Posts Tagged ‘ xbox360 ’

Red Dead Redemption – Review

Every now and then, a game comes along which truly outshines the competition.
Red Dead Redemption is such a game.
Developed by Rockstar games (the team behind the dizzyingly successful Grand Theft Auto series), RDR places the player into the shoes of John Marston, a grizzled ex-bandit in the lawless land of the Wild West, trying to clear his name and prevent the killing of his family by the hands of the newly formed federal government (as you do.)
Set in 1911 in the fictional U.S. state of New Austin, during the decline of the American Old West, Marston is forced by the government to round up his former partners in crime, and let me tell you, it’s a hell of a lot of fun doing it.
I must say before I go on, that the story in this game is the true star, but I don’t want to spoil it for you all by talking about it too much. Brilliantly paced and expertly crafted, I was hooked from the beginning, and found myself really caring about the characters, much as I would do whilst sitting through any Hollywood blockbuster.
Now for the game play. Rockstar have stayed true to the open-world sandbox style that has earned them so much praise for the GTA series, and it fits in perfectly with the scope and scale of the game.
You will be tasked with completing various missions for the many colourful characters you will meet on your travels. Being the Wild West, most of these missions obviously involve shoot-outs and horse-back duels. These are great, and are the games bread and butter.
But the developers have made sure that the experience does not repeat itself, and have spliced in a few different mission types to keep the experience fresh for the player, such as horse-breaking and racing. And with a completion time of up to 40 hours, this is necessary to keep the player coming back.
One feature which sets RDR apart from other third person action-adventure titles is “Dead-eye”. This is Marston’s version of The Matrix’s” bullet time”, allowing him to slow time down, target numerous enemies, and fill them with lead quicker than they can say YEE-HA!!! This helps to keep the game play fresh and exciting, allowing you to feel like a true gunslinger.

DRAW!!! - John Marston using "dead-eye" to kill his enemies

Visually, the game is absolutely stunning, and the scale is beyond epic. All this is yours in what’s easily Rockstar’s most generous open world game yet.  Environments and characters are richly detailed, and you can tell straight away that crafting this world was a labour of love for the developing team, and the fact that they have created it completely from scratch with no reference points, is truly a testament to their creativity and dedication to authenticity. Just as Liberty City came out as the star of Grand Theft Auto IV it’s the expanse of the Wild West that shines brightest here.
I cannot recommend this game highly enough, it is a true masterpiece, and to be honest I would expect nothing less from a developer with such a pedigree as Rockstar has.
Truly the West at its wildest and brutal best. 5/5

No Bungie at E3?

Last Friday, Bungie, the publishers behind the all-conquering Halo series, announced that they would not be showcasing any new content at this year’s E3.

This will come as a disappointment to many fans of the developer, as they have been teasing us for months with their new project, which is supposedly a far cry from the Halo franchise.

No show - Bungie will be absent from this year's E3

The announcement has led to speculation that Bungie do not want to overshadow something that Microsoft already has in the works, which many reports suggested was the Xbox 360’s successor, the “Xbox 720”. These rumours have since been debunked by a Microsoft source. 

Wishful thinking - There will be no new Xbox at this year's E3

So what can we expect from E3 this year? Do you think that it is still too soon for another new Xbox? Or will you be dusting off the ol’ Mega Drive and getting your money’s worth out of Sonic & Knuckles??? Sound off in the comments below!

Project Café: What do we know?

A couple of weeks ago, rumours started to circulate that we would be seeing a new home console from Nintendo much sooner than any of us anticipated.

The “Wii 2”, or to use it’s super secret codename “Project Café”, is set to make it’s debut at this year’s E3 expo, with a projected release date of some time in 2012.

So what do we actually know about this new console? Below is a list of what we know to be true, and what at this point is typical internet speculation.

What is Nintendo cooking up?

The Controller

According to numerous sources, the new Nintendo controller will feature dual analog sticks in addition to standard d-pad and trigger buttons. It’ll mirror a Gamecube controller in general function but not in specific form. Sources have confirmed that the new controller will allow players to stream entire games to the device from the console, saying it’s like a miniature television. The screen size on the controller is also confirmed to be six inches in size. The price of course depends entirely on how much Nintendo is willing to invest into the development of this ‘Wii 2’, which will ultimately determine the retail price. Initial reports have suggested that the console will sell for up to $500 (around £300).

Could this be the new controller for Project Café?

The Hardware

Again, there is no definitive answer from Nintendo at this early stage, but many reports have suggested that the new console will be “significantly more powerful that the PS3 and xbox360, and will also be capable of running HD AND 3D games.

The console is also said to be backwards compatible with both Wii and Gamecube games, allowing those of you with an abundance of Wii games to keep playing them until your hearts content.

Obviously the HD speculation is completely understandable, and that will probably be a given when Nintendo finally announces the specifications, as the graphic capabilities of the Wii are most definitely outdated and obselete when compared with those of the PS3 and X360. The more interesting report however, is the one suggesting that the console will be capable of running 3D games. Again this is just specualtion, but Nintendo are known for being innovators in the field, what with having introcued the first 3-dimensional game in the form of Super Mario 64, and revolutionising the way we play games with the Wii. It is not too far a stretch of the imagination to believe that Project Café will have 3D capabilities, but again this will most certainly be reflected in the retail price, and let’s face it, 3D technology ain’t cheap.

One can’t help but think that Nintendo is finally looking to recapture the ‘hardcore’ gaming market from Sony and Microsoft. Fans of the Wii have been left wanting when it has come to hardcore titles, and the novelty of Nintendo’s revolutionary console only lasts so long.

Whatever Nintendo is planning, it’s shaping up to be a big reveal come this year’s E3, and it could be the shake up that the games market needs.

For now, here is IGN’s video report on the Wii 2.