products be widely available? CW: Yes - All major retailers and e-tailers Megarom has an excellent support system for video game software. Will this support be extended to SteelSeries products as well? CW: We will continue to extend support for all products distributed by Megarom, and SteelSeries themselves back their products 100% so the support service we are known for will continue. SteelSeries has variety of products. Which are your personal favourites? CW: The Siberia v2 Cross Platform headset would have to be my personal favourite from an ease of use and value for money perspective – great sound quality and only one headset needed for both of my consoles and PC. g


gamecca40

71


I S S U E 2 4 / Vo l . 3 October 2012

www.gladgetmag.com

Locked Up

The importance of computer security

Keep it Real... SteelSeries gets a new SA home...

Free Online Mag


www.gladgetmag.com Simplicity in information!


All-Roun

T

Taking care of every sound requirement… wirelessly

Review

Turtle Beach Ear Force PX3 Headset

T

he announcement that Apex Interactive would be distributing Turtle Beach headsets in South Africa was met with excitement here at the Gladget offices. The brand’s reputation for great quality precedes it, and these headphones being more easily available to South African gamers is a good thing. The Ear Force PX3 is one example of the range, and it allows PS3 gamers to enjoy excellent wireless sound. It needs to be mentioned that Turtle Beach aren’t the cheapest headsets around, but you certainly get what you pay for; the quality and performance of the PX3 is excellent. And, as an added bonus, it works with Xbox 360 and PC as well, despite the large PS3 punt on the packaging. This light-weight headset makes use of 50mm speakers, which deliver excellent audio across the whole range of tones. The large ear-cups are twistable, and feature cushions covered in a breathable fabric mesh. The left cup also has a long, fully positionable microphone boom attached, while the right cup features all the wireless controls (including separate sound and chat volume and preset cycling. Wait, what? Presets? The PX3 features 18 programmable presets so that desired volume and mic levels can easily be set for individual games. In addition, the headset also features technology that will limit loud, potentially damaging sounds, and a ‘Sonic Lens’, which allows you to define and refine specific audio frequencies. In other words, it is a tweakable headset, which is pretty unique for our market. It even allows microphone monitoring (although hearing your own voice can be a little freaky) and sports Dynamic Chat Boost, which automatically adjusts voice levels when the game gets louder. The system connects to the desired device via a small transmitter box. There is room for multiple inputs too and the auxiliary input can be used in conjunction with one of the main ones, allowing – for example – the user to listen to music from a separate source while gaming. The built in rechargeable battery is charged by plugging a specific cable into the transmitter and headphones, and the player can keep going while the unit is charging. The only real issue that this headset has is that the controls take a little getting used to. However, a smart design approach means that the user can learn to recognise controls by feel alone. Using, for example, a roller control for game volume and a rocker for chat volume, means that the user will quickly get to know what does what, purely by feel. The PX3 is a well-designed and sturdily constructed headset that will take care of all gaming audio needs (and more) beautifully. The headset is comfortable, and the sound quality is great… just what a headset needs to be. g

74

gamecca40


nder

y.

by Walt Pretorius

Summary

Tech Specs:

A great option for those that want a versatile, comfortable, excellent quality wireless headset.

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

gamecca40

Works with everything Very Comfortable Incredible sound

50mm speakers Fully adjustable Rechargeable Ear Guard technology Sonic Lens technology Dynamic chat boost

Turtle B ea c h A pex Intera c tiv e www.a pexint.c o.za R1699.95

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Controls take a little getting used to

Score

96 75


W

Review

MSI Big Bang Z77 MPower Motherboard

W

by Alex Scanlon

hen you encounter similar products over and over, they tend to become a bit of a blur. One motherboard looks much like another, realistically, particularly when the various brands have similar capabilities. But, every now and then, a device comes along that stands out; MSI have achieved that with their Big Bang Z77 MPower board. Right off the bat, it looks different, thanks to a matt black finish and mostly black component set. In fact, only three of the on-board components have a bit of colour, in the form of yellow trim. This lends the board an appearance that hints towards its rather serious nature. The Big Bang boards are all about overclocking and extreme performance, and the Z77 is no different. In fact, it provides overclockers with a host of tools, beyond the expected software: Multi-bios II technology, on-board power, reset and OC buttons, a debug LED, a BIOS clear button and voltage check points. This combines with the expected military class III components that MSI are using with their latest devices, including Hi-C CAPs, solid CAPS and SFCs. Enhanced thermal designs also mean lower operating temperatures. These include thick heat pipes, a large, clear space around the CPU and optimised air-flow. The board also comes with built in fan control, which is a bonus. In addition to all the overclocking assistance, the Z77 MPower also comes with a number of other bells and whistles to make users happy. Built-in Bluetooth, for example, allows for a greater range of connectivity, as does the on-board Wi-Fi system. High speed gaming device ports complement the generous total of eight USB 3.0 ports, and HDMI output allows for direct connection of audio and video if there is no graphics card present. Naturally there are options for digital audio outputs, as well as on-board surround sound – but these are pretty standard, so no real surprises there. The end result is an extremely capable motherboard, which allows the user a large number of options. Its performance really is top-notch, thanks to well-balanced ideas relating to component choices and performance-enhancing design. Another upside is that this new Big Bang board is considerably smaller than the older version, which could be a nightmare to fit into a case. On the whole, there is very little about this new Big Bang board from MSI that isn’t exciting. And the claims that MSI makes about stringent testing seem to hold water, because this board certainly shines under increased strain. It isn’t necessarily a board that mid-range users are going to flock to, but those who want to squeeze every kind of performance boost out of their PC will be more than pleased with what the Z77 MPower has to offer. g

76

Bigg On a smaller board…

gamecca40


ger Bang

Summary

Tech Specs:

A fantastic motherboard option for overclockers, delivering the expected MSI performance.

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

gamecca40

Very overclockable Stable Great extras

8 x USB 3.0 ports Military grade III components Twin Frozr tech Bluetooth Wifi Overclocking tools

M SI Pinna c le A fric a www.pinna c le.c o.za A pprox R2 600

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Relatively Pricey

Score

95 77


T

Review

Turtle Beach Ear Force X32 Headset

T

urtle Beach is making quite an assault on South Africa, thanks to the efforts of Apex Interactive. A wide range of options are available for gamers of all types, ranging from multi-system wireless devices through to single application wired set-ups. Unlike the Ear Force PX3, which works with just about anything that uses audio, the X32 is a far more focussed headset. And, as the name hints, that focus falls on Xbox 360 gamers. This removes some versatility from the headset, but it does have an auxiliary input that will allow audio from other sources, so it’s not a completely Xbox-only device. Like all the Turtle Beach headsets we have seen thus far (all three of them in this issue) the Ear Force X32 is well beuilt and beautifully designed. The generous ear-cups are comfortable, surrounded by cushions covered in a breathable fabric mesh and sporting 50mm speakers for great sound quality. The system uses amplified audio to enhance the gaming experience, too, and has a host of other features that set them apart from the pack. These include things like multiple audio presets and dynamic chat boost, which automatically adjusts the chat volume levels to compensate for louder games. When you consider that these feature rich headphones are middle of the range for Turtle Beach Xbox sound, it makes you all excited about the whole product line. The X32 system doesn’t make use of radio for transmission to the wireless headset. Rather, it employs dual band Wi-Fi, which creates a great wireless connection while cutting down on the possibility of interference. The stylish headset is also rather light-weight, and has a generously padded headband to help ensure comfort. A long, fully positionable mic boom complements the device, and all controls (including independent controls for game and chat volume) are built into the shell of one of the ear cups. There really is only one downside to this rather nice headset – the fact that it is not rechargeable. Rather, it makes use of a pair of AAA batteries. They do last long, to be honest, but the convenience of plugging in a charging cable when the headset loses power is not there. Rather, you’ll need to have spare batteries on hand, which (aside from being a bit of a pain) adds to the overall cost of operating this headset. But it really is a small problem, when compared to the high quality that this headset offers. This quality goes beyond just excellent audio (and it really is excellent). It extends into the looks and construction of the headset as well. If you’re an Xbox gamer looking for great chat and game sound quality, as well as comfort during protracted gaming periods, look right here. g

78

Xbox A

gladget24

Great gaming audio for the


Alternative

e Microsoft console…

by Walt Pretorius

Summary

Tech Specs:

Although it is largely focussed on the Xbox 360, the X32 offers excellent audio and comfort..

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

gamecca40

Great audio Comfortable Well built

Xbox 360 compatible Dual-band Wi-Fi 50mm speakers Presets Amplified audio Dynamic chat boost

Turtle B ea c h A pex Intera c tiv e www.a pexint.c o.za R1299.95

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Not rechargeable

Score

90 79


Middlew W

A good option for those who want an optical drive…

Review

MSI CR61 Notebook Computer

W

hile virtually every laptop manufacturer seems ultra-focussed on Ultrabooks these days, it’s good to see new options for those who want something a little different from a portable computer. Thanks to the rather stringent guidelines set out by Intel for Ultrabooks, steering away from them gives manufacturers a little wiggleroom. And that’s why, amid the Ultrabook frenzy, we still get units like MSI’s CR61. This is a rather sleek looking notebook, although it looks a bit big when compared to current trends. Still, it is not overly large and doesn’t weigh a ton, like some notebooks we have seen. Within the gunmetal and black body, the CR61 packs a fair amount of power. This is underpinned by an Intel i5-3210m CPU. It’s not the fastest kid on the block, but it is no slouch, either. The CPU is supported by 4GB of DDRIII RAM, and storage comes by way of a 500GB hard drive. Control comes by way of a full chicklet keyboard and textured touch pad. It takes a little getting used to; while many notebooks feature a textured pad, this one seems to be a little more textured than others. Beneath the pad is a rocker button, rather than individual left and right click buttons. Visuals are provided by a crisp and cleat 15.6 inch screen, set behind a very shiny surface. The shine can get a bit much, and it shows finger marks very quickly, but if you keep it clean it most certainly adds a lot to the device’s sleek appearance. Not being an Ultrabook means that there are a few bells and whistles that can be included. Mainly, this refers to the DVD Super-Multi optical drive, which we still consider something of an essential in the South African market. In addition, the CR61 offers a single USB 2.0 port and two USB 3.0 ports, as well as HDMI output and all the other expected ports and interfaces. The system is rounded off with a fairly decent set of speakers and an integrated web-cam, which is pretty much standard these days. While Ultrabooks certainly are all the rage, they are restricted (for the time being) in terms of capabilities. Those that want potentially more power and a little more versatility (as provided by an optical drive, for example) may well want to consider a bulkier portable computer. If that is the case, the CR61 makes a great option as a high-mid range choice. It performs very well, when all is said and done, and the good looks and performance compensate for the slightly heavier weight and bigger size. MSI’s track record as manufacturers of dependable computing devices shows in this notebook. g

80

gamecca40


weight!

by Alex Scanlon

Summary

Tech Specs:

Bucking the Ultrabook trend, MSI have produced a good looking and dependable notebook in the form of the CR61.

M a nufa c turer Distributer: O nline: RRP:

gamecca40

Dependable Looks good

i5-3210m CPU 4GB DDRIII RAM 500GB HDD Optical drive 2 x USB 3.0 ports HDMI output

M SI Pinna c le A fric a www.pinna c le.c o.za A pprox R7 500

Pros • • • • •

• • • • • •

Cons • • • • •

Slightly bigger and heavier than current trends

Score

80 81


The Bashing Millionaire... From Space

by Christo van Gemert

I

In last month’s column I suggested trying something new. Instead of sitting in your comfort zone and playing the same old games over and over, pick one new title and try to see it through. I’m happy to report that I made good on the impromptu challenge. For the longest time now I’ve been avoiding role-playing games (RPGs). In general I find them arduous and time-consuming, rather than fun. My comfort zone is quick-fix gaming. My challenge was to try get into something that would take a few months to finish – well, a few months

82

at my pace of progress. So I fired up my Xbox 360 and popped in the disc for Dead Island. Asking around, I’d heard mixed opinions. One friend raved about it, but he likes zombies and that was good enough for him. Another friend loves RPGs, and said he avoided it because reviews made it seem “fetch questy” (referring to the type of tasks you’d be given). The results? Well, I’m not exactly going to rush out and pick up Diablo 3. That’s obviously a different type of RPG – one that relies on the emotional investment

that comes with making believe that you are a paladin or a barbarian. If I avoid the obvious fun in Dead Island – bludgeoning and beheading zombies – there are the roleplaying elements I have to confront. Do I believe that I’m a burly action hero with a predilection for blunt weapons? No. I can’t identify with the character I’ve chosen. But I have made peace with his abilities and shortcomings. He has a few that don’t reflect me. I can run far more than 200 metres without stopping for breath. I’d also choose that option over swinging

gamecca40

a wrench at a level 20 thug’s head. Instead, I’m trying to embrace his hardy skill set. And I’m on a mission to find the most powerful weapon there is; it’s very frustrating not being able to kill every enemy with a single blow. While I’ve spent a considerable amount of time on the character, I don’t find the story engrossing and some of the missions feel like a chore. Hopefully the new Forza and Need for Speed games arrive soon, so that I can make believe I’m a billionaire playboy with a Lamborghini and enough money to keep other traffic off the roads. g


Gamecca Magazine October 2012  

Gamecca Magazine October 2012 (Volume 4, Issue 40)

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you